Early in morning of Saturday, 11 October 2014, two friends head (You know I don’t approve of you seeing girls… I meant people. -Ed) out on an epic quest. Far in the land of the north lies a grand citadel, known as The Coca-Cola Dome. One weekend each October, this site becomes a holy congregation of the South African nerd/geek/gamer community. This festival is a three day orgy of technology, gaming, cosplayers and geeks. Our pilgrims arrive early after a hearty breakfast, quickly collect their tags at the door, and wonder in towards the mass of people hurriedly scurrying in and out of the various booths and stalls on offer.
rAge is the premier technology and gaming event in South Africa, and has been for some number of years now. Over the years it has grown from a purely computer gaming event to include stalls for various consoles, hardware and component dealers, comic artists, animators, filmmakers and even authors are not uncommon these days. Pleasingly the has been an increase of cosplayers amongst the attendees, back in2008 the only people seen in costume at rAge were the hired promotions people. Another positive was the variety of source material used for the cosplays rather than being anime dominant as is usually the case amongst SA cosplayers.
Later in the afternoon a chunk of the 925Horde had arrived, and the five man team (well four men and one woman) (Two women. Still not sure about that long hair of yours, Wookiee. -Ed), spewed forth and assaulted the masses. There was the usual fare of computer shops, promotions for the next gen consoles and some anticipated upcoming games. As well as a mass LAN, and a series of ongoing gaming tournaments. It was fantastic to see products from local developers, such as Evan Greenwood and Duncan Bell, on display; as well as a host of local comic books, graphic novels and novels.
Given the availability of internet these days, it is impressive to see that there were still so many people in attendance who could have easily accessed all the news and information on offer from home. This does lead to rAge’s one major drawback, as the crowds have grown over the years the walkways between the stalls becomes quite cramped, and by midday it becomes increasingly hot inside. The organizers have mentioned they are looking into options, so hopefully things will improve in the coming years. the only other downside is that it is one of the more expensive events of it’s nature in the country, but they do ensure to have enough on offer that you don’t feel it is wasted.
As the day drew to a close, our party slowly dispersed for food, beer and home -thoroughly satisfied with the adventures of the day. Overall this was quite possibly one of the most enjoyable rAge Expos thus far. Although it got a bit crowded and stuffy in the middle of the day, nothing was able to remove the enjoyment had by all.
Here is looking to even more fun and adventure next year, see you all there…