I don’t remember the exact year or date I first came across the name Penny Arcade. It would have been sometime in the early to mid 2000’s through high school. I had an older brother who, through his own adventures, was introducing me to the barest edge of the gaming and technological world as it was way back then, as well as a group of like-minded peers that I spent almost every day with. The PS2 was just starting to enter its golden years, the Xbox was relatively new and the ‘console wars’ were just starting. But most importantly, webcomics were a big thing.
I must have started reading the webcomic right around the time the first Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) happened, way back in 2004. I remember reading about this amazing festival, designed with gamers in mind, and thought to myself ‘Wow. I would love to attend something like that one day’. Alas, they were held in America and I was in Australia. There was no way in hell I would ever get to one of those.
Then, in 2013, PAX Australia happened. I couldn’t really believe it. I mean, this is Australia. We usually don’t get things like this happening way down here in our neck of the woods. When it was first announced, I was so damn excited. I hoped it would be held in Brisbane, the closest capital city to sleepy old Mackay. I knew I could afford to go if it was in Brisbane.
When it was announced that PAX Aus would be held in Melbourne, I gotta say I was a little disappointed. Not in the choice of venue, but more that there was no way in hell I could get there. Hell, it was (and still is!) a damn struggle just to get to Brisbane and that’s only 12 hours away! There was no way I could EVER travel the 2,300-odd kilometres to get to Melbourne for PAX.
I kept dreaming though, hoping that one year I would get there. But that’s all it really was to me, just a distant dream. One of those ‘one day, maybe’ dreams we all have, that we have every intention of doing but something always seems to get in the way. Then, my brother started this little site called Ultra Super Mega and asked me to come join the team. Suddenly, my ‘one day, maybe’ dream was starting to look a bit more like a ‘one day, soon’ kind of dream.
Life still happened, as it does, and I missed some opportunities. But this year, in 2017, my ‘one day, soon’ dream is going to be a reality. Through some kind of sheer dumb luck (and a lot of hard work by a lot of other people) I have the wonderful opportunity to attend my first ever PAX Aus.
And I want to bring you all along with me on my first time, too.
With that in mind, I am going to keep myself a journal of my Journey, starting when I fly out of Mackay right through to the last day of PAX. I’ve attended a few conventions before, like SuperNova and Aus Comic Con, but I don’t think they will be anything like PAX. I’ll record my thoughts on my experiences throughout the day, and even try to take some pretty rad photos. I may even get lost, this being my first time in Melbourne.
I hope you will all join me on my Journey.
This is going to be amazing.