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Prototype 2 launch parties spread the Infection

Johannesburg:
The city of Johannesburg seemed calm that night; however, little did it know that a virus had been spreading amongst the population at a rapid rate, this virus was called the Mercer virus… Upon arrival, at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Rosebank Johannesburg, I came into contact with others who seemed keen to spread the infection with me. The plan for the widespread infection was easy enough and it came in the form of Prototype 2, which I might add; had already hit the city of Cape Town at the same time thanks to the team at 2upGamers. With one goal in mind, we all congregated in one of the conference halls to be briefed of the current contamination statistics.

Jarrod Lane from JHBGamers kicked off the event formalities; however, he had already been struck down by the Mercer virus, but he pushed on to provide a sensational introduction to what promised to be great evening filled with Monster Energy drinks, Boerewors rolls and a hands on experience with Prototype 2, thanks to the team at Megarom Games and Maingaming South Africa. After Lane’s initial introduction, Devon Stanton from Megarom Games introduced us to some of the major highlights of Prototype 2, as well as a rather interesting teaser trailer of Diablo III, which made everyone’s excitement levels hit a major high point for the evening.

Once the formalities were out the way, many of the attendees rushed off to socialise, play Prototype 2 and consume as many Monster Energy drinks as humanly possible. If that was not enough, Jarrod Lane and Devon Stanton gave away quite a few Prototype 2 t-shirts and also held a lucky draw, which saw two attendees at the event walk away with a copy of Prototype 2 each.

Overall, the Johannesburg event was a massive success and left a lot of the attendees glowing, which could have been the result of all those Monster Energy drinks, or the fact that they just experienced a really fantastic evening… I think it was quite honestly a little of both.

Cape Town:
Thunder, lightning and pouring rain; all this was not enough to stop gamers from leaving the comfort of their homes to attend the Cape Town launch party for Prototype 2, organised by the guys from 2upGamers. The air was a little icy upon my arrival at the Rygersdal Sports Club in Rondebosch and the crowd of early arrivals was a small one. Did I take a wrong turn somewhere? Was I at the wrong event? Turns out it was neither; it seems as if the weather had made everyone’s journey just a little bit longer.

After a little while, everyone was invited inside and processed at the security checkpoint. Thankfully, I made it past the guards and was ready to spread the Mercer Virus even further. After nearly all of the attendees had grabbed a seat, we were welcomed by Glenn Alexander from the 2upGamers Team. After this warm welcome, the team attempted to make contact with the launch party taking place in Johannesburg, organised by JHBGamers. Unfortunately, we were not able to make contact with them, despite the constant trying. Before allowing those in attendance to go and play Prototype 2, Mr. Alexander decided to give out a few T-shirts to those who could answer questions correctly. Now that’s how you start off the evening!

Three Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles were set up so that many gamers could have a crack at the game at the same time. Man, did they run to those consoles! I swear that I saw one gamer actually standing with a controller in his hand for most of the night. I don’t even think that he had something to eat.

After a little while, food arrived in the form of Hotdogs, New York City Style. The beverage of choice for the evening was Monster Energy Drinks; if nobody was infected upon entering the building, they definitely were after having a sip from that can, with a sugar rush that is.

There were also a few cosplayers who showed up for the event. One gamer was dressed up as a soldier in full military gear while another was outfitted like the anti-hero of the first Prototype game, Alex Mercer, complete with blade-arm. Also, I’m pretty sure that I saw someone dressed as Goku or Gohan from the anime series, Dragonball Z. However, there could be only one attendee who could win the prize of having the best outfit. That prize went to the gamer outfitted like Alex Mercer. You may be asking, “What prize did he get for his effort?” Well, he was lucky enough to receive the Prototype 2 Blackwatch Collector’s Edition. How awesome is that?

All in all, it was a great event. Lot’s of socialising took place and many laughs were had throughout the evening. Everyone in attendance was even lucky enough to receive in-game DLC for Prototype 2, courtesy of Megarom at both events. The end of the evening also had many gamers excited as the 2upGamers 5th Round would be taking place on May 4th, not too long to wait until the next get-together.

