In case you’ve just recently escaped from an Amish community and stumbled into an Internet cafe, allow me to update you on present events: rAge 2016 happened two weeks ago and porn is super easy to find these days. Your days of leering at awkwardly-placed scarecrows are finally over, Jeremiah. Enjoy some 720p streaming and come back for the rest of the column when you’re done.
You look, uh, refreshed. Anyway, for the last couple of weeks I’ve been in a deep zen state in the fruits and vegetables section of a 24-hour garage, and I’ve settled on the five most profound lessons I learnt at rAge this year. Or maybe I just cobbled together this poor excuse for an opinion piece after not sleeping for three days. You be the judge.
Everybody is way more interested in VR than I am
I tried guys, I really did. I got to the expo early on Sunday and I stood in the relatively small queue with Tank, swapping stories about sexual harassment incidents involving Dane. It seems he lied when he told me I was the only one he’s been cupping.
Anyways, we got to the front and then some goober told us we missed Step 4 of the registration for super-VR-fun-time so we shrugged and played Cuphead instead. Which, honestly, was probably more fun anyway.
Throughout the expo, however, there was constantly a queue of people willing to wait two hours for a go on the nausea simulator. With the current price and mixed reviews, I’m taking a seat on the bench until this whole VR thing reaches Matrix-like levels of kung-fu ability. Then I’ll stand in line. Maybe.
I’m too poor to be a gamer
Ever since the world’s politicians and bankers decided to gather around a giant toilet and watch the global economy circle the bowl, I’ve become somewhat disillusioned with the cost of gaming.
With games costing over R1,000 and decent hardware several times that, the rAge expo was a fantastic exercise in window shopping. Hell, there’s a reason the most popular eSports in the world are free-to-play and run on wired potatoes.
At the rate things are going, if any more finance ministers go to jail I’m gonna have to peddle my ass on Oxford Street again.
Console eSports don’t suck
One of the coolest experiences I had at rAge this year was watching a Call of Duty tournament played on PS4. I know, I know, don’t give me that look.
I missed a Dota 2 match I was interested in, and wandered over to the other stage to see what was going down. What I found was an in-progress match that was going to a tiebreaker game after an epic comeback.
I was ready to scoff disdainfully at the auto-aim and start throwing mouse pads into the audience like a cut-rate Oprah Winfrey, but the excellent commentary sucked me into the hype. Then I noticed it was a “Search and Destroy” mode, much like a competitive Counter-Strike game.
So I sat down. And then I watched until the end. And then I checked the schedule to see when the next match was, and came back for it.
Playing FPS on a console still feels like having a man with tiny metal fists punch me in the balls for an hour, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy watching it. Watching eSports is just cool, and a hyped crowd and great commentary makes any game accessible and interesting.
In case you missed it, the eSports offerings at rAge are absolutely badass now. Honestly, it’s worth coming just for that – and I recommend you do so next year.
Board games live, suckers
The board game scene at rAge 2016 was bigger than it’s ever been, and as an industry its year-on-year growth has been enormous for the last five years or so, with no signs of slowing down.
Considering only about 17 of you (misclicks, probably) read my utterly badass board games article (which featured more board game recommendations than hairs on Dane’s body), I can tell I haven’t convinced you. Not yet. If you’re interested in checking out the tabletop scene and don’t want to have to wait for rAge 2017, Timeless Board Games runs excellent game days twice a month in both Jo’burg and Pretoria.
Crushing Matt beneath my mighty boot-heel was some of the most non-Cuphead fun I had at rAge, and it was pretty awesome to see people from just about every demographic sitting down at the tables for some cardboard-based battles.
My disguise was incredible
You’re going to find this hard to believe, but I didn’t sign a single autograph at rAge.
Hold your applause, please. My cover was so freakin’ effective that I wasn’t recognised even once. Even when I turned it up to hard mode on Sunday and started randomly introducing myself to people, everyone naturally assumed it was some other Chris Kemp, not the decorated journalist of the people you all know and love.