The PAX Australia Diversity Lounge is set to be the biggest incarnation of the initiative to date. The lounge will feature almost double the number of playable video games than in previous years, will feature the largest table top library in the history of the lounge and will boast more panel and table top space.
The amount of support from the greater industry has also been tremendous this year. The Diversity Lounge organisation team would like to highlight and thank the following companies, with the lounge benefiting from:
- Two PlayStation 4s thanks to PlayStation
- Two Nintendo Switches with 1-2-Switch and Mario Kart 8 from Nintendo (TBC)
- Ten Xbox Ones with games including Forza Horizon 4 from Microsoft. They have also kindly provided some Xbox Accessibility Controllers, and connected them with amazing streamer, Hand Solo, who is going to demo the controller for everyone on Friday.
- Two HP laptops for indie games.
- Two laptops from Devolver running Red Strings Club, with a talk from Devolver’s Graeme Struthers.
- Ubisoft has kindly provided some copies of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to be playable, as well as the spectacular Medusa editions, which will be used as major prizes in the Xena Nintendo 64 Fighting Game Tournament. Xena: Talisman of Fate is a Diversity Lounge tradition since it started in 2014, and is only getting more popular. People will want to come early to sign up for that one.
- Wizards of the Coast have hooked them up with loads of Magic the Gathering boosters, and everyone who plays a game with their custom MtG decks (built by the good folks at New Game Plus) during our Magic The Gathering playtimes will get a free booster. People can also come to the lounge anytime to get a free welcome MTG deck to keep.
- Wizards have also set us up with pre-release Dungeons and Dragons Ravnica characters and content for our learn to play D&D sessions. Last year our Learn To Play sessions were fully signed up within the first hour each day, so this year they will have six times as many slots available, but people should still sign up early each day.
- Hasbro have provided Monopoly: Cheaters Edition, Monopoly: Mario Kart Edition, and the new Transformers TCG for the boardgame library, and the Women Run The Board boardgaming hour for women.
- EA Games have provided the lounge with FIFA and The Sims as both playable games in the lounge and as prizes for NerdKwiz and End of PAX trivia. Returning to the lounge once again, NerdKwiz is organisor Alice Clarke’s favourite part of PAX with rounds that range from Dead/Evil/Pregnant – match the same sex attracted female character with her tropey fate and Go Down With This Ship – match the ship name to the couple to General Knowledge with that classic twist that only my co-host, Donald Duong, can bring to trivia.
- Plantronics have provided Rig 800 headsets for every console and PC in the lounge, which is just impressive.
- Bandai Namco have provided Life Is Strange 2 keys for the lounge.
- 2K have also supplied them with a copy of NBA 2K19 to have playable in the lounge.
- Let’s Play Games have provided even more board games for the Diversity Lounge tabletop library, including Ticket to Ride for their Concession Ticket To Ride hour for gamers with disabilities, and Formula D, for their Good Dose of Formula D tabletop hour for same sex attracted men.
Speaking to MCV Pacific, Diveristy Lounge co-curator, Alice Clarke said, “We couldn’t make the Diversity Lounge as special as it is without the help and generosity of the games industry, and I can’t wait to share all these amazing games and events with everyone in the community.”
“I’m so proud of this lounge, I feel like it’s the best thing I’ve done in my career. We have the most space we’ve ever had, nearly double the number of playable video games, the biggest tabletop library we’ve ever had and more panel and tabletop space. I just hope people love it as much as I do.”
PAX AUS is a part of Melbourne International Games Week 2018. For more information on this event and a full schedule, you can check out the official site.