This week is rAge week, which means instead of my usual salty, cynical and sarcastic self I’m actually feeling pretty good.
While everyone talks about all the great things you can do at rAge (of which there are many), I’m going to go over the things you should avoid doing in order to have the best possible time. Don’t worry, this isn’t a lecture, just some words of experience from a not-so-veteran rAge attendee.
Don’t get the cosplay character wrong
This could earn you anything from a disappointed headshake to a sharp pain in your genitals.
Remember that time you went to a Halloween party and you thought that guy had come as a hobo but then actually it wasn’t a costume at all?
This is like that, but much, much worse. Going up to a woman in a perfectly constructed Drow Ranger costume and saying something along the lines of, “Oh hey, I love your outfit! The Frost Queen is my favourite” may not receive the response you were hoping for.
Hey, there’s no shame in not knowing. We don’t all play every game or watch every anime, and sometimes an outfit looks ridiculously badass even without context.
Asking respectfully and curiously is great, making an incorrect assumption is embarrassing and kind of upsetting. Just a headsup, the Fick brothers, Delano and I will be cosplaying as bearded nerds in black T-shirts. Please don’t mistakenly assume we’re cosplaying “1996 Mel Gibson” or “shirtless Ryan Reynolds”, although I understand it’s an easy mistake to make.
Don’t forget the deo
If you haven’t been before, rAge gets BUSY. This means there are a lot of hot, sweaty men and women rubbing up against one another, sharing tables, nudging their way into tight spaces and queuing up to play the latest and greatest.
One thing that can ruin the experience for everybody is a gagging stench akin to a rhinoceros with a thyroid problem. Don’t be that rhinoceros.
You know, hygiene stuff. Deodorant, shower every 3-4 days or weeks, whatever works for you. Just try make sure it works for everybody else as well.
Note: Yes, I know, I’m playing the sweaty neckbeard card. Yes, I know that all nerds, geeks and gamers aren’t smelly rhinos – this is just for the ones that are.
Note #2: The LAN area is excluded from all of this. The LAN is a free-for-all, and may he with the biggest hard drive make it out alive.
Don’t stay in your comfort zone
This is something that’s very easy to do, and honestly it’s hard to necessarily say it’s wrong, exactly. Whatever interests you, if you’re reading this website, it’s going to be at rAge. Except your fetish porn collection, that probably won’t be catered for (depending on the fetish).
You can do all the things you like and have a great time, everybody wins.
Except, you may be depriving yourself of an even better experience. Some of the most fun I’ve had at rAge is exploring the stuff that I’m not so familiar with. I discovered the ridiculously epic board and card games that are out in the wild, and have been hooked ever since.
I don’t know much about competitive Battlefield, but holy shit if it isn’t epic to watch the top teams play it.
When you pass by something you don’t know much about, give it a try. You might enjoy yourself more than you think – that other stuff isn’t going anywhere after all.
Don’t not say hi to me (or the rest of the NAG crew)
A lot of you awesome people regularly read and comment on my articles, and one of the coolest things about rAge is the opportunity to put names to faces, or rather, faces to avatars.
Attention whore that I am, I’ll be wearing a rAge t-shirt with my name emblazoned on the back, so if you see me arm in arm with one of my trusty Fick brothers or Mark Cheats-at-Evolve Delano himself, come and hang out.
In my lifetime I have signed exactly two autographs, and this ranks as the first and second best experiences of my life, with my wedding being a close third.
In fact, if you can come up to me, ask me to autograph something like you actually mean it and then nod politely at Delano and walk away, I’ll pay you. He can’t find out so just act cool though. Act. Cool.
Be the says-hi guy (or girl).
Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers
It’s unlikely you’re ever going to find so many people with similar interests under the same roof, so take the opportunity to broaden your social circle a little bit.
I always have a couple of friends at rAge to hang out with, but I also spend a lot of time talking to strangers. So far, none of them have given me a disgusted glance and walked quickly away, which is far better than I do outside of rAge.
You don’t have to meet your future best friend or spouse there, but chatting to like-minded people about all the things you love adds a lot to the experience. Try it.
Again, be the says-hi guy (or girl).