Loading...

October 17, 2019
Jamie Galea
New Game Plus / Features

2019 marks the sixth year the Penny Arcade Expo has come to Melbourne, forming a major part of Melbourne International Games Week, itself a celebration of local game development. There’s always a lot of reasons to come to PAX, which many people outside of Victoria (and Australia) do, but for me, it’s always been more of a social thing.

I’ve always viewed the draw of PAX as because it’s so big of a event in uniting all sorts of people interested in the medium, it’s the Super Smash Bros Ultimate of events: everyone is here. People covering games, people making games (both tabletop and video), people who like watching people play games, that sort of thing. PAX is a convention ultimately about people as much as it is about games.

I’m relatively sociable both in person and online, so part of the fun is wandering the show floor and seeing people you know and trying to catch up as best you can, or potentially meeting new people you’ve never had much experience with. Putting Twitter profile pictures to actual faces is a satisfying game in itself, and it still never feels normal to say to people that you’re mutual followers.

Because PAX is so populated, it can be a lot to take in and nearly impossible to cover at times, at worst overhwhelming. Moving around on the crowded show floor ranks pretty low amongst my favourite PAX experiences, enough that I beg for the PC parts manufacturers that cause such crowd jams to take over the second hall of MCEC exclusively to themselves. But without the crowds, you miss some genuinely heartfelt moments that you otherwise wouldn’t get.

During some downtime wandering the halls, I spotted people catching up for what had to be the first time in person or the first time in a while, and they were genuinely excited to be in each other’s presence. Moments like these are small and hard to catch, but when you caught a glimpse of them, it provided a genuine moment of sincerity that elevated a pretty extraordinary weekend.

I’m reminded of one of the more specific interactions I’ve had at a past PAX Australia. On the last day of the 2013 expo, I decided to lineup with the punters to see what the experience was like. I ended up being in the queue room with a group of Americans that travelled from the US all the way to the Melbourne Showgrounds, taking advantage of the international passes that PAX offer.

We started chatting, and the question of why someone would travel all the way from the US (I want to say they were from Seattle, but I honestly can’t remember) to suburban Melbourne was brought up. It was the allure of PAX, having done several of the US events in the past, that was enough to draw them overseas and into a country they’d never stepped foot in before.

I didn’t quite understand it at the time, but six years and several PAX’s later, I understand it better. There’s a positive and powerful vibe about the event and the people that come to it that make it such a memorable, transformative event. You want to be a part of it, or at least be around it, because you never quite know what will happen.

Very few events I’ve been involved with or gone along to have had that same vibe. It envelopes you in such a way that you can’t help but drink it in. And for the most part? I’m glad I did.

When he’s not meeting people in person, Jamie’s meeting people online across all social channels at @jamiemgalea



November 12, 2019

Date: 17th of November 2019. Time: 11am (booking to 5pm) Venue: Level 11, 179 Queen St Melbourne. ( It’s time for the CouchWarriors Annual General Meeting! Another successful year behind us, we have a lot to talk about and a lot to be excited for. CouchWarriors Mission Statement: CouchWarriors is a non-for-profit association that was created in 2006 to help grow the Fighting Game Community. We aim to do this by providing services and events for the community such as: creating welcoming spaces for new and veteran players to learn and play, running monthly ranking tournaments, hosting our nati...

November 11, 2019

CouchWarriors QLD Ranbats for November 2019 were held on Saturday the 2nd at George St Brisbane. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top matches played out. A complete listing ...

November 7, 2019

Wondering where you can find details for all upcoming CouchWarriors events for the month in one place? Well, it’s always a good idea to check our Facebook. But now these simple roundup posts wil...

November 2, 2019

Another month of fiercely contested events have accelerated the BAM Path to EVO points race. With a trip to EVO 2020 on the line in each of Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat 11, Tekken 7 and Smash Ultimate, every ranbat and online event is a high-stakes showdown! Who will have the skill and consistency to be crowned the season champion for their game across Australia & NZ? Here’s your monthly breakdown of all the BPTE results and rankings for October. For more information about upcoming BPTE events, current standings and the points system itself,  check out the Path to EVO website. Couch...

October 30, 2019

CouchWarriors VIC Smash Ranbats for October 2019 were held on Saturday the 26th at Davies St in Brunswick. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top matches played out. A complet...

October 22, 2019

CouchWarriors Expands Further Nationally with South Australia and New South Wales After successful growth from Victoria into Queensland, Fighting Game Esports Events organisation brings in Adelaide an...

October 22, 2019

CouchWarriors VIC FGC Ranbats for October 2019 were held on Saturday the 5th at Davies St in Brunswick. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top matches played out. A complete l...

October 17, 2019

Wondering where you can find details for all upcoming CouchWarriors events for the month in one place? Well, it’s always a good idea to check our Facebook. But now these simple roundup posts wil...

October 16, 2019

It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since League of Legends was released, but here we are. To mark the celebration of one of the biggest games in the world, Riot Games finally lived up to their namesake by announcing a slew of projects, most of which League of Legends related, to entice new audiences to the world of Runeterra in 2020. While a bunch ofthe announcements are so early they’re referred to in codename (such as Project A, a character-based tactical shooter) or can be explained in a sentence (Teamfight Tactics is coming to mobile in 2020), Riot gave some details...

October 9, 2019

While 2019 has been a quiet year for Sony, 2020 is set to be enormous, with the company announcing the first major details of its upcoming next-generation console: Playstation 5, which will be releasing sometime next year. While the bulk of the announcement was announced via Wired (which also had the initial details of Sony’s next-gen efforts), Sony’s Playstation Blog also shares a few additional details, mostly regarding the still unnamed controller, which may or may not be called the DualShock 5. The first detail is that rumble is gone from the controller, which will be replaced...

Show More Blogs
Latest Videos
Latest Photos & Events
Site by GMAC Internet Solutions