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SXSW 2020 Canceled Due to Coronavirus Fears; Gaming Awards fate unknown

Updated: Mar 6

UPDATE (MARCH 6) -- Austin City Mayor Steve Adler announced this afternoon that South by Southwest has been canceled following growing concerns over the spreading coronavirus. We are in contact with SXSW leaders to see if the planned gaming awards will be announced or streamed at a later date.

Our original story follows below:

South by Southwest (SXSW), a nine-day multimedia conference held each year in downtown Austin, has added a series of 54 speaker sessions, meet-ups and events specifically geared towards the gaming community for its 2020 conference.

The Gaming Industry Track was added due to the "influence that the making, marketing, and distribution of video games and esports is having on international culture, tech businesses, and traditional entertainment media including film and music," according to the SXSW website.

Though mostly focused on video gaming, tabletop role playing does not go unrepresented. Here's a look at what is being covered:

Wil Wheaton and Janina Gavankar are presenting the SXSW Gaming Awards.

Both actors are known for their RPG appearances on Geek & Sundry. Wheaton has guest-starred on Critical Role, and Gavankar was introduced to the RPG world thanks in part to her True Blood costars Deborah Ann Woll and Joe Manganiello.

Tabletop Game of the Year nominees are:

Paladins of the West Kingdom (Renegade); Parks (Keymaster); Pax Pamir (Wehrlegig); Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon (Awaken Realms); Taverns of Tiefenthal (North Star)

The awards will be presented Sunday, March 15 at 9 pm ET / 8 pm CT, and will be streamed live on Twitch. D20NN will be live tweeting the presentation.

Warhammer 40,000 - The Grimdark Community

Larry Vela from Bell of Lost Souls Interactive discusses Warhammer's 30+ year history and why it's attracted such a large fanbase over that period.

Gaming as a Lifestyle: 100 Thieves' BrookeAB and Avalanche, Activision Blizzard Esports's Daniel Cherry, and JBL QUANTUM's Michael Craig discuss casual and professional gaming, and gaming’s growth into becoming a lifestyle industry.

Bro Culture to We Culture: Evolution at Riot Games: When allegations of sexism rocked Riot Games, the company decided to proactively transform the culture. This panel reveals how nonprofits are partnering with gaming platforms to activate a younger audience to address social issues.

Board Games and the Rise of a Tabletop Industry: With a projected value of $12B by 2023, the industry is now on the cusp of a major revolution that is set to take place in 2020 and beyond. Industry experts as discuss lessons learned over the last decade and trends to be aware of for the future of board games.

Discord: How to Build and Engage Your Community: Discord's Andy Swanson presents a deep-dive on how to effectively utilize this highly-influential platform to your advantage. Learn all the best practices for existing tools and get a clear look at what’s coming next for Discord in 2020.

You can see the full gaming lineup for SXSW here. Many SXSW sessions are recorded and posted online after the conference. You can check this page as they are added.