Road to PAX Australia 2017

I’m situated in Perth, Australia, which has a small but emerging gaming community. We get Supanova and Comicon each year, but these are small compared to other capitals. We also have a few small indie cons, but in truth they are not yet well publicised or attended.

I’m very interested in attending and contributing to the ‘gaming and RPG culture’ conventions, both as a community member and as a publisher.

I recently attended the first dedicated tabletop convention in Perth – Objective Secured (Southern Hemisphere Open). Focussed on Warhammer, it had exactly 6 vendor booths – A GW booth, a con merch booth, a mecha model booth, a local but well published Author, an airbrush artist, and a booth selling lockpicking tools/techniques. The main floor was around three dozen tables of various GW miniatures games, set in displays and tournament style matches. It had reasonable signage, but was a little chaotic.

On the floor above there were open RPG tables featuring several games and a number of scheduled panels and discussion groups. Unfortunately there was no signage, and it did not seem well laid out. PA announcements routed congoers to the RPG floor and some (but not all) of the GMs did their best to be outgoing and draw in visitors. Again, unfortunately, several simply sat there and it was difficult to discern if their games were public or not.

It was its inaugural year. The GW games were the focus. The organisers did their best – and much of it was great. But I was very underwhelmed by the RPG floor. I felt that the congoers were really not presented with the best Perth has to offer in RPGs. There was some great DMs and games going on, but they just didn’t “reach” to the paying customer.

I was just an attendee. I met with the organiser and asked to be a part of the next year’s process. Mike (the owner/organiser) was extremely friendly and outgoing, and I see amazing potential here. I genuinely hope that not only am I able to participate next year, but that I’ll have a significant role to play in the RPG floor’s management.

To that end, there is much to be gained from a ‘research’ trip to Australia’s biggest Gaming Convention – PAX. While more focussed on video gaming, PAX still has a huge RPG section, and I’m hoping to spend more than a little of the 3 days there observing, questioning and planning, and taking away anything that can help Objective Secured – and the other Perth cons – grow each year to become genuine attractions to showcase and build the RPG options in our city.

PAX here I come.

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