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DBNGamers Level Up Report: One year in the making

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One city. Three venues. Twelve events. Two hardware launches. It’s been an incredible year for the DBNGamers community and this past Friday evening’s meet-up was fittingly the biggest and best event yet. We celebrated our one-year anniversary in style by hosting Nintendo South Africa at Waxy’s as they launched the brand new Wii U console in Durban and provided us with some hands-on time with this innovative platform.

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More than 78 people packed into Waxy’s making this our most popular DBNGamers meet-up yet. We once again occupied the outside deck at Waxy’s and the air was charged with an electric atmosphere as we all chatted away, munched on delicious pub grub, and played the Wii U at one of two game stations that were running New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land respectively.

Mandy (aka Princess Peach) from Nintendo South Africa and Jay from Core Group (the official distributors of Nintendo products in SA) attended the event and brought along the Wii U demo units as well as sponsored some awesome prizes including a Wii U Basic Pack worth R4000!

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EA South Africa and Apex Interactive once again showed their support for DBNGamers by providing thousands of rands worth of prizes while Afrihost supplied a stack of ADSL vouchers so attendees wouldn’t be without bandwidth over the festive season.

Of course El33tonline also came to the party by supplying gaming stands and TVs to complement the two Wii U demo units, as well as goodie bags for a few lucky winners. El33tonline’s Editor-in-Chief Lisa even baked us all an awesome cake to celebrate DBNGamers’ first birthday party. Thanks Lisa – it was yummy!

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The queues at each Wii U demo station were fairly lengthy as you had to play at least once to be eligible to win prizes. Once you had played you received a number from a green or orange ticket book and the stub was then dropped into a large box to be drawn later in the evening. Initially Oliver was manning the multiplayer sessions that were taking place at the New Super Mario Bros. U stand while I watched over the singleplayer sessions of the Takamaru’s Ninja Castle attraction in Nintendo Land. All the participants seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves and the look of intense concentration on some of their faces as they swiped the Wii U GamePad to fling throwing stars at the nimble ninjas in Takamaru’s Ninja Castle was very entertaining!

During the event Mandy shared some details about the Wii U and explained how the console’s GamePad represents something new in the gaming landscape. She also gave us some tips on how not to brick the Wii U when installing system updates.

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Later in the evening prizes were handed out to dozens of attendees, with one particularly lucky individual walking away with a Wii U. Some of the games given away included the Mass Effect Trilogy, Game of Thrones, Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Two Worlds II.

After this Oliver commandeered the mic and thanked Pieter, Mathew, Wayne and Lisa for all they have done for DBNGamers over the past year, and presented them with cards that had been passed around and signed by many of us earlier in the evening.

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At around 10PM ZombiU replaced New Super Mario Bros. U on the one demo station and it wasn’t long before an impenetrable crowd had gathered around it and was baying for zombie blood!

About an hour later DBNGamers Level Up drew to a close leaving many epic memories in the minds of those who attended this anniversary event.

Thanks to Nintendo SA, EA South Africa and Apex Interactive for providing an amazing line-up of prizes, and to Afrihost for supplying a generous dose of free bandwidth vouchers.

Special thanks must go to Pieter and Mathew for all the hard work and dedication that they put into these DBNGamers events, and to my fellow El33tonline p33ps who arrive early and leave late to help set up the venue and who ensure that each meet-up runs as smoothly as possible.

Here are some photos from the event, with more to follow in another post:

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