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2upGamers come out swinging in the 5th Round

It was another icy-cold day in Cape Town on May the 4th, but it wasn’t enough to stop gamers from coming out to attend the 2upGamers 5th Round event at Rygersdal Sports Club. This time, the team decided to go with a fighting-game theme; hence the appropriate title for this event. However, there were also a few Star Wars references due to the fact that it was Star Wars Day. Needless to say, “May the fourth be with you” was uttered many times during the course of the evening.After everyone had been ushered inside, Glenn Alexander entered the hall in MMA apparel while strutting towards the stage with “Eye of the Tiger” playing over the speakers. Everyone was welcomed to the event but they were also informed about a change in the schedule; EFC Welterweight Champion, Jadyson Costa was unable to attend the 5th Round due to a double booking. However, to make up for his absence, Costa promised to attend the next 2upGamers event.

Nizar Abrahams, the owner and manager of Readers Den Comic Shop at Stadium on Main in Claremont, was the first guest up on stage. Abrahams just dropped by to inform everyone of “Free Comic Book Day”, which was being hosted by his shop. Mr. Abrahams also came prepared with two Hardcover Graphic Novels of Halo and StarCraft to give away to the attendees.The 2up team took the stage once again as they had some more announcements. Sadly, Ashley O’Neill, one of the founding members, has decided to step down as one of the organisers due to a new development. To create more balance, the team introduced their 2 new members in the form of Lood van den Berg and Franco Duncker. Some more exciting news followed this announcement (crazy, right?). Mr. Alexander’s day job, which is at 4 Elements Gaming Festivals or 4EGF, will be running the 2upGamers Events in the future. 2upGamers will now also be a non-profit organisation so that the team can give back to the community. It’s great that this is growing. Hopefully the team’s wish of going national with 2upGamers will actually become a reality sooner than they expected.Friends of Design were in the house once again and just like they promised at the previous event, they brought 10 vouchers for design courses. But since it was Star Wars Day, those interested in the vouchers had to fight for them, Jedi style. This was done by using pool noodles for Lightsabers; these had to be used to knock the balloon that was taped to your opponent, off their body. The battle between Light and Dark side was rather exciting to watch but so funny at the same time.

In addition to winning those coveted vouchers, winners of the duels also received Darth Vader “Who’s Your Daddy?” T-shirts courtesy of the lovely people at Springleap. They run a design website in order to help designers out there to make a name for themselves. Every two weeks, a design contest is held and the winner receives $500. Also, artists receive a cut of whatever art of theirs is sold on the site. Be sure to check them out at www.springleap.com Next up were the guys from eGamer, who decided to open up by Rickrolling the audience. Nice one! However, that wasn’t all. They also introduced a new feature for future 2upGamers events; they will hold mini tournaments where gamers can play to win prizes. The 5th Round had a FIFA 12, 2 vs. 2 tournament, which was quite successful. It seems that they may be onto something here. Winners will be receiving some of the latest EA games.

Wikus and Johan from Ozone Energy Drink were up next and they spoke about their new product but also letting 3 attendees taste their drink in order to get some feedback. They also announced the first clan that they would be sponsoring. This lovely sponsorship went to the Xbox 360 clan known as High 5. The guys from Ozone are pretty keen to help the Esports community grow so expect a few more sponsorships very soon.One of the special guests for the evening was Cape Town born Vince Andrews, who played Sgt. James Heller in the Prototype 2 live-action trailer (can be seen here: http://goo.gl/mJKPZ ). He wasn’t able to make it to the Prototype 2 launch party but made up for it by attending the 5th Round. According to Andrews, the shoot lasted 3 days and consisted of long hours. He also showed us a few behind the scenes images from Soweto, the location for the shoot. Apparently some of the locals were a little concerned, as anyone would be if they saw someone in full military apparel. Andrews was also sporting one of the Prototype 2 jackets of which only three were made. Man, I could use one of those. They look pretty awesome.

