NEXT is a new showcase at PAX Australia highlighting the work of queer, PoC and otherwise underrepresented developers at the forefront of what games can do.
Alongside the announcement, organisers have put out a call for sponsors interested in supporting diverse, underrepresented game developers during Melbourne Games Week this year.
In collaboration with PAX Australia, if funded NEXT will feature six games on the Concourse of the convention – one of the highest foot-traffic locations.
Hand curated by an expert panel of diverse developers, the NEXT Showcase will expose PAX attendees to games they would otherwise never experience, and broaden their definition of what games can be and who can make them. Additionally, NEXT will feature two curated PAX panels to continue moving Australia beyond the Diversity 101 conversation.
As the audience for games expands, so too does the pool of creators and the kind of games they make. Unfortunately, often due to financial realities, these creators do not get to have their work shown at big events — and audiences never learn about the true diversity of games and their creators.
Created by Ally McLean, founder of The Working Lunch, Liam Esler, cofounder of GX Australia, and contributed to by Jay Justice, an outspoken POC, LGBTQIA+ and disability advocate, NEXT is a collaboration with PAX Australia to help strengthen the message of representation and inclusion at Australia’s largest and most successful gaming convention.
Speaking to Develop Pacific, McLean said, “I’ve seen first hand how powerful a presence at PAX Aus can be for independent game creators. NEXT is about providing that presence to projects of underrepresented developers who are often not afforded the financial opportunity to showcase their games to the amazing PAX Aus community. We’ve already had above and beyond support from the ReedPOP team, overwhelming interest from major media outlets and content creators, and applications from developers with powerful, beautiful games to be shown. Now we just need to find the right sponsors with an appetite to support these developers and bring these incredible games to the PAX Aus audience.”
Potential sponsors and partners should contact Ally Mclean (emailallymclean@gmail. com) for further information.