My favourite part of PAX Australia is the panels. You get to hear smart people talk about video games, geek culture, all that stuff. That's good.
So I thought I'd do a round up of the panels we're all excited about, and the panels you can't afford to miss.
The Big Ones
These are the panels you can't miss. The panels there will most likely be queues for. Big names, big audiences.
Storytime With Warren Spector Friday 30 October, 10:30am The 'Storytime' keynotes are always worthwhile, regardless of what PAX you're at. Warren Spector is an amazing public speaker and always has interesting things to say. You can't miss this one.
Penny Arcade: Make A Strip Saturday 31 October, 10:30am Regardless of your feelings toward Penny Arcade as a comic strip, this is always entertaining.
Naughty Dog Presents: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Sunday 1 November, 10.30am It's an exclusive look at the game with someone from Naughty Dog. You can't miss this one.
Mark's Personal Favourites
Here are a few panels I'm personally excited for.
How Can We Save Australia's Early Games History? Saturday 31 October, 12:00pm This features Helen Stuckey, who is really the expert when it comes to how we preserve video game history. I think this is important and worthwhile. Super keen.
The Future of Gaming: What's Next For the Way We Play? Saturday 31 October, 12:00pm Sucks that I'm going to have to choose between these two panels. But this has a good line-up -- people from Twitch, people working on Hololens. Also : Nic Healey is a super suave presenter with really nice hair.
Boss Level: Meet the Brains in Charge of the Aussie Games Industry Saturday 31 October, 1:30pm This is probably the one 'can't miss' panel for me personally. Senator Scott Ludlam, Tony Reed, Ron Curry talk the Australian games industry. Hosted by Bajo and Hex from Good Game. I'll be watching.
Alex's Personal Favourites
Well, I guess both myself and Mark will be going to the Aussie Games industry panel!
Actually, It's About Ethnics in Games Journalism Friday 30 October, 8pm Wins the award for best named panel of PAX Australia, and gets extra points for having the word Actually in the title. I’ll be interested to hear the personal experiences of those on the panel and how that could be incorporated into gaming in a meaningful way.
Boss Level: Meet the Brains in Charge of the Aussie Games Industry Saturday 31 October, 1:30pm This is the panel with Green Senator Scott Ludlam. He mentioned at Senate Estimates recently that he’d go into greater detail about what could be done for the industry, and I’m expecting him to have some things to say here.
Ron Curry’s always interesting to listen to as well; he’s a good, warm panellist and having Tony Reed and the Good Game crew alongside them should make for a more than enjoyable hour.
Who Wants to Watch People Play Games Anyway? Saturday 31 October, 4:30pm I’ve been asked more than my fair share about why people watch Twitch or had to stand there listen to someone explain to me why they think watching other people think spectating video games is dumb.
The answer is usually that it’s an interactive medium, but what intrigues me are the social events like Barcrafts and viewing parties that are really trying to capitalise on the nature of that. This panel is going to explore that more in-depth, and it’ll be good if you have an offsider at PAX who “doesn’t quite get” the whole Twitch/streaming phenomenon.
Panels Mark Is Appearing On
Hey, if you want to see my glorious face and listen to my incomprehensible accent, I'm going to be featuring on a few panels this year. I'll even be making porridge live on-stage. I look forward to your heckling.
Aiming for Equality: Why Games Should Be For and By Everyone Friday 30 October, 1.30pm I'm actually the least interesting person on this panel. Features people from Film Victoria, Hipster Whale, Defiant Development. And me for some reason.
The 1st Annual PAX Food Fight Friday 30 October, 5:00pm I am making porridge live on-stage with Hex from Good Game, Scott Edgar from Tripod and Eve Beauregard. My reputation as a master of porridge is at stake. I look forward to "THAT'S NO HOW YE MAKE PORRIDGE" chants from the audience.
What Do You Do When the Internet Turns on You Friday 30 October, 7.30pm The internet is a scary place. This is advice for what to do when you're feeling swamped by it.
What if King Koopa Orders Pizza: Good Games Make Bad Movies Sunday 1 November, 10.30am This about bad video game movies and why they are bad. I HAVE THOUGHTS ON THIS. Looking forward to being hosted by Nic Healey's hair.
Panels Alex Is Appearing On
Secrets of Free to Play. How F2P is Driving the Future Friday 30 October, 9:30pm So I’m hosting a panel about free to play games, why should you come?
There’s a guy from Hi-Rez who undoubtedly will talk Tribes Ascend at some point, a shooter which you should all be ashamed for not loving. Max Chuvalov from Wargaming spent over a year heading up the company’s expansion to China and it’s a fascinating story hearing how a Russian company convinces the West to get on board the free-to-play train, and then makes that compatible with a region who was already on board with the model well before then. And Matt Hall is arguably one of Australias’s most successful developers, but he’s been working on games well before Hipster Whale and Crossy Road came along – the man has plenty of wisdom to share about the value of free-to-play, development in Australia and games in general.
It’ll be fun. Late, but fun. Bring a beer. (And something drinkable for me, thanks.) I’ll see you there!
What panels are you guys and girls planning to check out? Let us know in the comments below.