Tomb Raider Writer Rhianna Pratchett To Give PAX Australia Keynote With A Twist

The writer of the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot and its sequel will give the opening address at PAX Australia in October.

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Event organisers today announced that video game industry writing veteran Rhianna Pratchett will give the opening keynote at PAX Australia in October. Pratchett wrote the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot and its sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, before exiting the franchise in the lead-up to this year's Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Pratchett started in games press, where she wrote for PC Zone and others. She transitioned to writing for video games, and some of her credits outside of Tomb Raider include Mirror's Edge, Heavenly Sword, and the Overlord series. Suffice to say, Pratchett has a wealth of experience and knowledge about video game stories, and her keynote at PAX will surely be one to watch.

In an interview with GameSpot, Pratchett said her keynote address will not be a traditional one where she prepares a speech and delivers it to the crowd. This will be an interactive Q&A where Pratchett will respond to questions from the audience.

Rhianna Pratchett
Rhianna Pratchett

"I've been in the industry for a long time [and] I've seen a lot of things change in my particular area so I always have a lot to talk about," she said. "There isn't a particular structure to it. As far as I know, it's going to be a fireside chat-style look at my career in games, what working in narrative has taught me, and where I think it's going; what I think we're doing right and what I think we're doing wrong. Hopes for the future and that kind of thing."

This is Pratchett's first ever PAX, and it's the first time she's been back to Australia since she was 16 years old. "It's really nice to be asked to do something in Australia because my family have always been a big fan of Australia. I went there when I was 16 for the first time. My parents used to regularly go back there on holiday. Australia was the last place my parents went together before my dad died. It was their last big holiday."

Pratchett is the daughter of acclaimed fantasy author Terry Pratchett, who passed away in 2015. One of his most notable works is the Discworld series, which was adapted for multiple video games.

Unlike E3, the PAX events are more focused on the community instead of commercial (though of course there are commercial activities as well). Pratchett said she is excited to engage directly with fans of her work, in particular Tomb Raider.

"It's always really nice to meet players in the community, particularly when it comes to Tomb Raider, which has such a big fan community," she said. "They produce such wonderful cosplay, fan fiction, artwork. There is always a pleasure in interacting with them. I've been playing games since I was six years old, so I am a gamer first and foremost."

PAX Australia, which marked the show's first international expansion, started in 2013 and has been held every year since. This year's event takes place October 26-28 in Melbourne at the Melbourne Convention Centre. One of the biggest changes for 2018 is that the EB Games Expo is folded into PAX Australia, so the show stands to be bigger than ever.

Organisers say there will be more than 180 exhibitors, "thousands" of playable games, and more than 150 hours worth of panel presentations and events. Single-day tickets are available for $62 each, while you can buy a three-day pass for $165 that saves you some money if you're sure you want to go each day.

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