Last but not least was Reinhard Rheeder-Kleist from MWEB or more commonly known as “Chocs”. Unfortunately, his “Dredd Master”, Desmond Kurz could not attend the 5th round due to unforeseen circumstances. Chocs handled things pretty well though; handing out CS: beta keys to attendees to those who wanted them and also informing everyone about a competition. A competition that would allow the winner entry into the M-Cave on May 15th for their Diablo III launch party. This could be decided in only one way and that way was by competing in a Star Wars Kinect Dance-off. The event can only be awesome if gamers have to step into the spotlight to get their invitation.

After all the formalities, everyone was sent off to socialise, play games and of course, eat some pizza. However, the pizza didn’t last very long. I’d say that it took about 10 minutes for all the pizza to be devoured. Thanks for keeping at least one slice for me! These events are really becoming one of the highpoints for each month for me. Once again, the event had quite a few stragglers long after the event was supposed to end. I swear this is becoming an exclusive little club. “The Stragglers” doesn’t really have a ring to it. I guess I’ll have to think of a better name before the next event.

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ICON 2012: Gaming and Cosplay at its best

It was a cold Saturday afternoon in Johannesburg. The cold front had hit the Highveld, but it did not discourage thousands of gamers, comic book fans and Cosplayers from attending one of South Africa’s largest gaming conventions, ICON.

Currently in its 21st year of existence, ICON has become one of the largest gaming events in Johannesburg that features a vast array of stalls and activities to enthral its many fans. ICON’s core focus has always been on comics, role-playing games, board games and the like. Some of the more popular franchises at the event were Warhammer 40k, Magic the Gathering and Pokémon. We set out to find out what it was all about, and boy were we surprised.

Upon arrival we were met by the event co-ordinator, Grant Charlton, who filled us in on the various activities and displays at the convention. We then proceeded to the Cosplay area, which showcased various ladies and gents dressed up as their favourite anime or video game characters. The Cosplay event was held by AI-Fest, a Johannesburg based company focused on bringing Anime-related entertainment to the people. Additionally, ITF Gaming had a chance to chat further with Grant Charlton regarding the starting point of ICON and its inner workings (The interview can be viewed in the video below).

While taking a look around the expo there was quite a large amount of stalls available to consumers, which specialised in role-playing items (swords, hammers, etc.), board games, card games, action figures, comic books, DVDs, t-shirts, the list goes on. There literally was something for everyone.

A tuck shop was set up that provided all the self-professed “dodgy” food served at ICON 2012. Proceeds made from the food sales were then donated to Lory Park Zoo in support of the upkeep of the animals. A very noble cause indeed.

Some of the more exciting activities held at the event included a Cosplay competition, role-play tournaments and intense Magic the Gathering games held across numerous rooms throughout the event location.

There was a lot to behold, and quite frankly, not enough time to go through it all; fortunately, ICON is held over a full weekend, so anyone in attendance could return to the event the following day, provided they had a weekend pass.

For those of you have not had the opportunity to attend ICON 2012… We have included an awesome video, which includes a brief walkthrough of the main hall and interviews with local and international Cosplayers. Additionally, the dynamic duo responsible for A.I Fest tells us a little bit more about the concept behind their brand.

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Old faces and very new tricks: Nintendo stand at rAge 2011

‘I waited impatiently behind a kid who didn’t really seem to know what he was doing’ a twenty-five year-old male rAge Expo visitor tells me, as he begins to talk about his experience of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. ‘The funny thing is I didn’t even know that the game was going to be here, as it was one of this years most highly anticipated 3DS release.’

It is interesting to me that Nintendo has managed to constantly breathe new life into its now long-standing characters such as Link and Super Mario. I watched children that were as young as I was when I first met Super Mario on the SNES console, enjoy a mass multiplayer game on the handheld 3DS console with all too familiar characters. It got me thinking that Nintendo has managed to establish its virtual concepts as a real-world playground of Cops and Robbers or Tag; As Nintendo is becoming a fundamental part of how children learn and develop through playing.

It is no surprise really, that Nintendo has managed to do this. After all, the company has been around since 1889, when it started out creating card games. It has a lot of experience in being sensitive to the needs of a changing society. The real question is, does the company simply ‘leave luck to heaven’ or does it have a multitude of ingenious minds that continually reshape old ideas into something new and relevant for today’s gamers, be it the long time fans ot those just getting their hands on their first console?

ITF Gaming, editor and owner, Darryl Linington says, ‘Nintendo has built a phenomenal reputation over the years, and I personally believe that the company has a great approach when it comes to fun, education and family orientated entertainment.’

He continues by saying, ‘I remember back when I was 6 years old, my father came home with this contraption that would change my life forever. The contraption was a Nintendo NES and I had heard about them on the playground at school. I watched eagerly as my father set it up, and then eventually let myself and my older brother figure out how it actually worked. Once we figured it out, I remember playing Duck Hunt, Hogan’s Alley, Excite Bike and the ever so popular Super Mario Bros for days on end.’

‘I thank Nintendo for introducing me to video games and compliments of this introduction, I have learnt so much over the years. I feel that video games have inspired me to be the person I am today, and I hope that the industry will continue to inspire and focus on developing young minds through education, imagination and inspiration.’ He concludes.

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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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What to expect at rAge 2011

The rAge expo has officially kicked off this weekend at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg.

ITF Gaming had the opportunity to join in on all the fun by hosting some awesome prize give-aways compliments of Apex Interactive and the team on the Nintendo 3DS stand. The Nintendo 3DS stand is showcasing an array of upcoming 3DS titles to test out, so make sure to swing past the stand and chat to the guys about anything and everything Nintendo related. The team from ITF Gaming will be situated at the Nintendo 3DS on the 01/10/2011 from 10am – 12pm and on 02/10/2011 from 12:00pm to 13:00pm.

Apart from all the Nintendo awesomeness, ITF Gaming has compiled a list of the must see exhibitions at rAge 2011. If you are only joining in on the rAge action on Saturday, then this will give you a preview of what to expect.

Things to check out at rAge 2011:

Nu Metro:
Batman Arkham City
Lord of the Rings: War in the North

Megarom Interactive:
The Darkness 2
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
Final Fantasy XIII – 2
Xmen Destiny

Electronic Arts (EA):
Need for Speed the Run
Battlefield 3
Mass Effect 3
Grand Slam Tennis
The Sims 3 Pets

PlayStation:
Tekken Hybrid
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
Dragons Dogma
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Microsoft Xbox 360:
Gears of War 3
Kinect: The Gunstringer
Kinect: Star Wars
Kinect: Disney Land Adventures
Forza 4

Nintendo:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Dead or Alive
Resident Evil
Street Fighter
Steel Diver
Pilot Wings
Kid Icarus
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

A few of the major highlights to look out for on Saturday and Sunday will be at the main stage, this will include: Tomb Raider, The Darkness 2, Guildwars 2 and a host of epic presentations and give-aways.

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Paul Crocker Talks Batman: Arkham City with ITF Gaming

ITF Gaming had the opportunity to chat with Paul Crocker, lead narrative designer, Rocksteady Studios at rAge 2011. Paul Crocker and his team have been burning the midnight oil in order to bring one of the most anticipated titles to video game fans across the globe, Batman: Arkham City.

ITF Gaming: After putting Batman through what may be the longest night of his life in Arkham Asylum, where did the idea come from to move all of the inmates into an enclosed area inside Gotham City?

Crocker: As we were developing Batman: Arkham Asylum, we knew we wanted to put Batman into a city environment and a rooftop environment. We carefully crafted Batman: Arkham Asylum to fulfil all our design ambitions and make the Batman experience a very claustrophobic one. Once we had done that, we were confident in moving forward to the next stage, which was to make a bigger, better environment for Batman to play in and a great storyline to support it.

We now have Arkham City, a section of Gotham City that has a big wall wrapped around it. This is where all the bad guys have been contained, mainly because Arkham Asylum was the least secure place in the Batman universe. So the idea was to make a super prison that no one could escape from, however the problem with putting all the bad guys in one place is some like each other, some don’t like each other, so now there are turf wars, alliances and jealousy amongst the gangs. This brings a unique approach to Arkham City and places Batman in a different situation which is not expected.

