26 October 2015
Australian and international game developers, studios, publishers, industry legends, technologists and gamers have converged on Melbourne for Australia's biggest and most comprehensive showcase of games and game culture - Melbourne International Games Week 2015.
The event kicked off at Swinburne University's Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre today, where industry and fans were assembled to preview the latest Microsoft technology, including wearable technology, kinetically operated consoles and interactive computer-based personal assistants that use lessons from the world of gaming to enhance everyday life.
Kicking off with a 48 hour Microsoft Hackathon, Games Week includes the technology conference Unite Australia and Australia's biggest game developers conference - Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP). The week also features the Australian Game Developer Awards and an Education in Games summit, where Victorian teachers will explore how games can enhance teaching and learning across the curriculum. The week culminates in PAX AUS a major international expo and festival that showcases the latest games from across the globe.
A range of satellite events are also underway including Parallels: The Freeplay 2015 Showcase at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, which promotes Australia's independent and grassroots game makers; and the 5th Lame Game Marathon which will see gamers playing, and discussing, games dubbed as the world's worst as they raise funds for UNICEF.
Guests visiting Melbourne to participate in Games Week events include: US-based Warren Spector, the former General Manager at Disney who will open PAX AUS; the team from Sony Playstation which will participate in PAX AUS for the first time as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations; Martin Sahlin (Sweden) a former tattoo artist turned Award-winning game developer who will speak on experimental game design at GCAP; and RMIT's Dr Steffen Walz, a keynote speaker at the Education Summit, who will discuss how gameification can help tackle complex social issues.
Globally, the digital games industry is a rapidly growing industry sector and now surpasses film box office, music and DVD sales. Victoria is home to more than 100 game developers, animation houses and games industry service providers – representing close to half of Australia's games industry. Locally made games, such as Shooty Skies, Need For Speed: No Limits, are currently topping the international charts.
Melbourne International Games Week runs until 1 November 2015.