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Games to create jobs

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While the unemployment rate in South Africa was at its highest in Q1 of 2015, the gaming industry increased by 5%, evidence that there are some sustainable careers in creating games.|While the unemployment rate in South Africa was at its highest in Q1 of 2015, the gaming industry increased by 5%, evidence that there are some sustainable careers in creating games.

While the unemployment rate in South Africa in the first quarter of 2015 was at its highest level since 2003, employment in the SA game development industry has increased by 5%, which shows great potential when a number of other industries are showing signs of economic strain. As a relatively small industry, the growth in its estimated value has been phenomenal with an increase of 82% during 2014 in revenue from 2013, from R29 million to R53 million.

Geoff Burrows, Founder of Zero Degrees Games, explains:  “The world of gaming, although relatively small in South Africa, is showing a steady growth rate.  This means that sustainable career opportunities are being created, as well as an increase in revenue contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Globally gaming is an industry valued at an estimated US$ 91.5 billion; with South Africa in dire need for job creation, gaming is well positioned to provide the platform.”

Geoff Burrows, Founder of Zero Degrees Games

Geoff Burrows, Founder of Zero Degrees Games

At first glance the current lack of diversity in the local game development industry looks like a major concern, with only 1% of game developers being black, and 3% representing females, yet Burrows sees this as a real opportunity for black and female developers to break into the market and radically transform where the industry is going.

This year at the annual rAge expo (9-11 October), NAG will once again be sponsoring the floor space for the home_coded stand. home_coded is an initiative that was started by NAG in November 2012 with an aim to showcase the very best in South African game development talent, and promote local growth in this exciting industry. Not only can you meet the local devs and interview them, but you’ll be able to play all their latest games that are still in development.

The digital revolution is exposing technology and programming to a wider audience than ever before, whilst creating new career opportunities. Gaming enables the youth to become involved with coding and technology at a young age, and could even transform how businesses are run in the future.

Burrows explains how rAge and NAG are helping develop future game developers:  “The floor space for the home_coded stand is provided at no cost, and NAG has also secured stand construction and basic facilities like lighting and electricity at minimal cost. The rest is up to the local game developers! This is not only a great marketing opportunity for the developers, but a chance to see what it’s like to have a “real” booth at a big gaming show: they have a 2x2m stand to do with what they choose. This initiative is aimed at driving local talent and creating an environment where all of our demographic groups can come together, learn together, and drive this industry into the future.”

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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