For those not in the know, rAge is an annual video game, computer and technology platform to touch, feel, try and experiment, and Cape Town finally gets its own one this weekend.
The expo has been running in Joburg for 13 years.
However, we’re not talking about swooning over the latest PlayStation 4 game. In a coup for the Cape Town rAge Expo, the eight Telkom Masters Multi-Gaming organisations and their Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams will compete in the first Masters tournament of the season at GrandWest in Goodwood.
The eight teams will compete for a R100 000 cash prize and rAge Expo visitors can watch the game live with a shoutcaster (a commentator to the non-geeks among us).
The five-member teams compete, two teams at a time, on stage in a soundbooth, and expo visitors can watch the online action play out in front of them.
“It’s going to be very busy,” says rAge marketing manager Lauren Da Neves about the event.
One of the biggest drawcards of Joburg rAge has been the 52-hour long NAG LAN, a bring-your-own computer/console gaming experience that lasts for the expo’s duration.
Specific NAG LAN tickets have to be purchased and there are only a few left.
“Some people are just curious about ‘what is this LAN thing’.
“People playing games with each other, this just blows my mind,” Da Neves says, only half joking.
The senior project manager for rAge, Michael James, says they started off conservatively with the NAG LAN in Joburg, which has grown to accommodate almost 2 500 people.
He said they will start off small in Cape Town as people need to find their bearings and see what it’s about.
“It’s happening live, so there’s lots of energy. You definitely lose a lot in the process if you just stay in front of your computer and don’t get involved. It’s the difference between observing and participating,” says James.
Just as Joburg rAge drew the Cape Town cosplayers, locals may see a couple of cosplayers from Joburg.
But Da Neves points out that anyone who is interested should come dressed as their favourite character. There will be spot prizes for the best dressed.
Xbox 1 and PlayStation 4 consoles will be available for expo visitors, and staff won’t be strict about curtailing how long people can try out new or demo games. “Gaming is supposed to be a fun activity,” says Da Neves.
HWBOT, an organisation regulating international overclocking competitions and ranking, will at rAge host the second stop of their world tour, the first time that top overclockers from around the world will compete in Africa.
Da Neves explains that overclockers are enthusiastic PC people who take the components of the gaming computer world and push them beyond factory specifications.
“For instance, you have a graphics card that is supposed to be doing xyz and you overclock it, you make it work faster than the specs say it should,” she says.
An overclocking class for amateurs, presented by local overclockers, on Friday from 10am to 7pm, is ideal for first-timers, while the World Series Overclocking Competition for amateur and extreme overclockers will take place on Saturday, from 2pm to 5pm.
The World Series Finals for amateurs and extreme overclockers takes place on Sunday, from 10.30am to 3pm.
The expo will also feature an artist’s alley and local artists are encouraged to display their artwork portfolios and sell to the public.
“These are people who draw comic books and fantasy pictures, and they have their own followings. People like to chat to them and interact with them,” says Da Neves.
The other exhibitors at rAge are the training colleges who offer courses related to the gaming industry.
“If you are thinking of getting into a career that will lead to the gaming industry, we’ve got the institutions showcasing the courses.
“A lot of parents are like ‘what do you mean you want a career in gaming, do something more useful’.
“This could be a way to show your parents it is a viable option. Even Wits University offers a course in gaming – it’s a two-year model that teaches you programming and how to make games,” says Da Neves.
l rAge Cape Town takes place at GrandWest on Friday (10am to 7pm), Saturday (9am to 7pm) and Sunday (10am to 4pm). Children under 6 enter free and you can get a weekend pass (R250) or a day pass (R100) that allows you entry in and out of the venue all day.
Check www.rageexpo.co.za for more info or purchase tickets at Computicket.