Murmurs within the nerd world are predicting the fall of the once epic rAge (really Awesome gaming expo) in 2018. With the mammoth event that is Comic Con finally making it’s way to the African continent this September, we have to wonder if there is room for both rAge and Comic Con especially as they are within a month of each other.
From a budgeting point of view, it is questionable as to whether people will be able to splash out on both events. Not because of the ticket prices, but rather the purchase of new comics, merchandise, games and hardware that will inevitably leave everyone’s pocket a little short. Given that this is the first time Comic Con hits our shores, it is definitely the more favourable event as everyone waits in anticipation to see what they bring to the table.
But let’s assume that people have not decided yet, which one is worth the spend? Well this would depend on why you want to attend an event of this nature in the first place…
FOR THE GAMERS:
rAge Expo together with the NAG LAN BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) has been a staple in the South African gaming community for the last few years, housing over 2000 gamers who flock to the Ticketpro Dome, gear in hand (or rather trolly) to join their brethren in a collaborative sleep deprived weekend of gaming heaven.
If you were one of the unlucky folk who failed to secure a LAN ticket, rAge Expo was still a place to spend the day acquiring new hardware, games and accessories for often discounted prices. Above and beyond this, rAge played host to the Telkom VS Gaming Masters and VS Gaming Championships, which for a lot of people, is the highlight of the South African Esports calendar.
However, over the last couple of years, gamers have expressed their disappointment with the Expo’s offerings. Claiming that the items on sale were no different to those in store and had no difference in price, with little to no interactive attractions of the same level of previous years, thus making the point of spending a rAge ticket a little pointless.
In addition to this, Telkom VS Gaming have partnered up with Reedpop who are responsible for the Comic Con event in New York, and now South Africa, and have announced that the new VS Gaming Masters and VS Gaming Championships will be held at Comic Con Africa 2018. So what does this mean for the rAge Esports attraction?
The cherry on top of all of this is that Comic Con Africa will be hosting it’s own BYOC LAN, given it will only host 1500 people (500 or so less than rAge), but again, what does this mean for the future of rAge?
FOR THE COMIC BOOK FANS:
rAge has always offered the best of the local comic book circuit with all comic book and merchandise retailers offering their goods under one roof, along with signings and displays from renowned local artists. While this has always been an attraction for comic fans, Comic Con Africa has all that, as well as the extra attraction of international artists and distributors, along with guest appearances from the likes of Jason Mamoa (Aquaman) and some others that are yet to be announced.
Now, we are all for Local Is Lekker, but one can’t help but be excited for the what the international realm has to offer. Having international distributors and retailers potentially means more special edition comics and merchandise that would otherwise be very difficult to come by in South Africa. I guess we will just have to wait and see the difference in price (Dollars usually don’t translate so well).
FOR THE COSPLAYERS:
Let’s be honest, we will make any excuse to dress up as our favourite character from a comic, game, movie or series (why do you think we love Halloween so much), but for so many, cosplaying is a profession that takes months, sometimes years, of planning.
For South African’s, rAge has always strived to provide a fun and inclusive environment for cosplayers to both enjoy their hobby and to participate in highly competitive events that pave the way for the participants to compete internationally. With over 100 participants at last year’s event, it is evident that our cosplay industry is booming.
While Comic Con Africa promises the same level of competition, we can’t help but wonder how many more cosplayers will come out of the woodwork (see what I did there?) to show off their talents via an international platform.
It seems like an easy choice based on which event has more to offer, but in all honesty, if you could do both, why not?
It would be very sad to see a homegrown event such as rAge fall victim to an international giant, but Comic Con Africa definitely has our attention and we can not wait to experience it.
We would love to hear from you!
Let us know your thoughts on the matter, or tell us what you are most excited about from either event via the comments section below or via our Facebook page.
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