Games people play / by Mario Mirabile

Electronic gaming is big business. In all its forms it comprises an industry worth billions world wide. And, like any big business sector, it has it's conventions, and the biggest one is PAX - The Penny Arcade Expo. From humble beginnings in Seattle a little over 10 years ago, it has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. PAX conventions attract tens of thousands of attendees, including one in Melbourne. Not too many conventions or expos can simultaneously fill both the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centres, but this one does.

People come not only to play games, check out the latest and greatest and meet like minded souls, but to cosplay. Cosplay - a contraction of costume play - is a performance art where the participants go to great lengths to play dress-ups. Devotees will spare no expense to transform themselves into characters from films , comics or their own imagination. The performance seems to consist mostly of just being seen, and there plenty to see. And to photograph, of course.