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By 18 November 2013 | Categories: news

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By Pippa Tshabalala

Pippa Picture courtesy of Adriaan Louw from we-are-awesome.com

Around mid-year it becomes very difficult to get hold of almost anyone involved in the South African gaming industry. It might seem odd considering that July/August is normally a rather dry period for videogame releases, however pretty much everyone is consumed with planning for the biggest event on the local gaming calendar – rAge.

I have never been so run off my feet that I actually couldn’t think straight by the third day.

After months of preparation, it finally culminates in a three day geek fest (I say this with fondness as I count myself among them), where every gamer, cosplayer, techie and comic book nerd in the Johannesburg area, and even some from beyond the Gauteng borders, make their way to the Northgate Dome. This to mingle with like-minded people who share a passion for videogames, tech and geek pop culture.

This year was a particularly exhausting event with so much on show that for the first time in the entire history of my relationship with rAge, I didn’t stay for the whole day on Sunday. That has never happened to me. I have never been so run off my feet that I actually couldn’t think straight by the third day.

It’s all with good reason of course. Along with a number of big titles on show such as Batman: Arkham Origins and Assassins Creed IV, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both made an appearance ahead of their international releases, and gamers were frantic to get their hands on these impressive pieces of hardware. Even with the controversy surrounding Xbox One in recent months, Microsoft South Africa did a great deal to win over consumers, and I wouldn’t count them out of the game just yet.

You would think of course, that once rAge was over, things would go back to normal. Distributors would start responding to your mails again, meetings would be easier to set up.

Wrong. 2013 is a big year for the gaming industry in all respects, and ahead of the ‘switch’ to next-gen, developers are frantic to not only get out their next-gen titles on launch, but also to sell their current-gen titles before they become obsolete.

I’m not actually complaining about the craziness however. This is an incredibly exciting time to be in videogame journalism. Not only are we seeing the launch of two incredible machines, but there are also a number of other consoles making their way into the market that offer alternatives to the mainstream commercial models.

Many of the titles on the holiday horizon are pushing narrative, visual and gameplay boundaries, which makes for an exciting lineup of games to play over December.

Personally I’m just looking for some time off where I can put my feet up, get around to playing all these games, and then start all over again in the New Year.

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