ITF Gaming: Hugo Strange is one of the most underused villains in the Batman universe and it seems that Batman: Arkham City might just put him on the map. Why was he chosen as the main antagonist?

Crocker: We needed a villain who would fulfil the role of being in charge of this new prison system, some one who is a psychological expert and would fit into the environment perfectly. Hugo Strange was chosen as he is the perfect fit for the antagonist, he is an incredible psychiatrist and as we revealed in certain trailers, he has worked out the identity of Batman. Hugo Strange has this knowledge and it gives him a unique angle and personality. Hugo Strange is not super powered, nor is he a huge mutant, he is a doctor and he wants to be better than Batman. Once gamers have the opportunity to play the full title all the details will be revealed.

ITF Gaming: Arkham Asylum re-established Batman as the epic badass he is today. Why would you say Rocksteady’s interpretation of the Dark Knight is so successful?

Crocker: Truth be told, we are all fans of Batman, we all want to make the best Batman game that we can and in doing this from the beginning we were able to analyse and include key features into the game in the form of the detective elements, the gliding system, the combat and the predator elements. From a gameplay point of view these were the main elements that made the Batman games unique, original and successful. I talk about making Arkham City an authentic experience, and to make it as authentic as possible we brought back the original voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy. Kevin Conroy makes you feel like you are actually talking to Batman in real-life, and by voicing the character so well, he brings out the true Batman experience in this title.

ITF Gaming: Paul Dini was the writer of Arkham Asylum and also wrote the sequel. What was the pressure like on him and your team to bring out a game that topped Arkham Asylum?

Crocker: We did not want to let people down and we wanted to create the best Batman simulation we could. However this took time, effort and we constantly evaluated what we worked on, in order to create the next step in the ultimate Batman simulation.

ITF Gaming: Catwomen or Harley Quinn, who is hotter?

Crocker: Well the thing is… one will stab you in the face and the other will claw your eyes out, so it’s really hard to say as they both hot in their own way.

ITF Gaming: Batman Arkham City is looking great, is there anything you can tell us about the game that no one knows?

Crocker: We don’t want to spoil any of the surprises that gamers will experience while playing this title, otherwise the whole Batman experience is gone. However I will tell you that many secrets and twists await gamers who have the opportunity to experience Batman: Arkham City.

Batman: Arkham City builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of Batman: Arkham Asylum, sending players soaring into Arkham City, the new maximum security “home” for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds.

Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight.

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Diablo III director steps down

Diablo III game director Jay Wilson has decided to leave the title to pursue “something new” within Blizzard. Wilson announced his departure in a post on the official Battle.Net forums.

“I recently celebrated my seven-year anniversary working on Diablo III, and while it’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding periods of my life, I’ve reached a point creatively where I’m looking forward to working on something new. The powers that be at Blizzard have been gracious enough to give me that opportunity. Over the course of the next several weeks, I will be moving off of the Diablo III project and transitioning elsewhere within Blizzard. This decision was not an easy one for me, and not one I made quickly, but ultimately it’s what I feel is right,” wrote Wilson.

“The first thing I want to assure you all is that this will not negatively impact our ongoing support of Diablo III. We have lots of things planned for the future, and those plans will carry forward as normal. I also won’t be abandoning the team, and will remain available to them during the transition period while we determine who will take over duties as game director.”

According to Wilson’s post, Blizzard does not currently have a replacement director lined up already. He also tackled some of the criticism leveled at the game.

“I know some of you feel we fell short of our promise to release the game ‘when it’s ready.’ While we’re not perfect, we try to make the best decisions we can with the information and knowledge we have at the time. That doesn’t mean we always make the right decisions, but if we made a mistake then I feel we’ve made an exceptional effort to correct it,” he wrote.

“This is what you can always count on from Blizzard: that we will stand by our games and make every effort to continually improve them over time. We heard the feedback and suggestions from the community. Our commitment to making our games as good as they can be is what has always defined Blizzard as a game studio, and that commitment never ends for us at a ship date,” Wilson added.

