Community Review: PAX Australia

Another year, another PAX done and dusted. How was yours?

This year was a little different for me in that I probably had the least amount of time with the tabletop section. I'd usually rearrange my schedule to give myself a full day discovering some new board games, but the amount of briefings and appointments this year — coupled with a bit of PAX Pox on the Saturday that forced a brief trip to the doctor — pushed that right out.

Still, I personally felt it was a strong return for PAX. The larger publishers had a solid presence on the expo floor, a much better showing than previous years, and even companies like Riot made a return (maybe not in the most convenient of ways, depending on where the marching band was at the time).

Being a bit rundown meant I didn't have time to stop by the annual reader PAX Meat meetup, although all the TAYbies showing up seemed to have a good time from what I could follow on Twitter. (As a close friend of mine noted, PAX was a three day expo where you meet up with friends for seconds at a time.)

For everyone who attended or those who followed online, how was your PAX Australia?


Comments

    Was good. But I seriously believe that PAX should, at the very least, vet their panels.

      Thank you pop up add for somehow making me press "submit" early.

      Continuing on. Went to one panel Friday night as it sounded interesting, "The G-files: video games unsolved mysteries"

      They (and I mean, 2 of the 5 panel members) spent half of the allotted time speaking about missingno. Without actually talking about anything. Although, they threw in soemthing about making it seem that Red and Blue were haunted?? I don't know... My friend and I soon left. Waste of time, especially since we chose that instead of the "Dungeon Crawl" panel.

      Also, as an aside. For an expo that espouses peace, love, kindness, equality. Listening to a transgender person going on a few short rants about religion being deception, etc during a light hearted bit of "which genre of music can be linked to which DnD skill", screamed of nothing but hypocrisy.

      Would definitely not make for a very "fun or safe environment for attendees", especially for the multitudes of people who have a faith at PAX, especially for those in that panel expecting a bit of fun, and instead being attacked. But that's just my 2 cents

    Had a whole heap of fun. There were a few hiccups that griped me, such as:
    • PAX XP missing one QR code forcing us to group-riot at the info desk until they just gave us the final code.
    • Shortage of pins meaning I never got a SALE pin, Blizzard pin, or the highly sought after Pin Chicken that I chased around the complex all 3 days.
    • Console hire being extremely buggy for XBox due to non-wired controllers meaning other people could hijack your console mid play. Had someone turn off my console in the middle of a game.
    • Final panel finishing 30 minutes earlier than advertised. Kris even looked confused when Jerry walked off stage.
    Apart from all that the event was a blast. Some great panels and the show floor had such a better layout compared to last year. Looking forward to doing this all again next year.

      The Sale pin just confuses me. They were apparently running out within an hour of opening each day. Maybe the staff pocketed them to sell on ebay?
      Pin chicken sounded like bad feels all around, reminds me of the Praise Helix pin from a few years back.
      Unfortunately, distribution of third party pins comes down to each company.

        Depending on who you talked to, EB Games were selling 250-350 pins per day.
        I don't know whether they were limiting how many you could buy (like milk formula at supermarkets).

        Often people will get pins for their collecting friends in the States who don't come across.

        I got a praise helix pin back in 2015 via the playing the World of Warships, that was the straight forward of doing it. Just line up to get into the show at 5AM, make sure you don't get out positioned in the queue hall and get to the twitch booth within the first 50.

        But yeah i think they were also doing some twitter announcements for helix , but at least there was one semi-guaranteed method.

    Please don't hold it on the same weekend as Bathurst next year.

      It's so much better than Melbourne Cup weekend though

        I loved how some of the previous PAX's were on the same weekend as the LOL Worlds Grand Final. To be able to head on over to the cinema and watch the finals on the big screen in a packed out crowd full of PAX attendees was such a fantastic atmosphere that simply can't be replicated.

    We had a blast as usual, but admission for young families and general crowd coordination seems to get worse every year. We have a 2 year old daughter who loves coming but isn't a big fan of the light and sound show in the Door 1 entry hall. Last year a helpful door attendant allowed us to enter through a side door and skip the entry hall - this year all door attendants seemed to be under strict orders to direct everyone to Door 1, at least for the first hours, no matter what their circumstances were. What did we find at door 1? Several signs saying "Content in this performance contains strobe lighting pyrotechnics and smoke effects. Alternate access via door 4". But the attendants at door 4 just sent us back to Door 1 until I showed them a photo of the sign. And this was on day 2. Would be good if attendants were better briefed on this stuff.

    Nintendo's booth was amazing but yeah overall didn't feel as good the previous years. Ended up leaving early on Sunday. Aside from Nintendo who seemed to bring heaps of stock, the supply of pins was abysmal and the pin chicken was absurd, show up within 2 mins of their post and yet 'reached capacity'.

    The lack of those giant MSY giveaways from a few years ago has really hurt PAX for most ppl I know and instead the 'throw things into the audience' alternative just favours tall/loud ppl and seems to promote injury.

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