We have a hugely exciting lineup of panels this year, all of which will go up over the next few weeks! Stay tuned on our Twitter and Facebook for panel announcements, and remember that this schedule is 'in progress' and may be changed a little leading up to GX Australia itself. 

Friday, February 26th 2016

6pm-8.30pm VIP Dinner (VIP Ticketholders Only)

Spice Temple Sydney
Rockpool Building
10 Bligh St, Sydney, NSW 2000
9pm-12am VIP Party (VIP Ticketholders Only)

Spawn Point Small Bar
199 Clarence St, Sydney, NSW 2000

Saturday, February 27th 2016

Join Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore, Alex Greenwhich MP, Matt Conn, Liam Esler, and Joshua Meadows as they introduce GX Australia 2016!
11am More than a game: playing for identity & connection
Jennifer Hazel (Prescription Pixel)
Jane Cocks (University of Sunshine Coast)
Ally McLean (Hammerfall Publishing)
Leigh Harris (Flat Earth Games)
Jess Hodgson (Electronic Arts)
Charlie Francis (Mighty Games)

Our panel "More than a game: playing for identity & connection” is a panel for everyone who has ever played games. We know that games can help us through times of great challenge, and they can help us connect not only to deeper parts of our own selves, but to each other by forming new communities of shared interests. Games are the worlds biggest entertainment industry, bigger than music & film combined! But how and why are games good for you? Come along to our panel of health professionals, researchers, industry experts and game developers to discuss why games are so powerful and how they have helped you find yourself and find your community.
Creating Safe & Inclusive Nerd Spaces
Brittany Leggans (Sydney Nerd-Out)
Sue Black (Gay Geek Gals Sydney)
Jess Young (Gay Geek Gals Melbourne)
Lila Tillman (Sydney Nerd-Out)

So you’ve recognised our community has a problem with diversity and inclusivity and hasn’t always prioritised the safety and needs of people from different backgrounds. But enough about the problem--what are you going to *do* about it? Whether you’re an organiser or just an attendee, come along to learn specific, practical, tested strategies for building and maintaining safe nerd spaces.
Chris Avellone meet & greet
Come say hello to Chris Avellone, creator of Planescape: Torment, co-founder of Obsidian Entertainment and writer extraordinaire!
12pm Romance in Games: The Great Untapped Resource
Lauren Clinnick (Lumi Consulting)
Snow McNally (Independent)
David Gaider (Beamdog)
Liam Esler (Game Developers' Association of Australia)

Following the super successful #PAXMance panel at PAX Australia 2015, join a collection of industry veterans to discuss the evolution of romance in games. All the way from AAA to tiny indie titles, these creators care about the creation and expression of relationships in games as a medium. Join the #GXMance hashtag to ask questions and participate in a live discussion about love, hate and everything in between.
Panel Jam!
Ben O'Brien (Bonus Stage)
Carlo Ritchie (Bonus Stage)
Ed Sheldon (Dungeon League)
Christopher Yabsley (Dungeon League)
Richard Salter (Dungeon League)

Ever wondered how a video game is made? Ever wanted to see it done super fast in the space of an hour? Panel Jam will slam together a game right before your eyes based on a theme of your choosing.
1pm The evolution of LGBT issues in games over the years
Tim Cain (Obsidian Entertainment)
David Gaider (Beamdog)
and others TBA

Over the last twenty years, LGBTQI+ representation in both game content and the games industry has changed drastically. Hear from some of the industry's queer titans about the journeys they've faced, how things have changed, and where things might go in the future.
How We Play: Gender in Games Spaces
Gemma Roberts (Macquarie University)
Katharine Hawkins (Macquarie University)
and others TBA

Join this panel of gender and play experts as they navigate the ways we experience, explore and present gender in games spaces.
2pm The new gay ghetto: Do we need gay games?
Luke Miller (Independent)
Ben Riley (Star Observer)

Many games include gay characters and plotlines but as optional content. Is this a new kind of invisibility and is avoidable gay content just a new ghetto? If the wider community is never exposed to gay themes and ideas, are they missing out on something special? With the mainstreaming of same-sex attraction, the gulf between same-sex attraction and LGBTIQ culture is growing wider. Is there a place for games made exclusively for the queer community? Do same-sex attracted developers have a responsibility to promote queer culture? And just how good would a Star Wars game be if you were playing as Poe and had to rescue your husband Finn? Would straight people play that game? Probably, they're only human.
Cosplay Q&A
Eve Beauregard (Hammerfall Publishing)
Rae Johnston (Gizmodo Australia)
Feisty Cuffs (Cosplayer)

