Gaming – it’s all the rAge


Next week sees the return of rAge, South Africa’s biggest video game, computer, technology and geek culture exhibition – and it looks like it’s going to be amazing.

Apart from being able to view and purchase all the latest gaming and tech gadgets, there will be convention artists, graphic art signings, comics, anime, role-playing, collectible card games, digital lifestyle gear, cosplay (costume play, for those who aren’t in the know) and appearances by AKA and Jack Parow. I asked rAge head honcho Michael James what he would recommend I do first.

1. How big is gaming in South Africa?

I pulled some stats from PwC. Gaming was worth R2.2 billion in 2012, and it’s estimated that by 2017 gaming (including console, mobile and PC gaming) is going to be worth 3.3 billion. So it’s definitely big. Consoles are the leading mode of gaming, and made about R919 million in 2012. Worldwide, gaming is on par in terms of size with Hollywood, and it gets bigger when you look at its associated merchandise.

2. Have gamer demographics changed over the last two decades, and if so, how?

The primary thing is that everyone’s gotten older. So gamers who started when they were 12 are now 32. So gamers are now having children and passing it on to their kids. What’s also happening is that gaming has become more acceptable in popular culture – as something everyone does. We’re also seeing many more women getting involved in gaming, which is very cool.

3. If I could only do one thing at rAge next week, what should it be?

Well there are two of them actually. Watch and get involved in one of three eSports tournaments. There are three of them happening. The Telkom eSports tournament, for instance, sees two teams compete for a R1 million, so it’s really exciting. There’s also a Fifa and a Call of Duty tournament.

The second one is to go experience virtual reality. PlayStation VR is going to be at the expo so definitely check it out.

4. Is this the first time you guys are having musicians?

We had Jack Parow last year. But AKA is a big gamer. He’s going to be talking at the eSports tournament as well as performing. There are many celebrities around the world who are gamers.

5. What’s your favourite game right now?

I’m currently playing a game called ARK: Survival Evolved.

6. Which cosplay would you love to see at rAge if you were going?

Hmm. I’ll tell you the favourite cosplay I’ve seen. It was a young lady who came as the rAge Roxy character. It was fantastic to see something that you had invented and someone had come as it to the show.

  • rAge is happening from October 7 to 9 at the TicketPro Dome. Buy tickets here
  • To win tickets to the expo, buy Sunday’s City Press and go to page 11 of #Trending.

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