South by Southwest, often referred to as SXSW, is a combination of the likes of film, interactive media, games, music festivals and conferences that have taken place for the last 30 years in Austin, Texas, United States. In 2006 gaming made the breakthrough at the prestigious event and has now gone on to be one of the main features at the festival. Attendance figures rise by thousands every year and SXSW Gaming 2018 is set to be the biggest event yet.
South by Southwest is divided into different sections and the SXSW Gaming Festival is divided further still. It is made up of three different parts which are: The Gaming Expo, Gaming Awards and Gaming Programming. These three sections help to cover every area in the gaming industry itself, giving people great insight to the inner workings in the process. There are also a great range of fun activities to enjoy at the festival too.
The Gaming Expo sees developers, manufacturers, celebrities and fans all come together in one place that becomes the hub of gaming culture at the festival. There are plenty of stages in operation too which include Indie Corner, Esports Tournament Stage, PC Arena, Tabletop Experience, Arcade Bunker and more. There are hundreds of special events spread throughout the expo that are unique and fresh and they will suit both fans and pros alike.
The SXSW Gaming Awards have been running since 2014 and has fast become a must see event at the festival. The awards ceremony itself recognises everything and everyone across the whole of the gaming industry. From the best games right through to the top teams and individuals, it’s a change for recognition in front of thousands of people. Categories also cover mobile gaming, tabletop and virtual reality too. This trend is reinforced with mainstream businesses becoming more and more interested; a prefect example of this is the renowned online casino brand Unibet covering an increasing number of tournaments year on year.
For anyone wanting to learn more about programming or for those who have an interest in it, the Gaming Program part of the festival is not to be missed. SXSW has become well-known in the gaming industry for it’s in depth discussions on programming. There’s the chance of visitors to enjoy discussion sessions, ask panels questions, while also being able to meet key figures who specialise in the area. It’s one of the most engaging facets of the gaming festival itself and it’s also a great chance for everyone to learn something new or get the answers to questions.
The SXSW Gaming Festival this year is going to run from the 15th to the 17th of March in Austin, Texas, USA. While it’s a great event on the whole to enjoy everything that is on offer, from gaming experiences to discussions, it’s also a great chance to celebrate gaming culture and all the unique parts that it is made up of.
There are some superb gaming tournaments for players in attendance to get involved with too which include high score challenges as well as open play. It will also be a great chance for audiences to experience the ever growing phenomenon that is eSports too, which is once again set to play a big part at SXSW this year.