Join our amazing panel of cosplay heavyweights for an audience Q&A session!
David Gaider meet & greet
Come say hello to David Gaider, former Lead Writer at BioWare and on the Dragon Age series, and current Creative Director at Beamdog!
3pm Getting Into the Games Industry
Antony Reed (Game Developers' Association of Australia)
David Gaider (Beamdog)
Manveer Heir (EA BioWare)
Chris Avellone (Independent)
Lisy Kane (League of Geeks)
Tim Cain (Obsidian Entertainment)

Presented by CG Spectrum, join our panel of industry experts and learn how to join the videogame industry.
Kitty Powers Plays

Join Drag Queen of Video Games, Kitty Powers, as she plays some of her favourite games!
Eve Beauregard and Rae Johnston meet & greet
Come say hello to cosplay heavyweights Eve Beauregard and Rae Johnston!
4pm Diversity Myths
Manveer Heir (BioWare)

A look at some of the common myths passed around about diversity in games and why it's not necessary or a good idea. Manveer Heir is a Senior Gameplay Designer at BioWare Montréal who has worked on games such as Mass Effect 3 and Wolfenstein. He regularly speaks about diversity in games, designing ethical dilemmas, and a variety of other design topics that he finds interesting. He is interested in systemic game design and finding new ways to create emotional depth and engagement in games systemically.
Loving Many: Polyamory And Romance In Video Games
Snow McNally (Independent)
Jennifer Scheurle (AIE, Flat Earth Games)
Nardia Kelly (Independent)
John Kane (Gritfish)
Maya Kerr (Metaverse Makeovers)

Ever been forced to choose between your two crushes in a video game? Find yourself wondering why you can't have both? Join the panel as we dissect the ways in which poly and relationship choices in general are currently represented in games, the inherent problems that arise when games use relationships as a reward rather than a reflection of real relationships, why looking at polyamory can strengthen the ways we present relationships in games and the things we can do to make polyamory in games work.
Kitty Powers meet & greet
Come and say hello to the Drag Queen of Video Games herself, Kitty Powers!
5-6pm Big Head Mode Presents: The Art of the RPG
Ben O'Brien (Big Head Mode, Insert Coin)
Rae Johnston (Gizmodo Australia, Bonus Stage)
Carlo Ritchie (Big Head Mode)
Tim Cain (Obsidian Entertainment)
Manveer Heir (Bioware)
David Gaider (Beamdog)
Chris Avellone

From distant, medieval lands to the far reaches of outer space, RPG's give players the choice and freedom to shape the characters, stories and worlds they find themselves in. We've all been captivated by these games, poured countless hours into their immersive worlds, completed every sidequest or read every lore book. But where does that process begin? How does a world as vast and complex as Thedas go from being notes on a whiteboard to being in the hands of a gamer? Big Head Mode will sit down with three titans of the RPG world and over the course of an hour, learn the secrets, the triumphs and the challenges of creating a world from nothing. But it wouldn't be a Big Head Mode panel without a few little surprises along the way...
Games and Body Image
Dina Elenbaas (Genderfluid Style) Eve Beauregard (Hammerfall Publishing) and others TBA

There have been few moments in history where body image has been a bigger issue than now - but what influence do video games and pop culture have on our self-perception, and what can we do to make things better in the future? Join our panel as they talk about their own experiences, why representations of different body types are vitally important in games and some of their favourite characters.
Dylan Zaner meet & greet
Come say hello to Dylan Zaner aka the one and only 8bithomo, YouTube legend!

Saturday, February 27th 2016

8pm-12am The GX Australia Party!

The Burdekin Hotel
2 Oxford St, Sydney, NSW 2010
8 PM - 12 AM
Entry is free, but 18+ only

Sunday, February 28th 2016


Join our Mystery Panel on Sunday morning!
(moved to Auditorium)
11am With A Smile: Gaming And Comedy
Jennifer Scheurle (AIE, Flat Earth Games)
Ben O’Brien (Bonus Stage)
Jordan Raskopoulos (Insert Coin, Axis of Awesome)
Seaton Kay-Smith (Bonus Stage, Good Game)
Carlo Ritchie (Bonus Stage)

This panel discussion is all fun and games, looking into what comedy has achieved for the Australian gaming community, how humour is one of the most important ways of tackling political issues and how comedy connects people more than ever among the nerd kingdom! Join some amazing guests from organisations such as Good Game, Insert Coin and Big Head Mode for an hour of of happiness and laughter.
Streaming & YouTube Q&A
Alex Shillington (AussieGamerChick)
Dylan Zaner (8bithomo)
Matthew Waterworth (Spiral Media & 6T4Bytes)

Join this fantastic panel of streaming and YouTube experts for an audience Q&A session!
12pm Hot Spot - Female Sexuality in Gaming Communities
Jennifer Scheurle (AIE, Flat Earth Games)
Tegan Jones (Sass Effect/Freelance Journalist)
Eve Beauregard (Hammerfall Publishing)
Shell Osborne (Independent)
Dina Elenbaas (Genderfluid Style)

