Win a pass to PAX 2016 in Mel­bourne

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Northeast Jobs - CHRIS FEBVRE,

WITH

IF you’ve ever grinded for xp, had heart pal­pi­ta­tions over epic loot, tanked and spanked, com­plained about a nerf, cared more about your toons gold than your own bank bal­ance, quickscoped, stut­ter-stepped, strafed, back­stabbed, group healed, dou­ble-jumped, lagged, farmed, gone afk, sniped, laned, pvped, quested, or have a deep ha­tred for campers and bots, then chances are, you’re a gamer.

Hello to you, kin­dred spirit. When I was in school, my friends and I still lived in an age where video games were the sole prov­ince of nerds, and nerds weren’t the cool kids.

Fast for­ward to to­day, and the video game in­dus­try has shot past the Hol­ly­wood box-of­fice, and is now one of the largest en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­tries world­wide, rak­ing in bil­lions upon bil­lions of dol­lars per year.

Along­side this, es­ports (pro­fes­sional gamers play­ing com­pet­i­tively in front of a live au­di­ence) has grown as­tro­nom­i­cally, and was worth $612 mil­lion in 2015, with the top

ranked gamers earn­ing up to $1 mil­lion per year.

All of this trans­lates to gam­ing hav­ing be­come a sta­ple form of en­ter­tain­ment for many house­holds, and a hobby that is no longer con­tained to any par­tic­u­lar de­mo­graphic.

It may even sur­prise some to learn that the av­er­age age of a self-pro­fessed gamer is 37.

With this grow­ing en­thu­si­asm for all things gam­ing comes the events, con­ven­tions, and ex­pos that cel­e­brate them, the largest of which is PAX (Penny Ar­cade Expo).

First held in 2004 in Seat­tle, PAX has grown ex­po­nen­tially each suc­ces­sive

year, and ex­panded in­ter­na­tion­ally to Mel­bourne in 2013.

This year’s event, held Novem­ber 4-6 at the Mel­bourne Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre, prom­ises to be the largest for Aus­tralia yet, with an in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing line-up of events, con­certs, and pan­els.

Gamer mu­si­cians Tim Shiel, 7Bit Hero, and Axis of Awe­some are ready

to rock.

Sock pup­pet the­atre will of­fer in­sights into game de­vel­op­ment.

If you’re look­ing to kick­start your own in­die game, there’s a panel ded­i­cated to the ins and outs of crowd­fund­ing.

And you can even find out what it takes to amass an au­di­ence for your livestream­ing on Twitch.

On top of all this, there will of course be all the lat­est and great­est up­com­ing

games and hard­ware on dis­play, and plenty of ded­i­cated gam­ing PCs, con­soles, and hand­helds to play with.

And if table­top gam­ing is more your thing, there’s even a va­ri­ety of board games and minia­tures to check out.

Fi­nally, with vir­tual re­al­ity be­com­ing such a huge thing these days, PAX have a ded­i­cated free play area where you can try out all the lat­est tech.

I’m glad to see gam­ing be­com­ing such a huge form of en­ter­tain­ment for peo­ple from all walks of life.

Long live ner­dom, and un­til next time - ‘GG’ ev­ery­one.

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