Kalahari.com Diablo III midnight launch in Cape Town

I’ve never seen so much pizza in one place. It’s like somebody slayed a Level 100 Infernal Pizza Beast in here, and it dropped all this loot everywhere. It’s probably a good thing, though, because the nice people at Kalahari.com have paid up the bar, and all that free beer demands a punishing tummy toll. Pizza for the pizza gods.

Kalahari gaming overlord Ramone Pickover won’t tell me how many punters have actually turned up, but I’d put it at a guess of about a zillion or so. Gandalf’s on Lower Main in Observatory is absolutely packed, and between the dim lighting, the reddened stony walls, and the people dressed up in battle gear, the place has an appropriately hellish ambiance.

First up is local bard Tombstone Pete, who gets things going with the opening lick of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck… on an acoustic guitar. I could totally have joined him on a banjo but nobody asked me to, and I suppose there’s a limit to just how hellish that ambiance should be anyway before everybody runs wailing into the streets outside, ghashing and beating their breasts in despair. It’s a pretty fine line.

Stay a while and listen. YES, I WENT THERE.

Next are the power metal warriors of rock, Strident, who have added a Diablo tune into their set to keep everything on theme and show off how many chords they know. I’m sure many geek tears are shed in the secret dark of the club. It’s okay, I won’t tell if you don’t.

As the band finishes up, Ramone takes to the stage to announce the announcement of a special announcement from Blizzard HQ, and that everybody should move back downstairs to hear what it is. The announcement: Blizzard has given permission to hand out the games at 11 PM already, so everybody can get their stuff, get home, and get prepped for the witching hour. There’s a whole lot of queuing up as everybody gets into the serious business of the night – saving the world. Or at least getting ready to save the world. Queuing is an important part of war too.

And this lucky guy won a Diablo III Collector's Edition and a Steel Series mousemat.

Big thanks to Ramone and the brilliant staff at Kalahari.com for this super event and for treating me like a queen. It’s the first time a South African online retailer has done an event like this, but I do hope it’s not the last. HINT.

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