SXSW Gaming Expo Opens Today

Free gaming extravaganza continues through weekend

SXSW Gaming Expo Opens Today

The SXSW Gaming Expo returns to the Palmer Events Center (900 Barton Springs Rd.) with three days of sensory overload that will beckon all local gamers like a dinner bell. Copious screens and controllers keep kids wide-eyed and veterans busy. And don’t forget the inaugural Gaming Awards next door at the Long Center on Saturday.

Starting today (Friday) the event continues through Sunday. with LANFests, game jams, Magic: The Gathering games, eSport tournaments on the big screen, and special guests taking the Geek Stage. Nintendo will be showing off Mario Kart 8 with actual carts in front of the building. The Video Game History Museum will probably keep some of the nonteen folks busy for a while. That’s in addition to the scads of exhibitors all vying for your attention with bits of swag and peeks at their creations. Happy hours take place every day for the parents who might need a drink by 5 or 6pm.

If playing games grows tiresome there will also be people talking about games at various panels near the expo. Highlights include Ernie Cline discussing his new novel, Armada today (Friday) at 12:30pm. Local panels covering topics like the relationship between paper-based and digital games as well as the debate surrounding narrative in games. The team behind Banner Saga will give attendees an inside look at its path from Kickstarter to release.

This year’s event also spawns the first SXSW Gaming Awards hosted by YouTube sensations SMOSH and iJustine. Check out the list of categories and nominees, because there will be winners to cheer and losers to mock or console depending on your disposition. This event is free and open to the public (although priority seating allegedly goes to badge holders) and takes place on Saturday, March 8, 7pm, at the Palmer’s neighboring Long Center. There will be new videos from Rooster Teeth and other web video faves as well as a performance from Cirque du Soleil. Since it’s their first year, expect the unexpected. But if we learned anything from people tripping at the Oscars or football stadiums losing power, we know that the unintended flubs are the most memorable parts.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Panel Recap: Dungeons & Dragons in the Writer's Room
Recap: Dungeons & Dragons in the Writer's Room
Is playing role-playing games the best training for writers? Maybe.

Tucker Whatley, March 17, 2018

SXSW Gaming Events
SXSW Gaming Events
The little brother of the Fest grows up

Tucker Whatley, March 17, 2017

More by James Renovitch
VR Arena Adds Cardio to Your Virtual Experience
VR Arena Adds Cardio to Your Virtual Experience
Virtuix’s new attraction at Pinballz has players running and gunning without moving

March 22, 2019

Austin Video Game Developer Certain Affinity Announces Original Title, <i>Last Expedition</i>
Austin Video Game Developer Certain Affinity Announces Original Title, Last Expedition
Independent game studio also plans expansion to offices in Toronto

Jan. 30, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

SXSW Interactive 2014, SXSW Gaming Expo, SXSW Gaming Awards, Nintendo, Mario Kart 8

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle