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rAge set to dazzle Joburg

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This year’s rAge expo kicks off on 9 October at the rebranded ticket pro Dome in Northgate. rAge 2015 will boast a collection of console and PC video games, computers, technology, computer hardware for sale, virtual reality peripherals and exclusive preview events for upcoming games.

Gaming isn’t child’s play. Around the world more than half-a-billion people spend a whopping three billion hours a week playing computer and video games for at least an hour a day. According to game designer Jane McGonigal, the author of Reality is Broken, 99% of boys under 18 and 94% of girls of the same age play regularly. Gaming may not contribute the largest portion to a country’s GDP (not yet anyway), but McGonigal believes it helps build problem-solving and resilience, enhances complex learning, creates strong social bonds and improves quality of life.

Looking to test this theory? Then plunge into this dynamic world at the annual rAge mega-event, otherwise known as the really Awesome gaming expo. South Africa’s most hotly anticipated annual gaming and technology expo, and the biggest gaming gathering on the continent, rAge covers all the bases by appealing to newcomers, hard-core enthusiasts, casual gamers, young and old, futurists and fundies. For three days the world of tomorrow takes flight at the recently rebranded Ticketpro Dome at Northgate from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 October 2015.

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This year rAge will be pulling out all the stops to dazzle and enthral after claiming the title of Consumer Exhibition of the Year at the annual EXSA (Exhibition & Event Association of Southern Africa) Awards in November 2014. The Ticketpro Dome, meanwhile, picked up its 14th consecutive accolade as the Best Concert Venue in Johannesburg as well as being named Best Exhibition Venue South Africa at the EXSA 2014 Awards and Best Venue South Africa at the PMR Africa 2014 Awards, confirming that the venue is firmly entrenched as Gauteng’s best in terms of size, location and overall offering.

Organised by the creators of NAG  magazine and NAG Online (www.nag.co.za), rAge 2015 will boast a unique collection of console and PC video games, computers, technology, computer hardware for sale, virtual reality peripherals, exclusive preview events for upcoming games, behind-closed-door sessions, local game development studios, an epic 2500-seat 52-hour BYOC LAN, gaming apparel and accessories, competitive eSports events, international game developers, local artists, comics, cosplay, a packed-all-weekend-long stage schedule, and promises to cater to thousands of like-minded geeks, gamers, technology enthusiasts and everyone in between.

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It’s not just about the gaming: planet rAge is the world of tomorrow. As economist and author Edward Castronova puts it: “We’re witnessing what amounts to no less than a mass exodus to virtual worlds and online game environments.”

rAge 2015 offers a chance to escape, to play, to experience and to immerse yourself in a world which is expected to push past the US$80 billion mark in global revenue in 2015. In South Africa the video games market alone generated R2.5 billion in 2014. It’s more than just a gaming event; rAge 2015 is a must visit, a portal into the reality of tomorrow.

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www.rageexpo.co.za

Dates: 9 October – 11 October 2015
Show times: Friday: 10:00-18:00 | Saturday: 09:00-18:00 | Sunday: 10:00-16:00
Day ticket: R100 per person (tickets available at the door or at Computicket)
Weekend ticket: R250 per person (tickets available at the door or at Computicket)
Kids under 6: Free
Shuttle ticket: R80 per person return trip, Sandton Gautrain Station (tickets only available at Computicket)
NAG LAN ticket: R550 (includes free, all-weekend access to the Expo)
Venue: The Ticketpro Dome  | Corner Northumberland Road & Olievenhout Avenue | Northgate, Johannesburg

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Load-shedding leads
local searches

South Africans are searching in the dark, according to the latest Google Search trends.

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With more 1 million search queries generated in the space of 76 hours, load-shedding was by far the top trending search on Google South Africa this week.

Valentine’s Day came a distant second.

