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Time Travel Tuesday: Looking back at rAge 2006

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El33tonline launched into the virtual world in September 2006. Little less than a month later the four members of our team set out on a roadtrip to Johannesburg to attend the rAge expo. It was our first rAge, and we were excited to experience this South African gaming expo which we had heard so much about. Of course we were also excited to share news and photos from the event with our readers, and with my first press pass in hand I took the role of media as seriously as I do today.

The Xbox 360 launched in South Africa around that time, and as a result Microsoft ensured the Dome was dominated with Xbox 360 advertising. The publisher’s stand in the centre of the space glowed green from every corner, while a massive green power circle hung above gamers’ heads. We also attended an Xbox 360 launch party one night, where trapeze artists dazzled us and green Xbox logos and lazers lit up every corner of the Dome, while green glow sticks lined arms of attendees.

Xbox 360 launch at rAge 2006

Xbox 360 launch at rAge 2006

Xbox 360 launch at rAge 2006

Xbox 360 launch at rAge 2006

Attending rAge for the first time blew my mind, being at an event with the different publishers showcasing their games and wandering the booths on show to gawk at various anime, figurines, gaming T-shirts and more seemed like a dream come true. Just being among people who are as passionate about gaming as I am was awesome, and an experience that I still enjoy to this day. It’s been 7 years since the first time I walked through those doors at rAge, and it’s still just as exciting today as it was in 2006.

One of the memories I have of the event is winning a mini-tournament for Dead or Alive 4. Even though I was nervous about going up on the main stage and competing in a game I had never played before, I still remember how excited I was when I won. Pity the prize bundle included a copy of FHM and a variety of assorted products (like shaving cream!) that my male gaming counterparts would enjoy. Clearly the tournament organisers had never thought a girl gamer would participate, and win! Who would have thought that seven years later I would be a guest speaker in Sony’s panel discussion on Augmented Reality on the main stage, and still be just as nervous!

Proudly rocking the first El33tonline T-shirt and my first media pass

Proudly rocking the first El33tonline T-shirt and my first media pass

We also enjoyed a Nintendo DS get together in 2006, where we met up at the food court with other DS players to enjoy a few rounds of Mario Kart. This was the first time I met Graeme Selvan and Jarrod Lane, while the rest of the crowd was mostly from our monthly get togethers in Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Incidentally 2006 was also the first time I met Glenn Alexander, who just so happened to be staying at the same B & B as the El33t team. Good times!

Pete, Justin and Wayne enjoy the Nintendo DS get together

Pete, Justin and Wayne enjoy the Nintendo DS get together

Of course for the past two years I have added an exhibitor badge to my media lanyard as well, as El33tonline joined the show floor as an exhibitor in 2011 and 2012. It was yet another challenge in this career to juggle being a member of the press and an exhibitor at rAge, but we had an awesome time meeting with our readers from all over the country and I like to think we made the Dome even more rowdy with our amazing competitions that had the crowds chanting ‘33.’ That and I finally got to see the inside of the exhibitor lounge too! But that’s a tale for another day…


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