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AVCon Celebrates 21 years

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

During July 21 -23 2023 in Adelaide, AVCon (Adelaide's Anime and Video Games Festival) finally made it's grand return since 2019. The last few years as we know have been crazy amidst the pandemic and lock downs, but on July 21st it was finally back to normal at the Adelaide Convention Centre. 2023 also marks a milestone for the event, as AVCon also celebrated 21 incredible years! (yay, happy birthday!)


AVCon began in the Union Building at the University of Adelaide 21 years ago, and as quite a small capacity. It was held by volunteers from both University of South Australia's Adelaide Japanese Animation Society and the Adelaide University Video Gamers Association.


Ranging from Cosplay competitions, panels, guests, exhibitors, artists, games to play and watch, AVCon has just kept growing as the years have gone by. Eventually, AVCon outgrew it's small convention status and shifted from Adelaide Uni to Adelaide Convention Centre in 2009.


Since it's debut in 2002 at the University of Adelaide, (aka the year titles such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind released), AVCon has grown significantly not just in Adelaide, but even reaching internationally too. Over the last few years, AVCon has managed to fly over a few guests to visit us down under, including legendary voice talents Jennifer Hale (Commander Shepard - or FemShep, Mass Effect), Steve Downes (Master Chief, Halo) and Jen Taylor (Cortana, Halo).


From a University campus with a small amount of people, to the Adelaide Convention Centre reaching over 22,000+ attendees (as of 2019 stats) - what a glow up!




This year AVCon was much bigger, better and had much more to offer (at least much more than I can recall in past years). New and old fans alike were welcomed back after three long years as volunteers, organisers, exhibitors and artists spent the weekend showcasing a variety of booths, panels, consoles and special guests. I was lucky to be able to go and check it out, and I wasn't disappointed. I was unable to attend all three days unfortunately, but I was still quite content with my experience on the Saturday.


So, here's what went down and who was there;


Special Guests

This year, in-person guests included; Voice Actor Lisle Wilkerson (TEKKEN), and Anime Director and Animator, Hiroshi Nagahama (Mushishi). Also featuring for the first time in the event's history were guests streaming all the way from Japan! These digital guests included Voice Actors Toshio Furukawa (Dragon Ball series), and Shogo Sakata (Chainsaw Man)


Voice Actor Lisle Wilkerson

Anime Director and Animator Hiroshi Nagahama

From Storytelling Mediums to Twitch Streamers, there was a bit of something for everyone. There weren't as many panels as I thought, but still cool to see a mix of things.

Panels

  • Unleashing the Imagination: Storytelling Across Mediums with Justin Wight and Monkeystack

  • AIE Panel: 3D Level Design & Iteration

  • Cosplay is Cancelled, Actually: Q&A with Cosplay Ambassadors

  • I’m a Twitch Streamer AMA

  • Women In Gaming: Chat And Q&A (Featuring Dr Susannah Emery who I was lucky enough to meet, and even had as a lecturer during my degree at UniSA. Pretty cool if you ask me!)

  • Beyond the stars: Uncovering Astro Boy’s secrets and lost media

  • Sensory: A Planetside Fan Film by Dylan Walsh

  • AIE Panel: 3D Art

  • Digital Guest Panel: ASTRO BOY (1980) Voice Cast Q&A


There were quite a large number of people at the event (the biggest I've ever seen) including;


Exhibitors

  • 3D by Sarah

  • A. Christou Art

  • Academy of Interactive Entertainment

  • Anime TENGOKU

  • Animeworks

  • CDW Studios/Flinders University

  • Chronicle RPG Accessories

  • Cosplay OzAnimart

  • Crazy Patches

  • Dream Star

  • Emmy Cosplays

  • Figure Me Crazy Collectables

  • Friends of AVCon + Guest Signings

  • Geek Game Gear

  • Good Games

  • Hobby Maniaz

  • Offical AVCon Merch (and Info booth, of course)

  • Jolli Creations

  • Mizuso

  • MO'S ELEGANCE

  • Mochiko Kitchen - (Hands down the BEST Mochi I've had. I also tried butter Mochi for the first time, and it's a game changer)

