PAX AUS 2017

I had the pleasure of attending PAX in Melbourne, Australia, the only PAX event held outside of the US that showcases games from around the world, as well as games made right here in Australia. The event took place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, a building located in Melbourne’s CBD and ran from the 27th to the 29th October 2017. During my time at PAX I played all the latest games and tried out some really cool tech, but the thing I loved most were the panels. I saw panels on the importance of indie development, sound design, voice acting and the history of video game music.

Sound design in video games.

The highlight of the whole experience was meeting one of my heroes, Tim Shiel. Tim is such a humble guy, and took the time out of his day to have a chat with me about audio and life in general. Tim is an Australian composer, multi-instrumentalist and radio announcer who composed the music for the mobile game Duet, which happens to be my favourite mobile game. The controls for Duet are simple but the game is anything but simple, in fact, the game is diabolically hard! Tim and I had a laugh about how intense Duet is and when I asked him if he had completed the game he proudly nodded and confirmed he had indeed conquered it. Tim has also worked with Gotye (Wally De Backer), touring with him as a multi-instrumentalist and with whom he set up the record label Spirit Level.

Tim Shiel and myself at PAX.

Wandering around PAX it was hard not to go “merch-mad”, and I ended up buying heaps of t-shirts, one of my favourites was the Kojima Productions shirt from the Hanabee stand. Hideo Kojima is someone who I draw inspiration from and his games have elevated him to god-like status among his devout followers. They even had a (near) life-size model of the Ludens action figure that makes up Kojima Productions logo, what I wouldn’t give to put that in my lounge room!

Kojima Productions Mascot.

To pay homage to the past, the Classic Gaming stage housed almost every system from the days of old and I reminisced on my childhood, playing the systems that I could have only dreamed of owning as a child, like the Neo-Geo and Atari Jaguar. One of the coolest systems I saw, however, was the Vectrex. The Vectrex was released in 1982 by General consumer electronics and made the images by using “freakin’ lasers”! To be more specific, the Vectrex had its own integrated vector monitor which displays vector graphics. I played a game called Mine Storm on it and WOW! Geometry Wars eat your heart out! Although the Vectrex was a commercial failure (due to the insanely high cost of purchasing one), it is now a collector’s item and they are highly sought after by retro gaming enthusiasts.

There were many cosplayers at PAX too, and needless to say there was an abundance of comic book stands and merch from comic books. I had to refrain from impulse-buying a figurine of the Joker from the acclaimed comic, Batman: The Killing Joke. It was an incredible figurine and looking back I really wished that I had purchased it, but hey “If I have to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice…hahahahaha” ;-).

Say Cheese!

All and all the expo was amazing and I would love to just travel and attend as many of these events as I can, I suppose that is why I compose for games, because games are my passion and I believe that games are one of the greatest art-forms of all. The melting-pot of creatives that it takes to make games is incredible and it is such an inclusive endeavour that it really demonstrates the beauty of humanity itself. Honestly, I shed a tear or two over the course of the event because I was so overwhelmed to be with “my people”.

If you attended PAX yourself, why not comment below and let me know some of your highlights from the event! Until next time, thanks for reading and stay creative! 🙂

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