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rAge gears up for geekery and great escapism

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The really Awesome gaming expo (rAge) returns to Johannesburg on 7 to 9 October, offering visitors a range of competitions, eSports tournaments, exhibitions, industry guests, and panel discussions.

The really Awesome gaming expo (rAge) promises a “galaxy of everything that is geek” at the Ticketpro Dome in Northgate bear Johannesburg from 7 to 9 October. The expo has evolved over the years to become a spectacular event attended by tens of thousands of people who descend on the Dome for three days of gaming, technology, gadgets and geek lifestyle entertainment.

Returning for its fourteenth year, rAge Expo is SA’s biggest video game, technology and geek culture event. Suitable for the whole family, rAge offers visitors an unrivalled experience that includes competitions, eSports tournaments, exhibitions, industry guests, and panels. Celebrating gaming and popular culture, the expo caters for casual fans and dedicated gamers alike.

Tyhe organisers have provided the following overview of the highlights:

eSports

One of the main attractions at rAge this year is the three eSports tournaments. Visitors will be able to spectate all 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

The Telkom Digital Gaming Championship (DGC) will also be happening over the weekend, where 500 of the best competitors from seven online leagues have been invited to take part in the VIP LAN.

 

Computers, Hardware & Gadgets

·         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 be showcasing 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 be hosting overclocking workshops throughout the course of the weekend on stand 29.

 

Animation & Motion Suits

·         The Learn 3D Computer Animation School will be running competitions based on games that Learn 3D students have developed this year, as well as showcasing a new motion capture suit called the Perception Neuron.

 

Geek Culture & Lifestyle

·         Sera Blue will be launching their new book Relative Scale – an anthology written by Abi Godsell.

·         Cosplay workshops 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.

·         Hot 91.9 FM will be broadcasting live from the expo. Visit their stand for old-school classic arcade games and Scalextric toys, as well as branded merchandise.

 

Virtual Reality

·         Blue Ocean VR will be showcasing both VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality).

·         The Virtual Space will be running VR demos on their stand. The demos will include 360-degree video, interactive games and educational apps.

 

Games

·         The following games will be showcased on the Megarom stand (stand 52):  For Honor, Steep, 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.

·         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.

·         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.

·         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.

·         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.

 

Competitions & Giveaways

·         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 stage from 10-11am on Saturday.

·         The sixth annual rAge Cosplay Competition will be hosted on the cosplay stage on Sunday from 2-4pm.

·         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 1:30pm on Friday 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 Expo is shaping up to be an unmissable event for geeks and gamers everywhere, with a long list of activities, AAA games and specialty stages to keep the whole family entertained. Tickets are still available, so make sure you book yours now!

 

For more information on rAge, please visit www.rageexpo.co.za.

 

Event Details:

Dates: 7 October – 9 October 2016
Show times: Friday: 10:00-18:00 | Saturday: 09:00-18:00 | Sunday: 10:00-16:00
Day ticket: R120 per person (Tickets available at the door or via Ticketpro outlets)
Weekend ticket: R300 per person (Tickets available at the door or via Ticketpro outlets)
Kids under 6: Free
Venue: Ticketpro Dome  | Cnr Olievenhout Avenue and Northumberland Road | Northriding, Johannesburg | GPS: 26 03’48.39”S / 27 56’35.54”E

 

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AppDate: Shedding light in our times of darkness

SEAN BACHER’S app roundup highlights two load-shedding apps, along with South AfriCAM, NBA 2K Mobile, Virgin Mobile’s Spot 3.0 and SwiftKey.

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Load Shedding Notifier

With all the uncertainty about when South Africans will next be plunged into darkness by Eskom, the Load Shedding Notifier tries its best to keep up with Eskom’s schedule. The app is very simple to use. Download it, type an area in and click the save button. The app automatically tells you what load shedding stage Eskom is on, the times you can expect to start lighting candles and for how long to burn them.

Multiple areas can be added and one can switch between the different stages to see how each one will affect a certain area.

A grid status is also displayed, showing how strained the country’s electrical network is.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

EskomSePush Load Shedding App

EskomSePush does much the same as the Load Shedding Notifier, but allows multiple cities to be tracked. However, they may just want to rethink the name of the app if they want wider respectability.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

South AfriCAM

South AfriCAM enables users to add branded stickers and frames from popular lifestyle magazine titles to their posts, including Huisgenoot, YOU, Drum, Move!, TRUE LOVE, Women’s Health and Men’s Health. 

In the process, they can earn JETPoints for their social influence: through the app’s built-in JET8 social currency, users are rewarded for their engagement. For every in-app like, comment, and share, users earn JETPoints, which can be used to redeem products online or over the counter across more than 2 500 retail stores in South Africa. Users are additionally awarded JETPoints for cross-posting onto external social media networks.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

Click here to read about console quality graphics on a mobile phone, Virgin Money payments made easier, and an app that redesigns the keyboard.

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Drones to drive
Western Cape agritech

Aerobotics is set to change how farmers treat their crops by using drones and machine learning, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The Western Cape is poised to be a hotbed of innovation in the agritech sector, with drone piloting set to playing a major role in in the tech start-up scene.

This is the view of Tim Willis, chief operating officer of pioneering drone company Aerobotics, a Cape Town drone company recognised as a world leader in agritech.

“Drone piloting is a key skill that feeds into the value chain of the budding 4th Industrial Revolution,” said Willis. “Cape Town and the Western Cape is uniquely positioned to be the melting pot for innovation in the agritech sector, as a leading agricultural exporter and a hub for creative tech start-ups.”

He was speaking at AeroCon, a drone expo organised by Aerobotics and held in Johannesburg this week aimed at providing opportunities for drone pilots to apply their skills in South Africa, and to show how drones are being used to collect data on crops. 

The event was supported by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), Wesgro, PROMMAC, MicaSense, and Rectron, among other

“We’re starting to sign up farmers across the country,” said Willis. “It’s exciting because farmers are starting to use drone technology on their farms. When a farmer wants a drone flown, they want it flown [now] so it’s important for us to capture that data as quickly as possible to show that drones are fast and effective.”

According to aerobotics, drone technology can help farmers reduce pesticide use on their crops by up to 30%. The result is environmentally friendly farming, reducing stressed crops and a healthier harvest. 

“We use aerial imagery from drones to recreate a 3D model of every single tree on a farmer’s orchard,” said Willis. “We’ve done this for millions of trees and it starts to give the farmers metrics of what they’re doing. We provide them with the health of the trees, the height, the volume, the canopy area, which enable the farms to make decisions on what to do next.”

Click here to read more about AeroCon and what it offers to those wanting to get into the drone industry.

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