t’s been a very busy weekend’, says Pippa Tshabalala, host of the Verge, outside their stand at this year’s rAge Expo 2011. With so much to do and see at rAge 2011, it comes as no surprise that this is the case for a lot of the exhibitors and visitors that frequented stores and stalls at the show.
The annual event showcased some of the most exciting upcoming titles, great bargains for pre-ordering video games and comics. It hosted information about various IT packages and it even showcased the card game Magic: The Gathering and board games such as Space Hulk. And of course the rAge Expo hosts South Africa’s largest PC LAN to top it all off.
There was a lot to see and do this year as always, demos including Batman: Arkham City and the Darkness II were highlights for myself and eager fans. Competitions, however, seemed to drive the masses into a frenzy. Crowds stampeded from one stage to the next whenever the word ‘competition’ was uttered. A disappointment was to see how fellow gamers tried to pull each other’s arms off, in order to get a promotional t-shirt.
I also heard about numerous brewing fights and assumed that some people had come to rAge mistaking it for the next Extreme Fighting Championship event, which is also hosted at the Northgate Dome. Two visitors to the show got so wrapped up in a promotional lanyard, that they were fighting over, that they could not break up their brawl even though even when threatened with expulsion from the venue. Aside from this, it was also unsatisfactory that the video game Rage was not being promoted, as it is scheduled for release very soon and you would expect an event with the same name to capitalise on this fact. Also, there was no sign of Diablo 3 and some other titles that are to be released soon.
The event was for the most part extremely enjoyable, however I just wish people would realise that the whole premise behind a technology expo is that we have evolved beyond the angry caveman, who wants to bash people over the head to satisfy some primal urge. Such things are bad for video game publicity, as they are often already equated with this level of ignorance and are said to incite violence. I hope that next year visitors to the show refrain from taking the name too literally.