After news emerged last Sunday of the impending stage 3 load shedding, South Africans had generated more than 1-million load-shedding search queries by the time Tuesday came around:

  • “Loadshedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Eskom load shedding” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding Cape Town” – generated more than 50k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 400k on Monday
  • “Load shedding Johannesburg” – generated more than 20k searches on Monday
  • Load shedding schedule” generated more than 200k search queries on Tuesday

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, South Africans generated close to 300k search queries related to the romantic festival, including searches for quotes and gift ideas:

  • “Valentines Day” generated more than 100k search queries on Thursday
  • “Happy Valentines Day Images” and “Valentines Day Images” generated more than 10k search queries each on Thursday, with “Happy Valentines Day 2019” generating more than 20k search queries on Wednesday
  • “Valentines Day Specials 2019” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Love quotes” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Valentines Day quotes” generated more than 100k search queries and “Valentine messages” generated more than 50 000 search queries on Wednesday

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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Showmax invites
student films

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Thanks to the growing popularity of video-on-demand services, there’s a new opportunity to help kickstart the careers of local filmmakers.

Numerous Hollywood blockbusters (District 9Tomb Raider 2018, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron to name a few) have featured substantial shoots in Johannesburg and Cape Town. While providing great opportunities for SA’s production talent, aspiring writers and directors don’t get the same benefit.

So where can local creatives showcase their work? Broadcast TV isn’t a natural home for unknown short films, and while self-publishing platforms are readily available hosting options, it’s tough to get noticed and get traffic when competing with videos from across the planet.

But with the emergence of video-on-demand services into the mainstream, there’s now a solution. The African film school AFDA has teamed up with the streaming service Showmax to give local talent a much larger platform than ever before. From 18 February, eighteen of the best recent short films made by AFDA students from their Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth campuses will be live on Showmax. Drama, documentary, fantasy, and animation are all represented, in pieces running from under eight minutes to almost half-an-hour long. The full list of movies is included below.

Teresa Passchier, CEO of AFDA, said: “AFDA, Africa’s number-one school for the Creative Economy, is proud to kickstart this exciting and meaningful journey with Showmax and AFDA students, ensuring emerging young African filmmakers’ voices are heard and given a platform. It’s ground-breaking to share young, local, culturally relevant content on the same platform as Hollywood blockbusters. I am certain that this unique initiative will serve to boost and develop the African film industry and the careers of many young South African and African students alike.”

Included in the short films coming to Showmax are the award winners Junior and O-PunchaJunior, directed by Bert Dijkstra, picked up the Audience Award in the Made in South Africa Competition at the shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival Awards 2017. O-Puncha, directed by Adam Hansen, won two awards at the 5th annual Eldorado Film Festival: Best Student Made Short, and Best Editing – Alexander La Cock.

Another celebrated film is Sicela Amanzi directed by Mlu Godola, which talks to the subject of water shortage. The film’s heroine Zoleka is a mild-mannered young woman forced to go to extreme lengths when a small community’s only source of water unexpectedly collapses. The power of films like this is they shine a light on critical topical issues in new ways.

Speaking about working with the film school, Candice Fangueiro, Head of Content for Showmax, said: “There’s immense depth of filmmaking talent in Africa and it’s a privilege to be able to give that talent a home and a platform. Showmax is becoming part of the fabric of film and TV production in Africa, and importantly we’re doing this as a partner rather than just as a consumer. This is a key competitive advantage of being local and something we aim to continue to work on.”

AFDA is an Academy Award-winning institution, founded in 1994, and the first and only African film school to win an Oscar – for the Best Foreign Student film in 2006, the postgraduate film Elalini, directed by Tristan Holmes.

The full list of AFDA short films coming to Showmax is as follows:

Film titleDirectorGenre
Lullaby from the CryptKeenan Lott & Raven DavidsAnimation
Ko Ga CherenyaneSibonokuhle MyatazaDocumentary
IzilwaneKyllian RouxDrama
MallemeuleJaco Van BoschDrama
Canal StreetBrodie MuirheadDrama
On the FenceWarrick BewsDrama
The Righteous FewLindo LangaDrama
Hlogoma PeakLuke AhrensDrama
Frozen FlameCameron HeathmanAnimation
WolfBrett van DortFantasy
The Walk HomeSisanda DyantyiDrama
BearWesley RoodtDrama
JuniorBert DijkstraDrama
O-PunchaAdam HansenDrama
UmngenoSiphosethu NdungeDrama
DoreenLuvuyo Equiano NyawoseDrama
ForeverLindo LangaMusical
Sicela AmanziMlu GodolaDrama

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