16th November 2009 - Australians love a good day out. Weather it's hitting the beach, having a `barbie or just generally driving around, our country and cities always have plenty to do. But what if your one of those rare breed of people that prefers the inside, sitting at a D&D table or generally not going out. What if you would prefer to run through the hills of Asthterof or fight Covenant hordes than actually exercising; All Age Gaming is here to help. Australia might be at the ass end of the electronic consumers world, with Internet that could throttle a cow and policies that see a lack of any mature content, but thats not to say being a gamer isn't fun.
Below are three alternatives that see you can still get out and have your games too. As a multicultural society it's only fair that our favorite past-time is too, with a mix of sport, electronics and even fashion shows...
Comics, cos-play and wrestling
First Half of the year
Sadly as far as actual gaming goes, Supernova is a little weak. Unable to survive on just comics and games alone, anime and cosplay has come along to save the day, and don't the fans know it! From Ghostbusters to Solid-Snake, furries to fairies, Supernova is the day to get dressed up, loud and proud and declare in one voice ...actually, it's a lot more embarrassing than all that.
Supernova hits Sydney and Brisbane usually around the early to middle of the year with Melbourne last on the cards. This year saw the likes of Carl Urban and that guy from Supernatural turn up which is usually pretty fun.
There is a slew of comics at this one and if your lucky a sneak preview of some upcoming games a few months early. Highlights include the >sik< Australian Wrestling Federation center stage and the cos-pride parade. The requisite LAN is off on the side and Dominoes usually keeps the pizza flowing. At around $30 there is a lot of bargains to snatch up and considering the lack of any real conventions around Australia it is a welcome adventure into the sub-cultures of Australian red-neck nerdiness.
IDEF Consumer Electronics
The Independent Digital Electronics Federation Consumer Electronics Show, is a bit of a mouthful but covers the highbrow end of game browsing. Hosting 3 days of industry talks and panels on different discussions last year saw the launch of Tivo in Australia. Ok, so not the best example and many of the talks on 'the industry' come from the local Universities and are filled with students who know more than the panel do, but interesting none the less.
As for games, the eGames was actually pretty decent, hosting a slew of current and soon to be released games from the months of Oct and and Nov. Some of the countries and worlds best Counter-Strike and clan players were on hand, center stage while the floor was divided between all new gadgets and tech gear and all new games and consoles.
Mirrors edge were holding time-trials while The Gears of War 2 truck was in full force. If you plan to go for 3 days you're better off making it 2 or even 1/12 as the industry talks were more sales pitches and the show floor good for one day.
Only in Melbourne, but a good idea to expand to other states. Tickets vary from $30->$100
Ubisoft, blacktie and fashion
So we've looked at the commercial side of things, the odd dress-up and the general public. Night-time events are also available and fall into the net-working, elitist but any excuse for a drink category of Microsoft's' best. Currently touring the states, the 'Xbox Insider' is a prime example. Ubisoft also hold Ubi black beta events at clubs and pubs around the nation; every month or so.
As entry is free sans an invitation, it seems like more an excuse to get drunk and party than actually see any games. 'Hammer Time' himself MC Hammer, is currently appearing at events, while the hot game on display is Assassins Creed 2.
These night life events also feature fashion shows, music and dance-offs just to mix it up. Defiantly less appealing to the younger audience, There's nothing like rocking up to a club to play video games.
The best of the rest
For anything else, forums are an excellent way to meet people, as are, surprise, surprise, Universities. More and more educational institutes are getting on board the game band-wagon with local pubs holding Guitar Hero nights and professors providing seminars on the future of MMOs.
Around the state there are people networking old games to play Wii and SNES and Gamecube together while Anime only events exist also to further the cause. Local LAN at your shopping mall, not to mention mutliplaying gaming in general, has done a lot to keep people connected, but do yourself a favor, go outside and get involved, theres something here for everyone.
Article Written By Ian Crane