Greetings NAGscallions! rAge 2016 is upon us, that time of year when we can laugh at all you pathetic losers enjoying your relaxed, enriched seaside lifestyles and bask in a weekend of smug geekdom and social media gloating. Apologies to readers who live in like, Bloemfontein, where you really have nothing going for you.
Anyways, if you’re heading to rAge this year and looking for some inspiration on what to do, here’s my super-not-helpful guide to the things I’m doing that will likely not provide you with any useful ideas. Enjoy!
You may not know this about me, but I’m goddamn excellent at everything. I entered a badminton tournament once and won. I’d never played badminton before, and I didn’t have a racquet. The fact that the tournament was organised by me and held in my house is irrelevant.
Anyway, I like to walk around at rAge with a pulled down cap and dark sunglasses so I’m not recognised by my hordes of adoring fans and hang around the various games available for play. As soon as I find someone who’s been dunking on nerds for a while and feeling confident, I sidle up behind him and slap him/her in the face with my glove so that they know it’s on.
I’ll usually throw the game for a few minutes to let them think they’re ahead, then I turn on the turbos and don’t stop until I can see that expression on their face that says “I’ll never know happiness again”.
Then I’ll lift the cap, drop them a wink and fade into the crowd just as they realise they’re merely the latest victim of The Crusher.
Professional Window Shopping
rAge is basically a toystore for adults. Every year there’s so much shit I want to buy I feel like Mike Tyson at the pigeon farm, or a metaphor less obscure and unfunny.
Unfortunately, you need money for the toystore and being a working adult means I finally have none of that whatsoever. I found out the hard way that putting graphics cards into your pants is generally frowned upon by security, and my efforts to exchange autographs for merchandise have been met with a few awkward laughs and a few more requests to know who the hell I am and why am I wearing sunglasses inside The Dome.
Last year I tried to do some juggling outside for money but that kind of fell apart when people realised throwing a tennis ball in the air doesn’t constitute juggling and I injured a small child. So if you happen to see a mysterious, handsome gentleman wearing fake Ray-Bans and a Spongebob cap trying to force a GTX 1080 into his underpants come say hi before calling security.
Exploring the LAN
I’ve never actually attended the rAge LAN, but you can be damn sure every year I’m going to be there as a spectator. Wading through that quivering mass of human bodies is an adventure in and of itself, as several hundred caffeine-induced tachycardias rise into a crescendo as you pass through.
Every year I’ve been I’ve found some interesting and cool people to talk to – like the shirtless GTA V knife gang, or the dude that said to hell with the PC masterrace and propped up a PS4 and a decades-old television on some precariously stacked boxes.
It’s gaming in its purest form – before jobs and responsibilities and optic fibre internet we were sleeping on our keyboards and subsisting on chip sandwiches and shouting and screaming and raiding each other’s hard drives at four in the morning.
The rAge LAN captures that nostalgic madness beautifully, and every year I’m happy it still exists.
Dane generally has to do serious-business things at rAge, I do not. I mostly just wander around flashing my press pass and trying to look important, but while everyone else is an actual journalist I am just the dick-joke wolf in sheep’s clothing.
So in between exploiting the drinks fridge in the press room and ruining the lives of the lucky few who cross paths with The Crusher, I’ll be basking in his halo of fame and generally interfering with his duties, the Robin to his Batman if you will, if we were living in an alternate universe where Robin was infinitely cooler than Batman.
The majestic Matthew Fick and I have dabbled in boardgames at rAge in the past, but in the time since last year my casual, I-don’t-have-a-problem recreational use has turned into a relationship-destroying, financially-ruining addiction.
So if anyone is looking for me at rAge this year (and why wouldn’t you be), you may find me window shopping the game stores, stuffing designer boardgames down my pants or whiling away hours at the boardgame tables instead of doing any actual work.
Finally, if you happen to walk by and notice Matt Fick crying into a pile of wooden cubes and dice, just know that The Crusher is near.