This weekend, 5-7 October 2012, the Coca-Cola Dome (Johannesburg, Gauteng) plays host to the 10th edition of rAge.
rAge, otherwise known as really AWESOME gaming event, is South Africa’s leading gaming, technology and everything digital showcase. This year’s rAge promised to be the biggest and best in its 10 years of existence. With a record amount of exhibitors already confirmed, it was up to the crowd to play their part. And judging by the extra-long lines at the Dome’s entrances, they did just that. The Dome also hosted the rAge NAG LAN, which consisted of 2580 gaming participants. Tickets for the largest LAN in the southern hemisphere (a 56 hour, non-stop LAN) sold out in a matter of hours after being made available.
As always, there are plenty of games to play and participate in at rAge. There are 2 main categories that always have gamers queuing in anticipation; pre-beta/beta games (such as Assassin’s Creed III, Tomb Raider, Halo 4 and Forza Horizon) and recently released games (such as FIFA 13, PES 2013 and F1 2012). At almost every corner of the dome, you’d find a PS3 or Xbox 360 running FIFA, followed by long queues of eager fans waiting their turn.
Another crowd favourite is the amount of competitions there are available to enter. Everyone loves the chance to win, and participating in all sorts of activities is merely a formality. While many competitions included a “fill an entry and you could win” approach, one of the more creative competitions was Nintendo’s “play four games to win a Nintendo Wii U” competition. As stated, fans are required to play 4 different games available at the Nintendo stall before been entered into the competition, providing a greater coverage of their games and console offerings. The Angry Birds competition required a donation of R5 to the Free Me Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, in which you could win prizes that included Angry Birds games for PC, Plush Toys and sweets. All you had to do was throw your Angry Bird at Piggies to reveal your prize.
There will always be a number of attendees participating in cosplay dress-up, either for the competition or just for the fun of it. rAge 2012 definitely took cosplay to a new level, with a large number of fans dressing up as their favourite gaming and series heroes. These included the likes of Batman, Iron Man, Chewbacca and a rather raunchy version of Princess Leia (as the Jabba the Hutt slave).
One of my favourite sections to visit is the exhibitor stalls which features artists and the likes showcasing their talents, personal ventures and the fan art. These stalls are manned by some brilliant artists and comic books creators all budding to show off their latest works. The level of work is outstanding, and it’s definitely worthwhile to support local South African artists.
rAge 2012 was definitely bigger than in 2011. This made for great entertainment and provided more variety, however, I couldn’t help but think more could have been done to provide a detailed map of the floor. Although the floor map was made available online, there weren’t any printouts available on site, which left many people left in the dark as to where to find their favourite stands.
Whatever your reasons are for attending rAge (be it buying “cheap” games and peripherals, or just the love of games and technology), there is truly something for everyone; even young kids (under 10) with an exclusive chill-out area just for them. If you’re willing to tolerate the long queues at games and food stalls, and hordes of attendees between the hours of 12 and 3pm, then there’s nothing that will deter your experience. If you haven’t yet made an appearance, Sunday, 6th October, is the last day of rAge 2012. To all those contributed to making the event a great success, a big thanks from FoS. We’ll be back in 2013.