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Goethe-Institut opens gaming space in Joburg

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The Goethe-Institut’s Library – Gamebox – Hub is now open to the public and offers eight fully equipped workplaces to creative entrepreneurs who are working on tech-driven creative start-ups.

Including a state-of-the-art gaming facility and a creative hub with eight working spaces, the Goethe-Institut’s new Library – Gamebox – Hub is now open to the public

The Gamebox allows visitors to try out the latest from the world of video games. Currently available are seven computer games that won a gaming prize in Germany, as well as a variety of gaming consoles, an ultra-high definition screen and Virtual Reality equipment. The selection is set to be expanded and include regular curated showcases of South African, Sub-Saharan African and German digital games. Independent game developers and gaming startups can apply to make use of the Gamebox to present their ideas and products. Special events for Johannesburg’s gaming community, such as workshops and competitions, are also set to take place in the new space, for example through collaborations with the Digital Arts Department of WITS University and Fak’ugesi Festival. In partnership with the Johannesburg AMAZE Festival, a gaming breakfast with international guests will take place in September.

Situated on the gallery level of the Goethe-Institut’s new space is the hub. It offers eight fully equipped workplaces to creative entrepreneurs who are working on tech-driven creative start-ups. Interested individuals and collectives can apply to move into the hub for a defined period of six months. Additional benefits for successful applicants are organized networking events, tailored mentoring to help with their business, as well as opportunities to present their projects to the public. Projects in the field of digital games are preferred, as the Library – Gamebox – Hub focuses on this area. Joint events with existing hubs in Johannesburg are set to take place throughout the year.

The fully refurbished library space comes with an extended offer of books, magazines, films, music and children’s literature in different languages, as well as a brand new interior with lots of space for study or research. It will also continue to host the popular #LiteraryCrossroads, a series of talks where South African writers meet colleagues from all over the continent and from the African diaspora, curated by Indra Wussow and Sine Buthelezi. #LiteraryCrossroads guests in September will be Rehana Rossouw (SA) and Fiston Mujila (DRC). For the December edition of #LiteraryCrossroads, the collaboration with Abantu Book Festival will be continued.

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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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