October 30, 2017

Geeks, Kids & Parenting at PAXAus

Daniel Donahoo

PAX is Australia’s premier gaming convention. At this year’s event, held in Melbourne over then weekend, our esteemed Learning Producer, Daniel Donahoo, chaired the annual Geek Parenting panel – for the fifth time!

It was another successful hit-out, demonstrating once again that the more parents and educators observe and play with children, the better they get at understanding how to design for their learning and development.

Over the course of the three days, Dan also spent a lot of time roaming the floor, talking to lots of people and exploring the latest innovations in the way games and play shape the way we’re entertained. Here’s a
little list of things that really impressed him.

I. Gizma’s Adventure

The outstanding array of winners in this year’s Australian STEM Video Game Challenge (produced by our friends at ACER) include a game called Gizma’s Adventure, developed by a team of students from Kalianna School in Bendigo. The students channeled their own experiences of autism into a game in which you play a robot learning to understand the emotions and reactions of others.


II. The Gardens Between

Before Hipster Whale, The Voxel Agents had great success in the mobile gaming space. Their next release is a gorgeous narrative puzzle solver called The Gardens Between – coming to PS4 in 2018.


III. Paperbark

We’ve seen this game a few times now, and can’t wait to see this uniquely Australian summer-inspired wandering wombat version, set for release next year.


IV. Campaign Coins

This little company is the brainchild of Australian game designer and Call of Cthulhu RPG writing legend, Mark Morrison. These beautifully made props, offering currency for imaginary worlds, are exactly the type of things that help bring to life role-playing and alternate reality games.