Broad Range of Topics Planned for PAX South's Gaming Conference

The first Penny Arcade Expo event of the year, PAX South, kicks off tomorrow, Jan 23rd in San Antonio, TX. Although all of Saturday's events are currently sold out, there's still time to register for Friday and Sunday passes to many of the interesting lectures and panels at the show. PAX South offers console free play, music concerts, exhibit halls, a PC area, and tabletop gaming along with discussion panels. If you can't make it to San Antonio, many PAX South events will be lived streamed on Twitch. You can check out the PAX South Twitch page along with a schedule of the live events. Some of the more interesting panel discussions revolve around the future of video games. For example, there are discussions ranging from video game music design to questions about the changes within game genres we are seeing today. We've provided a short suggested list of these types of panel discussions and lectures that seem particularly pertinent for game devs. In addition, we provided their dates, times, and a description of the topics. We've omitted any of the Saturday discussions; however, you can find the entire PAX South schedule at their website.


"2025: When the Grannies Will Play" (Friday 1/23 10:30AM - 11:30AM)

It is accepted in Hollywood that the Blockbuster Era was born in 1975 with Spielberg's Jaws about 55 years after the first talkie films. Followed by Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, and so on; our popular culture has since been dominated by film. It's now been 45 years since the first video game was installed by Nolan Bushnell. Are games due for a seismic event in pop culture in 2025? Come speculate with a group of game creators as they predict the future of entertainment in the digital age.

"Tavern Talk or Where Did Multiplayer in MMOs Go?" Friday 1/23 11:30AM - 12:30PM 

In early MMORPGs, interacting with other community members in places like taverns and main cities were a necessity for advancement and survival.  Today, interacting with random players has become a rare event instead of the tools for survival.  Is this what we all wanted to happen?  Join Alex Albrecht alongside Larry Everett and Patrick Mulhern to discuss the future of communities in MMORPGs.

"Why This Game is Great (or Terrible) Live!" Friday 1/23 12:00PM - 1:00PM

Sure, your favorite game is fun, but do you know why it's fun? Exactly why is it rewarding to see Mario collect a coin or Master Chief land a headshot? In this panel, a group of expert game analysts and journalists will analyze a title in real time, providing direct and fun insight on what features stand out as great (or terrible, as the case may be). The live commentary will show just why games work the way they do.

"Queering up Misconceptions: LGBT Game Industry Life" Friday 1/23 2:30PM - 3:30PM

A fun and candid discussion of LGBT life and careers in the game industry!  What's it like?  How do you balance identity and fitting in? Queer vets from all facets of the craft share their experiences from the inside!

"Six Secrets for Startup Success in the Indie Golden Age" Friday 1/23 3:00PM - 4:00PM

We are in a golden age of indie game development. Little guys have access to tools and publishers once behind 'Insider Only' doors. Players look to indie devs for innovation like never before. But building a successful indie studio remains hard and uncertain work. Come hear insider stories, and network with other indie devs in an open talk with the publishers and studios behind Awesomenauts, Brawlhalla, Freedom Planet, Serious Sam and more.

"Experience the NVIDIA PAX Panel" Friday 1/23 4:30PM - 5:30PM

Every year, the NVIDIA PAX Panels deliver the latest insight into the hottest gaming products and technologies. We’re bringing it all to PAX South and you don’t want to miss out! Join us for the latest in PC and Android gaming innovations—from GeForce GTX GPUs to NVIDIA SHIELD gaming devices and the hottest GameWorks technology. We’ll even showcase some exciting announcements. It’s all about experiencing every game The Way It’s Meant to be Played.


"Get In The Game:  Find and Manage a Career in Gaming" Sunday 1/25 10:30AM - 11:30AM

There are lots of ways to get into the game industry, and it's not as difficult as you might think.  But it's much more important to think about managing your career once you're in.  Hear about the myths and truths about getting in and moving up in the game industry from a diverse panel of game industry veterans and learn how to win in the game industry!

"From Square Waves to Symphonies: Creating Great Game Audio" Sunday 1/25 1:00PM - 2:00PM

Game audio provides an incredible opportunity to get your sound/music in front of a large enthusiastic audience. As the game industry flourishes, the opportunities to work on games professionally grows dramatically. Join the composers and sound designers from such titles as Gunpoint, Hyper Light Drifter, Last Life, and more as they discuss how to break into the world of game audio, and learn the necessary skills needed to be a game audio professional.

"Games Criticism: Is it time for a change?" Sunday 1/25 2:30PM - 3:30PM

In this panel, we will discuss the state of Games Criticism, how it exists in its current form, and where we should be. Is it okay to review Bayonetta based on its sexuality? Can a game be reviewed on its violent nature? Should we only focus on graphics, gameplay, etc? What can we learn from other mediums? These questions, and many more will be discussed in the panel.

"Virtual Reality: A Paradigm Shift for Gaming" Sunday 1/25 5:00PM - 6:00PM

5 VR developers, hardware experts, and game engine gurus converge on-stage at PAX South to debate the future of gaming. Is VR the be all end all form factor for video games? How will new input and display methods change the games that will be created and the genres that will win out in the next 5 years? 20 years? What's in store for gamers as we enter the VR revolution? Is un-tethered mobile VR possible? Watch as the speakers duke it out and predict the future.