GameSpot Theatre returns to PAX Australia this year, and we’re hosting a bunch of great panels featuring the GameSpot Australia team–Jess McDonell, Dan Crowd, Eddie Makuch, and Edmond Tran–as well as our friends from all over the video game industry, including developers from the likes of Sonic Mania, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Netherealm Studios, and Square-Enix Montreal and so much more! My gosh!

If you’re in Melbourne, come visit us! The theatre is located by the main entrance on Level 1, next to the Take This AFK Room. If you’re not lucky enough to be at PAX Aus in person, you can watch all the action via livestream on this page as it happens, and check out the full schedule here.

Coming Up: Friday, October 27

10:30 AM – So, You Wanna Be A Games Journalist?

Games journalism is notoriously difficult to break into but there are more paths than you expect to get there and more ways to work in it than you might think. Five games journos are here to answer your questions about the industry frankly and (hopefully) helpfully!

PANELISTS: Jess McDonell [Video Host, GameSpot], Luce O’Brien [Entertainment Editor, IGN], James O’Connor [Games Journalist, Hyper, VG247, Waypoint], David Milner [Editor, Game Informer Australia], Dan Crowd [Video Producer, GameSpot]

12:00 PM – Expanding Horizons: Exploring Open World Gaming

Recent AAA titles have introduced us to the most expansive open worlds we have ever seen in video games. Will game environments continue to grow? At what point is big too big? We look at how titles like Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Skyrim have successfully balanced huge open world without distracting from amazing gameplay and story.

PANELISTS: Nic Healey [Breakfast Host, 2SER 107.3FM], Mark Wilson [Game Designer, Bioware, Team Bondi, Riot Games], David Gaider [Creative Director, Beamdog], Tim Stobo [Principal Quest Designer, Guerrilla Games]

1:30 PM – Are We Having Fun? Playing Games Critically

We’re developers, researchers, lecturers, and critics… but what inspired us to join the games industry in the first place? Did we play games for fun, once upon a time? Analysing games when they’re supposed to be ‘just for fun’ is sometimes frowned upon online, but it’s also how we can encourage positive change in the games industry. We talk about what it really means to think critically about games, the benefits it has, how we still manage to enjoy the games we play, and how you can too.

PANELISTS: Alayna Cole [Founding director, Queerly Represent Me], Rami Ismail [Business & development guy, Vlambeer], Dakoda Barker [Lecturer, critic, and developer, University of the Sunshine Coast], David Hollingworth [Digital editor, Next Media], Jess Zammit [Senior writer, Select Start Media]

3:00 PM – Platform Paradigms: What Does the Future of Console Gaming Look Like?

How are consoles like the Switch changing the way we play games? What will console cycles look in the future? Where do we draw the line on handheld? After motion, voice input and second screens, what comes next for controllers? Are we saying goodbye to generation jumps and hello to iterations? Our panellists will look at how modern trends in console gaming have opened new doors and what they think is coming next.

4:30 PM – Photo Mode: Turning Games into Art Galleries

Over recent years, the emergence of the Photo Mode feature has given players a new way to explore and visualise their gaming passion. And with games such as Horizon Zero Dawn pushing the boundaries on what can be achieved, the increasing popularity of game photography is set to explode. Embark on a Photo Mode safari with our panel of professionals and enthusiasts, featuring art curator Helen Stuckey and Guerrilla Games developer Tim Stobo, as we explore where game world photography is at, why it’s attracting so much interest, what the future holds and why you should get involved… (if you’re not already!)

PANELISTS: Helen Stuckey [Curator, Historian and Game Program Manager, RMIT University], Tim Stobo [Principal Game Designer, Guerrilla Games], Madeleine Beer [Winner of Guerrilla Games Horizon Zero Dawn Photo Mode Community Competition Winner], Jennifer Scheurle [Game Design Lead, Opaque Space], Drew Taylor [Game World Photographer and Communications Manager, Surprise Attack Games]

6:00 PM – What Makes a Fighting Game Good?

Most gamers can watch appreciate the skill behind a 20-kill streak in Overwatch or COD, but the sacred art of the fighting game is more arcane. Join special guests from NetherRealm Studios and Australia’s CouchWarriors fighting game community to talk about the magic of a good ol’ fighting game.

PANELISTS: Derek Kirtzic [Netherrealm Studios], Daniel “BerzerkDC” Chlebowczyk [Couchwarriors], Yousseff Faddoul [Sydney FGC Manager], Abi Adegbola [Tekken competitor], Darren Taing [Melbourne FGC Organizer]