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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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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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