  • Otaku Alley

  • SA Artist Spotlight

  • Shin Tokyo

  • SoyToy Club

  • Tabletop Warfare

  • Terra Collective

  • The Ace Collectables

  • TrainerHub

  • UniSA

  • VR Distribution

  • VSUPPLY ANIME

  • Yuki Draws the Things

  • ZENIME


Artists

  • AmmyBunny

  • Runic Cards

  • Chupadoodles

  • Ka-Boop

  • MistedSky

  • Niipanpann

  • Orestuu

  • Devon Kong

  • Kirabunni

  • Guryfrog

  • This Kawaii Life

  • Luck of Kings

  • HyperFinch

  • Rhiannon Yates Illustrations

  • Lighting Strikes

  • BotTwins

  • Kosmotiel

  • Chuinny

  • Guzzardiart

  • Hawberries

  • Clockbirds

  • Rosethelise Illustrations

  • Chenonetta Creations

  • Man_standing.png

  • Roy the Art

  • Nanatopia

  • Sweet Momo

  • Tait Rochelle Art

  • Soul of Vlad

  • Art of Brent Minehan

  • Vin Crows

  • Percivore

  • Microrockets

  • Zellie's Koi Pond

  • Bedvilled

  • Arktosfall

  • Rachel Loren Designs

  • CGlas Design

  • Vinnie-Cha

  • Cherriuki

  • Kamaniki

  • Taembear

  • Bluejayoceane

  • Sheydeart

  • Tamago Nashi

  • Veegiggity

  • Kitten Witch and the Bad Vibes

  • Cold-Creatures Art

  • Ry-Spirit

  • SirDinhosaur

  • TakoPron

  • Melvin Chan Art

  • Rybaris

  • CindryShoo

  • Littlebrink

  • Abz Art

  • Alis Kun & Qucee

  • Eeeyitscoco

  • Warrick Wong

  • Migmats Art

  • Necocnyan

  • Honeymilk Star

  • Purplegoldfish Design

  • Kaiapi

  • Trashcanprince

  • Mikanmage

  • Ilaikcake

  • Princey Arts

  • Pinstachiio

  • SAJU Studios

  • Destineeart

  • CJ Illustrate

  • Cavehoney

  • Vreemdear

  • Peachcott

  • Ryonello

  • MagicalLee

  • MangaXai

  • Tess Monty Art

  • Fihsei

  • Caerus Arts

  • Soulc1ty

  • Zerii

  • Universebunny

  • Chai bean

  • Oakamimonster

  • D33R

  • Radicalseabies

  • Nadine Abrahams

  • S.M. Grey

  • Jackson Caspersz

  • SUMI Threads

  • Aus Alien Glass

  • Lindajing

  • Ein Lee & Chrono

  • Nerd Tea Creations

  • TnE Productions

  • SNAPPAKAPPA & King of the Monkel

  • Lamington Art

  • Raemiie

  • MAEJ Collective


This year, there were quite a plethora of Adelaide game devs, including Fringe Realities and Mini Mammoth Games. Ranging from VR to standard gaming, there certainly was a bit of something for every kind of gamer.


Indie Games Room

  • Spellborn by 7D Games Studio

  • Project: Nightlight by Fringe Realities

  • Beach Bums by Jazz King

  • Super BAWK BAWK Chicken! by Daytime Devs

  • Fox and Shadows by Paper Cactus Games

  • The Pound by Stout Heart Games

  • Star Farmer by Tinker Town

  • Risk.Speed.Impact by AlxInc

  • Yesterday’s Hero by Corgipillar

  • darkwebSTREAMER by We Have Always Lived in the Forest

  • Space Invaders – Next Dimension by Voxon Photonics

  • Re-War by Cool Crabs

  • Roving Rovers by Mini Mammoth Games

  • The Lights I Promised You by Solar Lightshow

  • Pedal Rebel VR by Pedal Rebel VR

  • Crimson Cutlass by Skeleton Crew

  • Nor2 by Catgirl Software

  • Crystal Horizons by Team Whirlwind

  • Kadomon: Hyper Auto Battlers by Dino Rocket

  • Roc’s Odyssey by Sunshine Festival Studios

  • Lightsmith by A Few Dragons

  • Anvilheart by Towerpoint Games

  • Lords of Illic by Orange Drake

  • Lucie’s Potager by Stellar Advent

  • Punchimals by Two Lives Left

  • Exo Rally Championship by Exbleative

Plus More!

  • Freeplay Library - whether you wanted to have a chill multiplayer sesh or some solo time, Freeplay library had quite the assortment of consoles to choose from.

  • ESports

  • Tabletop RPG and Trading Card Games

  • Zero Latency VR Zone

  • Retro Gaming with RetroSpekt - (Probably one of my personal favourite sections of AVCon)

  • Console Tournaments

  • Arcade Machines

  • The Games Stage

  • Ultimate Gamer Challenge

  • AVCon Access INN - A place for people with sensory sensitivities or disabilities. A welcome space that should be included everywhere, so more people can enjoy the event.

And of course,

Cosplayers!


Where would AVCon, or any gaming/pop culture/anime expo be without cosplayers? Kudos to all the people who dressed up over the weekend, everyone looked spectacular!



And there you have it, AVCon 2023. A big thank you to every single person who made AVCon 2023 possible. Whether you went for one day, all three days or just dropped in for a little while - thank you for showing up.


Of course though, none would be possible without any of the team behind AVCon, so thank you to those who spent months - years, dedicating their time into this event. Your hard work doesn't go unnoticed, so Thank You.


Until next years AVCon though have fun, be kind, and of course Happy Gaming no matter what platform you're playing on (or for how long you've been gaming for!) AVCon is for everyone

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