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



April 3, 2020

Godzilla has done what feels like everything since first hitting screens in 1954. We’ve seen Godzilla battle King Kong in a true East meets West monster showdown. We’ve seen Godzilla take on Charles Barkley in a basketbrawl for the ages. Now the King of the Monsters is taking on the Planeswalkers of Magic: The Gathering in its latest set, Ikoria: Land of Behemoths. Best of all, Godzilla won’t be coming to Ikoria alone. Several of Godzilla’s legendary kaiju rivals will also be joining the action as one of the special features of the Ikoria set: Godzilla Series Monster C...

March 30, 2020

Quarantine means bingeing, so as a massive Star Trek TNG and Jean Luc Picard fan I was very excited to watch the new Amazon Prime series about Starfleet’s best captain. Best. Captain. Ever. Fite me. Picard rocks. Unfortunately, the Picard series on Amazon Prime ended up being pretty lame. Why was Picard so disappointing? It was about how it ended. Read on and start typing your angry replies now…   SPOILERS AHEAD   Season 1 of Picard was set up very well in the early episodes. I enjoyed seeing some old faces again. The concept was interesting. Then it was all let down by...

March 30, 2020

Note: CouchWarriors apologises for the delay in event reports this month. The results are being reported here for posterity.   This month’s CouchWarriors QLD Ranbat was delayed a few weeks ...

March 29, 2020

Note: CouchWarriors apologises for the delay in event reports this month. The results are being reported here for posterity.   After a massively successful debut last year, the return of Phantom ...

March 10, 2020

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Cospendium Cosplay and Games Convention! Cospendium is a brand new event on the pop culture calendar, which is developing a new approach to convetions...

March 6, 2020

CouchWarriors League Announced National Fighting Game Esports League launched. Season one brings state champions together at BAM, Australia’s international finals Australian esports events organisation, CouchWarriors, today announces a national points based league for fighting game tournaments. CouchWarriors League (CWL) is tying together monthly Ranking Battle tournaments across four states, with a special reward for top point scorers in each one of four feature titles. The state champions will be rewarded with a paid flight and entry to BAM, Australia’s international fighting game ma...

March 2, 2020

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 will also serve as a quick reference here on the site. Check out what we have for March, and look forward to a fresh update on the 1st of each month! NSW PHANTOM 2020 – March 7th-8th, 10AM-10PM. UNSW Roundhouse, Anzac Pde Kensington 2052 Smash Melee, Smash Ultimate, Melee Doubles, Ultimate Doubles, Project M, Rivals of Aether, Splatoon 2 4v4 QLD CouchWarriors QLD Ranbat – March 14th, 9AM-9PM. QU...

March 2, 2020

One of the best parts of any tournament is the sense you’re playing for stakes. Whether it’s prize money, sponsor gear or qualifying points toward the BAM Path to EVO ladder, CouchWarriors events offer plenty of reasons to play hard and chase that trophy. But sometimes, what’s really most important is playing for pride – and for the sweet taste of bragging rights over your rivals. This was the prize on offer last week at the CouchWarriors VIC Smash ranbat, as up-and-comers from the state’s two biggest weekly tournaments clashed in a long-awaited crew battle. EAST ...

February 25, 2020

CouchWarriors VIC Smash Ranbats for February 2020 were held on Saturday the 22nd at Davies St in Brunswick. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top matches played out. A comple...

February 23, 2020

CouchWarriors VIC FGC Ranbats for February 2020 were held on Saturday the 15th at Davies St in Brunswick. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top matches played out. A complete...

February 11, 2020

This month’s CouchWarriors QLD Ranbat of 2020 was held on Saturday the 1st of February at George St Brisbane. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top matches played out. ...

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