Vodacom rAge 2019 review

So, okay, whatever, like, technically, it’s kind of our event. But I reviewed it anyway because I’m whimsical and fun like that.

I don’t actually go to rAge (now the New! Improved! With 100% extra corporate sponsorship fizz! Vodacom rAge) every year. Despite occupying the very glamorous position of NAG website editor*, I’m also a reclusive introvert and, perhaps more significantly, I live in Cape Town and I hate flying. I hate flying so much. I hate flying so much that I need a doctor’s prescription and a substantial quantity of hard liquor to even think about it. Flying is the worst.

But I was told Gareth could come with me as my emotional support and designated pill and booze supervisor, and promised we’d be getting free tees with skulls on them. We’re suckers for free things, tees, and skulls**.

Compatibility. That’s how you make a marriage work, kids. Also, FREE TEES WITH SKULLS ON THEM, OMG.

And so, for the first time since 2014, I was at Vodacom rAge this year – and although five years is about a month in over-30-with-shit-going-on human time, it’s more like a million years in tech time. Futuristic LED screens! RGB! Grant Hinds from the YouTubes! Everything is different to what I remember. And I dunno if it’s because I don’t get out much, but those Funko things are kind of a big deal now.

As a kid in the 80s with a fashionably beige PC and games on floppy disks, this was the stuff of cyberpunk dreams. And even now, Vodacom rAge is constantly dizzying spectacle, a series of neon wishes made real that not even my grownup cynicism and existential ennui can diminish. For three days, I get to be 10 again. Except I can also buy beer, obviously. And since my previous visit, Vodacom rAge has started selling beer, so that rules.

But for us, visiting Vodacom rAge is about so much more than the hardware and extravagant impulse purchases (oooooh, a Nintendo Switch Lite). Like hanging out with my colleagues and other local games industry peepz, meeting up with Twitizens, talking boob physics and The Cabin in the Woods with the Nexus team. It’s a cliché, maybe, but Vodacom rAge is mostly about nerding out with nerds and that’s what makes it so much fun. If you’re going solo to Vodacom rAge to blag a cheap USB drive and get back out in 10 minutes, you’re doing it wrong.

Michael isn’t punching me, but he probably wants to sometimes.


  • Fitbit steps: 53,885
  • Castle Lites: ?
  • Swag: YES
  • Mood: ++
  • Respiratory infections: 1

Special edition high fives to Michael, Lauren, Cheryl, Len, and the gang at NAG, Kerry at The Lime Envelope, Apex Interactive, the wifi in the organisers’ office, the Darkwalk guy at the home_coded booth who recognised me, Boet Fighter bros-4-eva Louis and Nathan, and everybody else I awkwardly introduced myself to over the weekend, #memories.

* Since February, I mean, but I was assistant editor before that, and contributor before that, and I wrote for the magazine before that-that (#nostalgia), and those totally count too, mom.

** The prescription and hard liquor help too.


Call of Duty Modern Warfare screenshot 02
GG: Video games are political because almost everything is political, including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare even if Infinity Ward claims it isn’t