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rAge: Home coding is hot

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The global video games market is worth almost $100 billion, making it a great reason for local indie studios to develop their own games and showcase them at rAge.

With the global video games market worth almost $100 billion, and Africa, Europe and the Middle East contributing $23.5 billion to the pot, it’s clear that gaming is good business. This alone is a great reason for local indie studios to develop their own games and showcase them at rAge, via the popular home_coded stand. They’re doing it with heart too, because some of the local developers are not only interested in their sharing passion for gaming, but are also giving back to some seemingly unlikely local causes.

Mattador Starfish is a local game development studio focusing on bringing sustainable change to people’s lives. The company will be showcasing its first game, Codex Knights. It’s a 3D action-RPG/puzzler designed to encourage and promote reading across all ages, but it’s particularly aimed at kids and teenagers. Codex Knights is being designed to immerse you in the worlds of fantastical books, where the participants can explore these worlds and interact with the characters and events in the book. Exciting news is that one of their first books is focused on a South African classic – Jock of the Bushveld.

Another exhibitor, Givit Game Studios, will be officially launching its first commercial release at rAge, titled The Adventures of Sam Carlisle: The Hunt for the Lost Treasure. Two years in the making, and featuring the musical talent of Pieter Smal and the voice of South African actor Deon Coetzee, this game raises awareness on Alzheimer’s, as the main character suffers from the disease. As the game progresses, he can’t distinguish between reality and fiction. The developers will be donating a portion of earnings from the game to a relevant charity.

home_coded veterans Celestial Games will once again be at the expo. Exciting news for visitors is that this year Celestial will be doing “live game development” on their stand. Visitors will be encouraged to participate in an experimental and innovative approach to game jamming, which will involve audience engagement platforms such as an active hashtag and a suggestion wall for visitors to draw, write and scribble on. Visitors can contribute ideas, criticisms and content that will potentially feature in the game. This interactive model facilitates a “living game”. You’ll be able to track its progress and evolution throughout the weekend, and the game will inevitably change and adapt as audience contributions are implemented.

Another local developer bringing the awesome to rAge is Robot Wizard. The company recently had a successful trip to Gamescom in Germany, and now the time has arrived for local fans to get their hands on Jengo! For the first time on African soil, Jengo’s Gamescom demo will be playable at rAge, which will also give attendees the opportunity to share their thoughts on the game with its developers. In addition to this, rAge visitors will also be able to audition for a chance at becoming the voice of Jeff, the game’s protagonist, when Robot Wizard launches #FindingJeff at the show.

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

Use the page links below to continue reading about Tan’s visions.

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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 entries 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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