About Games Blog

PAX Rising at PAX Aus 2015

One of the greatest things about the Penny Arcade Expo is the PAX Rising area in the exhibition hall. PAX Rising at PAX Aus 2015 showcased approximately 70 games, predominantly developed by locally grown talent. It was wonderful to see so many quality games supporting the Australian games industry. The following is a list of indie studios and game titles that were featured in PAX Rising (according to the PAX event booklet) so you can look at and enjoy a number of the titles I saw over the PAX weekend. I have also written a few words about some of the titles that I had the opportunity to play.

Sick Heroes at PAX Aus 2015

Have you thought about how chronic conditions, like pain and mental illness, are represented in games? Portrayals are often one-dimensional and inaccurate. In horror games, these conditions are seen as villainous, while in action games they are seen as weak and are often erased. This negative portrayal adds to societal stigma. Our panel of health professionals, researchers, game writers and budding game developers discuss the changes that need to be made in how chronic conditions are represented.

Discussing Queer Representation at PAX Aus 2015

Queer representation is a subject close to my heart. Increased positive, relatable representation of queer identities in literature is my chosen research area for my masters-possibly-turned-doctorate, and I have also spent time researching existing and ongoing queer representation in videogames. I’ve even made a videogame exploring queer themes, and am in the process of designing another. Because of all of this, I was ecstatic when I heard that queer representation was going to be a topic discussed at PAX Aus 2015 during the Queer Geeks of Oz panel.

The panel, held next door to PAX’s Diversity Lounge, featured the voices of host Sonja Hammer and panellists Liam Esler, Lauren Halstead (better known as Lauren Stardust), Dylan Adler, Rachel Humphries, and Jake-Derek Franklin. Overall, these wonderful people did a good job of introducing an incredibly important topic to the PAX dialogue and I am very supportive of what they attempted, but sadly, after much anticipation and excitement for this panel, I left the Galah Theatre somewhat disappointed.

Welcome Home: My first PAX Aus experience

Walking into the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (after a disastrous time trying to navigate the Melbourne public transport system), I noticed a banner that stretched across the ceiling; it read ‘Welcome Home’.

Even as somebody who hadn’t been to Australia’s Penny Arcade Expo before, I knew that PAX was a home-away-from-home for many of its attendees and I was looking forward to sharing that sentiment by the end of the weekend.

Viridi (Review)

I have a beautiful clay pot filled with thirteen succulents. Every week I am given a new seedling and I plant it, spray it with water occasionally, pull weeds from the surrounding dirt, and help it grow by singing it soothing melodies.

Viridi is a free-to-play simulation game by Ice Water Games. It allows you to care for a pot of succulents (or more than one pot, for a price) as delicate instrumental music plays in the background. The game is designed to give you a time out from your work when you need five minutes to pause and relax.