Nightwing and Starfire. (Photo: Luke Hancock)

Video game world gathers in Melbourne

PAX Aus kicked off this past weekend bringing video game fans and pop-culture enthusiasts together for three days of panels, board games and all the best and newest video games the industry has to offer.

PAX, or Penny Arcade Expo, was founded back in 2004 by Jerry Hopkins and Mike Krahulil, the writers of the popular web-comic ‘Penny Arcade’. Today it has expanded to include two more events across the US called PAX East and PAX South.

The first PAX Aus come to Melbourne in 2013 and remains the only PAX convention held outside the USA. Melbourne will be home to the Australian event until at least 2019.

eSport competition kicks off at PAX Aus. (Photo: Luke Hancock)

It all started on Friday with a rousing rendition of  John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in a massive hall adorned with the Vault-Tech blue and yellow to celebrate the highly anticipated Fallout 76 by industry leaders Bethesda Game Studios.

The show floor was filled with publishers and developers showing off their new and upcoming releases, with playable demos from PlayStation, X-box, Ubisoft and many more.

This year there’s been a push to highlight Australian independent developers, with prominent displays and floor space given to smaller publishers hoping to make a name for themselves.

But the weekend didn’t just belong to the gamers. Tabletop players also found themselves in paradise with everything from card and dice games to full-on Dungeons and Dragons-esque adventures to be had.

And no video game pop culture expo would be complete without hundreds of cosplayers roaming around, and PAX Aus was no different. These fans were treated to two fun and entertaining showcases on Saturday and Sunday.

On top of the cosplay panels, the show floors were filled with fans dressed as the heroes they play, from Kassandra in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII.

For those who missed out or who simply can’t get enough, fear not. Twitch has you covered. The expo was streamed live and is now available to watch anytime on the PAX Twitch channels.