Join a panel of women from various gaming backgrounds to discuss the aspects of this topic, looking into examples of female sexuality in games, why any form of cosplay - character authentic, sexy or mature - is empowering and important and how we can speak and live our own personal sexuality in the world of nerd-dom.
Let's Play ROM and Chill
Matt Conn (GaymerX, Midboss)
Philip Jones (Gaming In Color, Midboss)

Join Matt and Philip as they talk about Read Only Memories, their journeys as queer creators and learn more about GaymerX, the event that spawned GX Australia!
Alex Shillington meet & greet
Come say hello to Alex Shillington aka Australia's very own AussieGamerChick!
1pm Playing it Safe: Bisexual Representation and Beyond in Games (18+)
Lauren Clinnick (Lumi Consulting)
Josh Harvey (CatTube Famous)
Kelsey Gamble (Zomato)
Kim Allom (Defiant Development)
Eve Beauregard (Hammerfall Publishing)

As creators and consumers, what can we do better to address the lack of diversity in sexual orientation representation in games? Join a panel of games industry pros, marketers and content creators to discuss the challenges, changes and opportunities we face as players and developers. The panel will include discussion of bisexuality, pansexuality, the asexual spectrum and their representation in games.
Everything You Love Is Terrible
Alice Clarke (PAX Diversity Lounge)
James Dominguez (Bisexual Alliance Victoria)
Charlie Francis (Mighty Games Group)
Kamina Vincent (Tin Man Games)
Jennifer Scheurle (AIE, Flat Earth Games)

So much geeky media contains problematic themes and a lack of representation of women, people of colour and other minorities. As Anita Sarkeesian states, "remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects". This panel will explore how media influences our perceptions and discuss how we reconcile our love for something that contains themes we can't condone.
2pm Predator / Victim / Freak - Picking apart queer stereotypes in mainstream culture

We know all the cliches: predatory bisexuals, sexless ornamental gay boys, and lesbians who always manage to end up dead by the end of the film. Where to these stereotypes come from, how do they affect us, and can we use as a springboard into a bigger conversation? Join us for conversation, analysis, and laughs as we smash open the stereotype pinatas and see what comes tumbling out.
Mental Health and Wellness - Ask Us Anything
Jennifer Hazel (BMBS)
Jane Cocks (BBSc BHSc)

Join Mental Health Avengers and psychology experts Jane Cocks and Jennifer Hazel, and participate in an open discussion about mental health, wellness and the gaming community in a safe and structured environment that supports people of all sexualities and gender identities.
Matt Conn meet & greet
Come say hello to Matt Conn, founder of GaymerX and Midboss, creator of Read Only Memories and diversity advocate!
3pm Games Gone Wild: Sex, Sexuality & the art of the salacious Cut Scene (18+)
Lucie Bee (Independent)
David Gaider (Beamdog)
Olivia Barlow (Sex Educator)
Jimmy Reilly (Independent)
Matt Conn (GaymerX, Midboss)
Katie Gall (Lumi Consulting)

Join our panel of experts for an insightful and broad minded discussion of a topic whose symptoms include rampant innuendo, excessive pun use and furious blushing. You'll laugh, you'll raise an eyebrow or two and... you'll walk out with a lengthy 'To Play' list.
Learn To Make Your First Game
Snow McNally

Ever wanted to try making a game, but don't have any idea where to start? Don't know how to program, write or draw? Join Snow as they run you through one of the most accessible yet powerful tools for creating your first game, or your tenth: Twine.
Manveer Heir meet & greet
Come meet Manveer Heir, Senior Designer at BioWare on Mass Effect: Andromeda, intersectional diversity advocate and all-around superstar!
4pm Cosplay Show, Hosted by Kitty Powers!

Join us for the first GX Australia Cosplay Show, where you can show off your costuming skills and take a stab at winning awesome prizes!
Roll for Bluff: Imposter Syndrome and Gamers
Tristian Blake (Independent)
Cassiel Kelner (Independent)
Kamina Vincent (Tin Man Games)

This panel aims to cover imposter syndrome as it relates to gamers and fans. What makes a gamer? Who are the 'real' fans? What are the barriers that hold us back from feeling qualified to be gamers? Are these arbitrary rules a complete waste of time? (Spoilers: yes.) The lack of diversity in mainstream gaming already marginalises a range of gamers and fans - gaming communities shouldn't do the same. There's no secret council that can judge who is a 'real' gamer or not - everyone games, and whether or not you're a gamer is up to you.
Future Improvements: Come tell us how to improve things in 2017!
Have some thoughts on how GX Australia could be improved next year? We would love to hear them!