It is once again that time of year again. A time when South African gamers can come together and enjoy the very best of gaming and technology. All under one dome. The Really Awesome Gaming Expo (rAge) is back for 2016! It is time to once again #EscapeToPlanetrAge!
rAge 2016 is once again bringing “a galaxy of everything that is geek” to the Ticketpro Dome at Northgate in Johannesburg. From the 7-9 October, 2016, gamers and technophiles will be entertained with cool tech, awesome deals and loads of giveaways from a variety of exhibitors.
Returning for its fourteenth year, rAge is South Africa’s biggest video game, technology and geek culture event. Unlike some events, it is one that prides itself on being suitable for the whole family. This year, visitors who attend will be treated to an experience that is jam-packed with competitions, eSports tournaments, exhibitions, industry guests, panels and so much more.
Some of the highlights of rAge 2016 include:
eSports is here, and rAge 2016 is supporting local gamers in a big way. This year, rAge will host three separate eSports tournaments. Visitors will be able to spectate all of the matches daily, as they will be taking place live on the main show floor.
- Telkom DGL Masters [Dota 2 / Counter-Strike: Global Offensive] – Platform: PC / R1,000,000 prize pool.
- Call of Duty World League (CWL) Monster Astro Gaming (MAG) Cup [Call of Duty: Black Ops III] – Platform: PS4 / R120,000 prize pool.
- African Challenge Esport (ACE) gaming tournament [FIFA 17] – Platform: Xbox One/ R18,000 prize pool.
In addition to the aforementioned tournaments, the Telkom Digital Gaming Championship (DGC) will also be happening over the weekend at rAge. This is whereby 500 of the best competitors from seven online leagues have been invited to take part in the VIP LAN.
Computers, Hardware & Gadgets
Although games are a big focus at rAge, gadgets and technology items are just as important. As such, there are a variety of announcements and product reveals set for rAge 2016 so attendees can adequately #EscapeToPlanetrAge.
Apex Interactive will reveal a new range of accessories and headsets, including the new NACON GC-400ES Alpha Pad – the most accurate eSports-focused PC controller ever.
Plantronics will showcase a new console headset lineup, featuring the RIG 800 series, the first wireless headset for console gaming with a 24-hour battery life.
NAG and MSI will also be hosting overclocking workshops throughout the course of the weekend [stand 29 at the event], which is perfect for gamers who are a part of the “PC Master Race”.
Gadget lovers will be happy to note that virtual reality (VR) is also making an appearance at rAge 2016. Blue Ocean VR will be showcasing both VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) devices and applications. Whereas The Virtual Space will be running VR demos on their stand. The demos will include 360-degree video, interactive games and educational apps. Batman VR is also making an appearance at the Sony PlayStation booth with PlayStation VR.
Geek Culture & Lifestyle
You simply cannot have a video games and technology event without some geek love. That is why rAge 2016 will see Sera Blue launching their new book Relative Scale – an anthology written by Abi Godsell.
There will also be a series of cosplay workshops that will be held on the cosplay stage during the course of the weekend. Topics include wig styling, a make-up panel and a Cosplay 101 Q&A – perfect for beginners. Cosplay is the ultimate form of geek expression, especially for those who want to #EscapeToPlanetrAge.
Hot 91.9 FM will also be broadcasting live from the expo. Their stand will feature old-school classic arcade games and Scalextric toys, as well as branded merchandise.
The headline of the show has always been gaming. This is the reason why rAge was formed, and this year looks like it is going to be great for gamers who want to #EscapeToPlanetrAge!
The following games and publishers will be at rAge 2016:
Megarom (stand 52):
- For Honor
- South Park: The Fractured But Whole
- Eagle Flight
- Final Fantasy XV
- Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration and Hitman
- The Megarom Demo Room at Castle Corner will be showcasing two titles from Ubisoft: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands and Watch Dogs 2.
Ster-Kinekor Entertainment (variety of stands):
- Skylanders Imaginators will be on stand 48.
- LEGO Dimensions (Year 1 + 2) unreleased content playable on the show floor at stand 49.
- Dishonored 2 will be behind closed doors (invite-only) and no hands-on.
- The Warner Bros. Games stand will feature Injustice 2 (behind closed doors, no hands-on) and Batman: Return to Arkham, which will be playable on stand 54.
- PlayStation VR will be at stand 31 with the following titles: Batman, Rigs, Rush of Blood and VR Worlds (Ocean Descent and The Getaway). Also featured on the PlayStation stand will be GT Sport, Gravity Rush 2 and PES17.
- Stand 27 is where you will find Xbox, 2K and EA with the following titles: FIFA 17, XCOM 2, Mafia III, NBA 2K17, BioShock: The Collection, Forza Horizon 3, Recall, We Happy Few, Everspace, Cuphead.
- At the Apex Interactive stand (stand 5) you can catch Warhammer: The End Times Vermintide, WRC 6 and Farming Simulator 17.
- Echoplex, a psychological puzzle game that pits your wits against your past self, is one of many local games that will be showcased on the home_coded booth.
- Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale will also be on the home_coded booth. There will be a limited edition physical version of the game (i.e. a boxed copy with a game disc inside) for sale to visitors. It’s a first-person adventure game set on a remote farmstead in South Africa.
- Cape Town developers Amplify Games will be launching the alpha version of their new video game, Polygod, at the home_coded booth.
- The Learn 3D Computer Animation School will also be running competitions based on games that Learn 3D students have developed. They will also be showcasing a new motion capture suit called the Perception Neuron.
Competitions & Giveaways
rAge is well known for hosting some fantastic competitions and giveaways. The 2016 event will be no different. Whether it is tech or cosplay, there is something for everyone who wants to #EscapeToPlanetrAge.
- Matrix Warehouse Computers will be running three competitions at their stand, including a R50,000 Ultimate Gaming PC giveaway.
- The Entelect Challenge finals and prize-giving will be hosted on the main stage from 10:00 (10am) – 11:00 (11am) on Saturday, 8 October.
- The sixth annual rAge Cosplay Competition will be hosted on the cosplay stage on Sunday, 9 October, from 14:00 (2pm) – 16:00 (4pm).
- Blue Ocean VR will be hosting an AR (Augmented Reality) treasure hunt at their stand and visitors can win awesome prizes.
- The Call of Duty MAG Cup Celebrity Challenge starts at 13:30 (1:30pm) on Friday, 7 October, and will see two celebrity teams face each other in a battle for glory. Team Red will feature musician Jack Parow, comedian Jason Goliath and rugby player Rohan Janse van Rensburg, with team captain Ismail “Jakez” Jacobs from eN_Astra. Team Blue will be led by Insane Gaming’s Kaelin “Tanker” Govender and will feature journalist Pippa Tshabalala, musician AKA and comedian Deep Fried Man.
rAge 2016 is shaping up to be a great event for geeks and gamers. With a long list of activities, AAA games and specialty stages to keep the whole family entertained.
For more information about planning your #EscapeToPlanetrAge, be sure to checkout our Vamers Hub for rAge 2016.
Owner, founder and editor-in-chief at Vamers, Hans has a vested interest in geek culture and the interactive entertainment industry. With a Masters degree in Communications and Ludology, he is well read and versed in matters relating to video games and communication media, among many other topics of interest.