RAge Expo 2018: Gaming, Technology and No Cosplay

RAge Expo 2018:

Expectations and Nostalgia:

I’ve been attending the annual rAge Expo event for the past thirteen years; every time it feels like coming home to something fun, geeky and exciting. A place where I can be myself and geek out and just enjoy gaming and gadgets with other fantasy freaks and gaming geeks. 

Each rAge Expo is different, and in the past, it’s been noted as always having unique problems and challenges, however, I think out of all the rAge Expos, there has never been so much resting on the 2018 edition’s success.

Comic-Con Africa: Is rAge Expo still Relevant?

With Comic-Con Africa injecting a renewed competitive spirit in the popular culture and geek community, there has been a lot of conversation around the viability of rAge Expo and related events in South Africa like ICON and GeekFest in the future.

Comic-Con Africa was a resounding success, and it began rose the question: is rAge Expo still relevant?


RAgeExpo2018 by Michelle Lubbe

rAge Expo 2018 Organisation and Management:

Overall, like every year, rAge Expo is extremely popular; thousands swamped the parking lots and queued down avenues outside the Coke-cola Dome in the west of Johannesburg to get wave their gaming geek flag high! #rAgeExpo2018

Unlike previous years, for a lot of us, there was an expectation of excellence for the organization and management of rAge 2018. It needed to live up to heightened expectations developed from the efficiency showcased by Comic-con Africa. It did, in waves and spades and across each aspect of the show!

Human Traffic Problems:

Yes, I did feel that there’s a human traffic problem like there is every year, but there’s only so much you can do when there are almost 30 000 people coming to your event in two days.

Walking into the venue, you did feel that the organizers considered the people coming to the show and previous complaints of lines and queues. Including tensile shade structure that was a welcome feature at Entrance 3. Probably developed for the new NAG LAN area, but, welcome never the less.

The World of Xbox and other Exhibitors:

Queues do remain an issue, with hundreds of bodies waiting to test out the newest games and releases like Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider or Tom Clancy’s Division 2! But, that’s to be expected when Xbox South Africa creates one of the biggest and most engaging exhibits ever in Africa! 

Exhibitors and big names like Xbox South Africa, MSi and EveTech definitely did what they could to reduce lines and lane blockage, but, this was much of a muchness, and in most cases, worth the wait; the experience was phenomenal!

The World of Xbox rAgeExpo 2018

The World of Xbox by Thabiso Moloi

Managing rAge Expo 2018:

Overall; a well run and established show was put on at rAge Expo; the right brands attended, although in diminished number, and the right people came out to enjoy the day.

rAge Expo 2018 brings back Gaming and Technology

rAge Expo has quickly trickled down back to its core roots: Gaming and Technology, and it’s apparent that a large volume of the other subsets of geek culture has slowly been pushed out to more niche events like Comic-Con Africa or RUSH.

ESports and Cosplay are slowly diminishing at rAge Expo, and that’s a good thing! rAge can then focus on what it’s good at: Gaming and Technology.

The World of Xbox:

Traditionally, I’ve not felt Xbox South Africa put too much effort into their stands at rAge Expo. Their presence was always half-hearted or mediocre; only present because Playstation was present, no effort really made.

However, at rAge Expo 2018, I’m pleased to see that Xbox took their show to the next level; offering a range of experiences, powered by the Xbox One and every game they had in their library! From Forza Horizon 4 to Shadow of the Tomb Raider!

PlayStation Exclusives:

PlayStation; while not the beast it normal is, showcased arguably one of the top games of 2019: Marvel’s Spider-Man! It’s massive expose towering over many other stands at rAge Expo; Spider-Man is definitely the console’s show-running and it’s not difficult to see why.

Blowing your whole Wad:

Some brands don’t seem to have the budget anymore!

It feels that some technology brands had blown their entire promotional budget on Comic-Con Africa and not saved any energy for the actual gaming and technology expo: rAge Expo 2018.

Other brands like Xbox seems to have done the reverse; focusing on rAge Expo over Comic-Con Africa.

A confident and wise brand executive may have been hesitant in investing in the new and growing audience of Comic-Con Africa, while others, knew their customers and knew their audience and invested further at rAge Expo.

I would have said that both events attract a similar crowd, however; I’d be remiss to not note the distinct schism between gaming and technology geek culture and popular geek lifestyle culture. In 2019, brands like PlayStation, Xbox, OMEN and Telkom will have to decide who they’re servicing and talking to; the people of Comic-Con or the people of rAge Expo.

Spider-Man Trailer, PS4:

rAge Expo is here to stay:

rAge Expo is indeed here to stay. Unlike other events of it’s kind, it has become more than excuse to play new games and find good deals on gadgets and technology, it’s an institution for geek, gaming and technology culture in South Africa, bringing together the worlds greatest and most respected technology and gaming brands under one roof for their fans to engage and enjoy what they have to offer in the year to come.

Has rAge Expo needed to evolve since the arrival of Comic-Con Africa? Yes, of course, and that’s a great thing! Aspects of old rAge Expo; such as Cosplay and Artistry, have felt much more forced at rAge Expo 2018, feeling more like odd aliens that didn’t get off the space flight at Comic-Con Africa only two weeks earlier.

This break-away is positive though in my opinion, let Cosplay, and related sub-cultures of the geek community live and love every aspect of Comic-Con Africa, let gaming and technology live here at rAge Expo, let eSports live at RUSH, there is room for everything, but at the same time, it’s also nice that each event has developed a unique identity, audience, and consumer base.

Over being one massive rAge Expo that is everything to everyone. 

rAge Expo 2018 for me was exactly what I remembered rAge to be when I was just a wet-eared arrogant gaming teenager; gaming and tech, and this year, I loved every second of that experience.

A brief shout out and mention to LEGION by Lenovo #JoinTheLegion for sponsoring this year’s media room and to the organizers; for all their hard work in pulling off one of the most of well-run rAge Expo events in recent years.  

LEGION Lenovo #JoinTheLegion

Games Playable at rAge Expo by Glitched Africa:

Xbox One Showcase: Stand 50

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • The Division 2
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Starlink: Battle for Atlas
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy
  • Fortnite
  • Minecraft
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

PlayStation Showcase: Stand 41 and Stand 86

  • FIFA 19
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2019
  • God of War
  • V-Rally 4
  • LEGO DC Super-Villains
  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission (PSVR)
  • Firewall Zero Hour (PSVR)
  • The Persistence (PSVR)
  • VR Worlds (PSVR)
  • Track Lab (PSVR)

Apex Interactive: Stand 7

  • Darksiders III
  • PUBG
  • Fortnite
  • Super Mario Party

Megarom : Stand 74

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Evetech/MSI: Stand 71

  • Boet Fighter

Home_coded – Stand HC1 – HC18

  • Table Realms
  • Codex Knights
  • Akromah’s Tale
  • nektaar.io
  • Loot Defence
  • Curve
  • 4Pillars
  • Echoplex

Glitched Africa streamed the whole event! Check it out: