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rAge 2012: ITF Arrival

As the sun rose over the hustle and bustle of Jo’burg, the ITF Team prepared to charge into rAge! The preparations were complete, Darryl’s ominous surveying of the state of affairs in general, Brady did his two thousand and first sit-up, Jonathan awkwardly hugged his last victim and I did my last odd job. rAge Expo 2012 was at hand. We assembled, ITF Gaming T-Shirt and Press Pass clad, and all squeezed into Darryl’s car. As we screamed towards the Coca-Cola Dome, Brady was astounded, as his last memory of the Dome was 2 years ago where he remembers only grassland and trees.

Entering the event, we all put on our most patriotic poses and charged into the chaos which is rAge. Jonathan charged in, immediately charging through barriers and awkwardly hugging Silent Hill’s Pyramid Head and I did my best to rock out with Mario and Luigi, while Darryl and Brady retained their civility and respectability.

ITF Gaming will be covering rAge 2012 this entire weekend; If you see us, feel free to say hi! We will have several spot prizes on offer periodically and we will all be in ITF Gaming T-Shirts. Expect to see coverage of various stalls and presentations popping up throughout today and the rest of the weekend, and feel free to give us your feedback.

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rAge 2012: T-shirt Terrorist

Walking the floor of rAge, people tend to notice the bigger stalls first and the little ones seem to fall by the wayside. One such stand is that of the T-shirt Terrorist, a Johannesburg based shop that sells and designs satirical and offensive T-shirts. We caught up with Richard Foxcroft aka “Harry Fokker”, the sole proprietor of the business. The T-shirt Terrorist was started in 2003 after a flow of too many ideas at once. Out of those ideas, the business of selling these awesome shirts was born.

According to Foxcroft, he tries to create one shirt design per week, that’s around 52 designs a year. The T-shirt Terrorist is primarily an online store but they also operate out of the Randburg Flea Market and Brightwater Commons. As mentioned before, the business is run and owned by Foxcroft, leaving loads of room for his creativity to flow without any restrictions.

The styles of the shirts vary from being offensive to being outright hilarious. The inspiration comes from current pop culture but derives more from nerd culture than anything else. There are also various shirts that boast designs that are very similar to the memes of today. However, they are not that plain in their design as each shirt seems to have a slight twist the design to make it more humorous.

If you’re a bit of an unusual T-shirt collector like myself, then you’ll definitely want to check them out.

If you would like to win one of these awesome shirts at rAge, then head over to the T-shirt terrorist stall and say “ITF Gaming sent me”. The first two people to get there and say that phrase, will win a shirt of their choice. Please leave your name and number with Richard and we’ll contact you for a photo op.

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2up Gamers Second Wave sweeps Cape Town gamers off their feet

Friday, the 2nd of December, a seemingly normal day for most people but for the gamers in Cape Town, it was the 2up Gamers second event called the ‘Second Wave’. The inaugural event was pretty awesome so needless to say, I was anxious to see what the Second Wave had to offer.

The evening started off with Glenn Alexander and the rest of the 2up Gamers team welcoming everyone to their second event. Since these gatherings happen on the first Friday of the month, it’s pretty obvious that the first event took place last month. Gamers in attendance were also informed that Monster Energy has come onboard as a full time sponsor of their energy drinks for 2up Gamers events.

After the welcome, David from Friends of Design (the venue hosts for the evening), informed all in attendance what they were all about. They’re a design school who offer both part-time and full-time courses ranging from web design to publishing. David also dropped a huge bomb about what the future holds for them. From next year, they will be launching a game design course, which is based on a very successful German curriculum I might add. This course will also be both full and part-time. It’s a very exciting development for all gamers. During the course of the evening, Friends of Design were also kind enough to give away part time courses to 2 lucky gamers. How awesome is that?!

Lisa and Wayne from popular local site El33tonline were special guests for the evening. Upon hearing the buzz after the first 2up Gamers event, they decided to fly all the way from Durban to see what the fuss was about and to also tell us more about themselves. They told us about the ‘El33t P33p of the Month’ where the most loyal fan is rewarded for all their contributions during the month. They also informed the gamers in attendance about their weekly online gaming sessions where they host online matches that anyone can join. These take place on both Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network. It was great to meet at least 2 members of the El33t team.

Next up on the list was Apex Interactive, and they came prepared with a list of games that they will be distributing in 2012 and man, was it a big list. Here’s what they’ll be bringing to the table:

Sniper Elite 2
X Rebirth
Jane’s Advanced Strike Fighters
Catherine
Torchlight II
King Arthur II
Of Orcs and Men
R.A.W: Realms of Ancient War
Trine 2
Sniper 2: Ghost Warrior
Risen 2: Dark Waters

After showing all the trailers for these upcoming titles, it seems that the representatives from Apex were not done with this crowd. They showed us an awesome gadget called the Wowee. This small box is a speaker but don’t let its size fool you. It uses gel technology to actually reverberate a surface that it’s placed on, thus raising the volume and bass boost output. It has an internal battery and only takes a few hours to charge; what’s even better is that after charging, it has about 20 hours of battery life. Plug your mp3 player or cell phone into this baby and you probably won’t need to buy another portable speaker ever again.

Before the gamers were allowed to go off and socialise with one another, Glenn took the stage once again to make a final announcement regarding the next 2up Gamers event. The next one was scheduled for the first Friday of February but due to an international guest speaker from EA making his way to our shores, the next event will take place on the 20th of January. No venue has been announced as of yet but anyone interested in attending this event should definitely clear their schedule.

After all the presentations and announcements were concluded, gamers were let loose to go do what they do best; play games and mingle with other gamers. Gamer fuel in the form of pizza was on the menu for the evening but after its arrival, it wasn’t long before most of the boxes were empty. Yeah, that right there..that’s hot. What’s even hotter was Mr. Glenn Alexander getting down with the Kinect version of Grease. He boogied until he just couldn’t boogie any more while decimating all challengers at the same time. It seems that Glenn has a bit of Danny Zuko living inside of him.

So was the Second Wave a success? You bet! There were nearly triple the amount of gamers at this event than what there were at the first. Obviously the 2up Gamers team is doing something right.

See you at the next event!

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2upGamers release the 4th Dimension

The 2upGamers phenomenon has been met with resounding success. So much so, that a bigger venue had to be chosen in order to accommodate for the growing number of attendees with each event. The fourth event entitled the ‘4th Dimension’, took place on the 2nd of March 2012 where it all began for these events, Rygersdal Sports Club in Rondebosch. While it started with about 40 gamers, the number has since grown to close to the 100 mark.

Familiar faces and also some new ones arrived at the venue, eager to get the evening underway. One by one, they were all ushered inside and took their seats before being greeted by the 2upGamers Team of Glenn Alexander, Hylton Arendse and Ashley O’ Neill.

After the initial welcome, the Cape Town Showdown team took the stage to talk about the local fighting game scene and their third event aptly titled ‘3rd Strike’. They are determined to really build up a following of gamers who are fans of fighting games and make their events bigger and better. Currently, the tournaments are only taking place on the PS3 system but the team is looking into including the Xbox 360 after the ‘3rd Strike’. The next event will take place at SettlersHigh School in Bellville on the 27th and 28th of April.

Next up on stage was Nick Holden and Stuart McGarrick from Clan Connection, who explained to the attendees what their plans are for the future and man are they interesting. They intend to focus on more console-driven tournaments and the team is in the process of setting up a Modern Warfare 3 PS3 tournament. After the success of their Xbox 360 tournament, it seems that they are destined to rise up pretty quickly. For those who didn’t know, the last tournament featured the first SA livestream of a competitive final match. The 25th of March is when the PS3 final will take place and that too, will be streamed live. Be sure to keep an eye out for that one.

Desmond Kurz from MWEB was also at the event and had an exciting announcement for everyone present. The 9th of March is when MWEB will be hosting the Mass Effect 3 Launch Event and Mr. Kurz had an invite for one lucky gamer. What’s the catch? Well, whoever wanted the opportunity to attend this awesome event would have to compete for it…in Dance Central. The person with the highest score would win the event invite. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

Last but not least up on stage was Jeremi “Jeeva” Avenant. It seems as that the night was full of big surprises and Avenant’s project was no different. He definitely had the attention of everyone in the room when he announced the creation of a GamerNET House. Yes, you read that right, a house. The house question is being set up in Boston, Bellville and should be open in a few weeks time if all goes according to plan. The house will feature a 36 point LAN room and there will even be a gaming shop. How awesome is that? Avenant is also involved with another project called Barcraft. This project however is in conjunction with Vitriolic Gaming. According to www.barcraft.co.za, it’s a place to enjoy “beers, babes & battles”. It originally started in America but has now found its way to South Africa, which is great!

Judy Loubser from Takealot was present at the ‘4th Dimension’ and came bearing gifts. During the course of the evening, prizes were given out between the different speakers. I’ll say one thing; Loubser came prepared to make friends with the lucky gamers. Prizes given away on the night include Battle.net Authenticators, Diablo III Beta Codes, a Diablo III Collector’s Edition (when it’s actually released) and finally, a brand-spanking-new 250 GB Xbox 360 Slim console. To all the winners: I am so very, very envious of you.

Even though 2upGamers has become too big for the Friends of Design venue, Philipp Schmid and Lars Espeter were still showing their support for the event. To further show their support, they gave away 10 design courses worth over R2000 each and intend to do so at all 2uoGamers events for the rest of the year. Twenty gamers competed in rounds of Street Fighter to win one of these desirable vouchers.

Since EA could not attend these events consecutively, they sent prizes in order to compensate for their absence. These gifts came in the form of SSX, FIFA Street, Syndicate, Grand Slam Tennis 2, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and Mass Effect 3. There were two copies of each game, six for Xbox 360 and another six for PS3. Gamers entered via Twitter to stand a chance to win one of these hampers.

After all the speakers had done their bit, the pizza had arrived and many heads turned after smelling the aroma of the dinner for the evening. Gaming, pizza, Monster energy drinks and socialising; that pretty much sums up the rest of the evening. Familiar faces were seen and new friends were made, a common occurrence at the 2upGamers events.

After everyone had had something to eat, Glenn Alexander hopped on the microphone once again to announce the commencement of the dance-off and fighting contests, which, as you can imagine, was rather entertaining.

Another month, another successful 2upGamers event; at this rate, this community will only continue to grow. The next event is scheduled to take place on the 6th of April and missing it would be a mistake. Keep an eye on www.2upgamers.co.za or check them out on Facebook to stay updated.