Review: PAX Australia 2016

14955932_10154112722212517_8193398885298967600_nMy very first PAX Australia weekend is done and dusted!

I am exhausted and sore today, going back to the daily grind is a struggle. But I look back on my incredible weekend with great memories and grateful for the experience.

The entire weekend, I embraced my inner child and ran around like a little kid. It was amazing and that is what I will remember the most. The fact I laughed so much with friends – new and old.

I love the set up at PAX, there’s a lot of room to walk around and not feel crowded. At no point did I feel like my personal space was invaded or that I was being pushed/shoved around. The enforcers do a great job in keeping people moving and not standing in the walk ways.

14947787_10154110430512517_6827498669680877057_nThe stands were great, I was hooked at the Buy Somewhere stand where I proceeded to ‘stalk’ down people with treasure chests on their heads for dice cards. Securing all the properties and getting my limited edition pin and token was such a great feeling. I think I did a little dance with an enthusiastic Lleyton Hewitt-esque ‘C’MON!’ cheer when I won!

I loved visiting the Nintendo stand, meeting Mario & Luigi and posing with a pokeball and the Zelda sword.  The 10 year old Nintendo player in me was so excited by all of this and more.

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The freeplay areas were super cool,  in the tabletop area, I got to play a few games (Dreary Hamlet and Betrayal at the House on the Hill), the latter I loved and pretty sure I am gonna grab it at some point. I forgot how much fun it was to sit down, learn a new game and play. Makes me excited for when I finally secure my own place and plan out gaming nights! In the console free play area, got to play some Super Smash Bros and just loved being able to try out the game.

I was so impressed by the Diversity lounge and the AFK lounge. Two places that were safe spaces for gamers and fans that may feel overwhelmed and support a section of the gaming community. I went to visit the Diversity lounge and were struck by how welcoming and wonderful the community was! I just love that this level of support and awareness for gamers is out there.

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I am now utterly addicted to the Pinny Arcade pins, all of which is completely Grant’s fault! Some pins like the Childs Play and the Diversity pin were donated to their causes, others were limited edition pins.  But it was so fun visiting all of the booths, collecting the pins and then trading with people at the end of the weekend. I can see that this will be my weakness in future PAX’s!

Next year, I know for sure to plan out my weekend heaps better (I didn’t get a chance to check out the classic games and learn how to play Magic the Gathering!), and I don’t think I will be so wide eyed and ‘OH EM GEE’ like I was this year.

All in all, I had an incredible weekend. I got to experience some games that I never played before, I got to enjoy the company of friends (new and old!), I got to learn about some new games that are about to join us and importantly, I just have this overwhelming feeling of gratitude that events like this are on offer to enjoy. The staff were friendly, the vibe was incredible, relaxed and most of all, I had the most memorable weekend in a long, long time.

I was really unsure going into the weekend, whether I’d enjoy it. I could not have been more wrong, I am not unbelievably excited for next year, have plans on what I could do and who else I can corrupt into coming with me.

Below is some happy snaps from the event, enjoy!