“To that end, patch 1.0.7 is underway, the PTR is live, and there are many other great things brewing for Diablo in 2013. I’m leaving Diablo III in good hands, and my departure will not jeopardize the progress of the game as we continue to do what we do: listen, play, and improve.”

There’s no word on where Wilson is landing within Blizzard, but the company is still currently working on its next MMO Project Titan. The game has no specific release window at this point. During an interview in September of 2012, Blizzard vice president of game design Rob Pardo told Curse Gaming that the game is “in the middle of development” within a team of “over 100 people”.

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2up Gamers: 3rd Encounter claims more victims

No, not really. People didn’t die, nobody was suffering. The 2up Gamers phenomenon has just spread like wildfire and all gamers are keen to attend these events. The third event, aptly called “The 3rd Encounter” took place on the 20th of January 2012. Friends of Design were also gracious enough to offer their venue for the event once again. These gatherings usually take place on the first Friday of each month but an exception was made, due to the presence of a special guest.

Many attendees arrived early to get seats before the wave of other gamers arrived. Man, were they smart. When things got underway, quite a few people were standing in the back. Needless to say, word is getting out and the 2up Gamers community is growing…fast!

After the welcome by the 2up Team, the founder and owner of Friends of Design, Eva Csernyanszky welcomed all in attendance and also told everyone what they were all about. In addition to that, Eva spoke about the Game Design course that they are offering; which is the first of its kind in South Africa. After hours courses will also be available for those who have full-time jobs. I think that these are Friends you really want to keep an eye on (see what I did there?).

Next to take the stage was Andrew Royal, the communications manager at TAKEALOT. Mr. Royal’s constant theme throughout his presentation was about “what gamers want”. He backed this up by giving away Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Editions to 3 lucky attendees. The best part is that they get it on a platform of their choice and get a Mass Effect 3 T-shirt for bragging purposes for when they’re in public. As you can guess, there were many envious gamers in the room, myself included. Royal also informed everyone about their current competition in which the winner will get 1 game each month for 12 months. Yes, that’s 12 games in total. All you need to do is sign up for their Gaming Newsletter before the 31st of January at www.takealot.com .

The special guest of the evening was Brad Pidgeon, the social Media and community manager for EA Asia Pacific, Japan and South Africa. Brad started off by showing a trailer for their upcoming game, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. He atated in his presentation that: “This is what Fable should have been”. He’s able to say this due to the fact that he worked at Microsoft for eight years prior to working at EA. He explained EA’s plan to listen to both the good and bad from their community and grow from the suggestions. It may sound like all talk but if Pidgeon is planning many return visits, there may be some hope.

The room then lit up when Pidgeon showed us a trailer of Mass Effect 3. Needless to say, there were a lot of BioWare and Commander Shepard fans in the house. Also, not wanting to be outdone by Royal’s N7 giveaways, Pidgeon intends to send an EA hamper for the next 2up Gamers event on the 2nd of March. Ooh, ooh, pick me, pick me! Pidgeon is also keen to see some local events like game tournaments happening with the best players competing with each other in games such as FIFA.
To end his presentation, Pidgeon showed gamers the latest trailer for The Sims 3: Showtime Expansion Pack, featuring Katy Perry. Many a gamer was offering applause after the trailer; not at all shy of their love for The Sims.

Bianca Mcfadyen and Ralph Spinks from EA South Africa were also present at the event and mixed with the gamers in attendance. El33tonline made the trip once again, but this time in the form of Lisa Konigkramer and Oliver Snyders. They handed out some goodies once again. Don’t you just love their generosity? Shortly after the talks, people went off and socialised, played games and had some yummy pizza, which arrived shortly after. The food also didn’t last long after the mountain of Pizza was attacked… These were some really hungry people.

All in all, the event was great. New friends were made and loads of laughs were had. These events just keep growing and growing; it’s clear to see why. See you all on the 2nd of March!

Into Twitter?

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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.