When I headed out to my first rAge, South Africa’s leading Gaming expo, I had pictured scenes from the Big Bang Theory TV show where Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj go of to Comic Con all dressed up in their favourite science-fiction characters. Not being into the Dungeons and Dragons board game nor being a hard-core gamer, I started thinking that this was a bad idea – especially as I pulled into the parking lot and saw people in sleeping bags – they have been there since the night before wanting to be first to try the newest games.
After spending the day at rAge, I was given an education into a world that I knew existed but had no idea at the magnitude of this gamer/fantasy world.
Here are the 5 things I learnt as a newbie at rAge
rAge is held at the Coca-Cola dome which is a big expo hall. There are around 30 000 people who attend rAge and there are limited consoles for gamers to play. This means long lines – especially at the new gaming consoles such as the new PS4 and at the upcoming trailers to hot new games. You need to plan your mission carefully ensuring maximum exposure at every chance with every gaming vendor. Don’t go at it alone – take a buddy. Check out the floor plans from the rAge Expo website and take a moment to identify who you absolutely must see and start there.
Having a buddy also helps keeping a place in line whilst you head off to the bathroom or need to get some sustenance to keep those sugar levels up.
Its going to be a long day. Dress comfortably with decent shoes – nothing worse than being sore and really wanting to stay but the body is aching forcing you to go home.
You are there to play so you need to have your hands free at all time. As lots of the exhibitors offer free stuff and you don’t want to look lame carrying Pick n Pay packets filled with your goodies, bring a small backpack or messenger-bag keeping your hands free at all times.
You can also keep those RedBulls and Biltong Sticks in there too.
You will see people dressed up as Batman, The Borg, Nightwing,Green Lantin and Anime. This is known as Cosplay where people wear costumes and even accessories that represent their favourite characters. Besides the booth-babes that are paid to be there, these are regular people so don’t assume you can take their picture. Tell them they look great and ask permission to snap away.
At rAge there is a section dedicated to the artists. Well worth spending time there where someone like Sin-Bin has amazing fashion, design and accessories. There are also hand drawn sketches, full color paintings and even real-leather medieval outfits.
Pity that this section was crammed into a corner as it was jam-packed with people so taking it all in was a bit difficult.
Spending is Easy:
There are so many things to buy from Bobble Heads at the Smallville Comics to great accessories and gear from Digital Sushi. You got to be disciplined as most of these places take credit cards too. Set a budget and stick to it. Getting your credit card statement at the end of the month could shock you into not going back to rAge.
So in Summary:
Overall this was an amazing experience and anyone and everyone should attend. There are items for little kids to big kids. There are board-games happening on tables to the high tech LAN-Gamers who will literally sleep at the expo the entire weekend playing games. You do your own thing and no one will bother you nor make you feel like you should not be there.
Put it on your “must attend list” !