Lovehacker is taking a short break from reader questions this week to chat about Australia's biggest gaming convention: PAX! Gamers from around the world will be descending upon Melbourne for some fun, fandom and, if I have anything to do with it, flirting! Not sure where to start on your geeky romance journey? Here are a few tips.
To say that PAX days are long is an understatement. I get it, we're all exhausted and would like a nice lie down come 10pm. But acting like a nanna isn't going to get you anywhere. You don't want to miss out on the good vibes that our little tribe emanates throughout the city.
In addition to hitting the bars, parties are where it's at. Don't stress if you don't get into Twitch or any of the big name events -- there will be plenty of parties happening. A good first step is joining this Facebook group.
I would also highly recommend hitting up Beta Bar over the weekend. They have a heroes vs villains themed PAX Starter party to kick off the weekend. They have a huge collection of games to play, a huge amount of space for chilling and dance, and IGN's Alanah Pearce will be doing a DJ set! I can't recommend it enough -- you really feel like you're at home there.
Hawthorne may seem like a bit of a trek, but it's absolutely worth it. Also, ride sharing service GoCatch conveniently launched in Melbourne this week, so that may be a great ride sharing solution to get out there at a fraction of the cost!
Feeling a bit fancy? Beta Bar is also hosting a cosplay ball on a boat on Sunday night! Or if you're more keen to wind down a bit and hang out with some rad devs -- Megadev might be more of your thing.
Either way, you'll find some like minded people and perhaps someone to buy a drink for.
What better place to meet someone with similar interests than in the panels you're hitting. You might as well put that line-time to good use by StreetPassing those around you or even being brave enough to strike up a conversation.
There are an overwhelming amount of amazing panels this year, so I recommend planning ahead. Use the PAX Aus app to build your personal schedule and get there early. Plus, more lines means more opportunities for chats!
And because I'm all for shameless promotion, you may just meet someone interested in sex, or at least discussing it, at a panel I'm on -- Sex and the Modern Geek.
I'll be joining the queen of sexy cosplay and porn actress Lucie Bee as well as Beauty and the Geek's Jimmy Reilly to break down stereotypes and look at the huge shifts of how geekdom and sexuality is being portrayed in the media, games and the mainstream.
It should be fun, intellectual and pretty sexy so feel free to join us on Friday at 10pm in the Wombat Theatre. Bring your best puns.
Simply taking a chance and talking to a stranger is always a good piece of advice, but that can be intimidating. You may not know what to say, or the conversation may get awkward.
A unique solution to this is board games. PAX dedicate a huge area to it, and people are really welcoming. You can easily find people to sit down and play with, and there are plenty of 'learn-to-play' sessions and tournaments.
Not only will this give you a chance to chat with new people, but you'll always have something to talk about -- the game at hand.
You could also do this in the Handheld Area.
Yes, I'm absolutely advocating Tinder.
Just think about how awesome and fun that's going to be when so many fellow gamers are gathered in close proximity! Whether you're looking for a casual hookup or perhaps something that could blossom -- I really think Tinder can be a good source, especially in such as positive environment.
A friend also recommended that you advertise being at PAX on your profile. If people do it on Twitter, why not here too?
I've also stumbled across a geek-only equivalent called Cuddli on the Android store. In addition to matching people up and providing a messenger service, it also suggests unique dates ideas, which is pretty awesome.
Apparently it will also match you up with a partner on the dance floor if you both have your phones out.
I haven't tried this myself so I would love to hear from anyone who has or gives it a crack at PAX.
Lovehacker is a weekly relationship and sex column where our resident Agony Aunt answers your questions. Need help? Drop a comment below or email [email protected].