One of the perks of my job, aside from getting to work with some of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever met, is that sometimes I am lucky enough to make the guest list for an exciting gaming event or two. Friday was one of those lucky times and I was able to attend the 2upgamers May event at Trinity nightclub in Cape Town.
2upgamers is an organisation described thus by their Facebook page:
2upGamers aims to unite all gamers for a chance to engage with industry leaders & talk about gaming & showcase their latest titles in the most casual of environments on the second Friday of each month.
I had a great time. These are some of my jottings and photographs from the evening (courtesy of Zombiegamer):
I walk up a flight of metal stairs into a lush red-carpeted entryway that offers a magnificent view and makes me feel fancy. A giant bouncer watches as I I get my entry stamps. The one entitling me to food imprints a golden snitch onto my arm which makes me feel happy.
Inside, the amount of and calibre of tech gives me an e-boner.
While waiting for the event proper to begin, I sit with my colleagues. Bradley makes me cross by answering all my questions with questions. I feel that he should consider a career change and become either a psychologist or a torturer.
The girl sitting next to me tells me she likes my new furniture. I do not realise she is making a joke about being a stalker and get a fright as I have just changed my curtains and do not understand how she knows.
A lone hipster furtively pays his entrance at the door while a gender-neutral cosplayer looks bashful and hides behind the paying table. As I watch people trying not to look self-conscious while they play with the PS3 Move, I begin to wonder if the awkwardness I am seeing in the social interaction going on around me is in fact a projection of my own social inadequacies. In an effort to resolve this issue, I head to the bar where I am told that if I buy five shots, I will get five free. The evening is clearly about to get interesting.
Sad and angry rock music plays in the background, evoking bittersweet memories of my teen years. Linkin Park is a dark and twisted 16 year old.
We are then treated to a selection of speeches by important folk in gaming. The first talk is from Mandy Meredith, communications manager of Nintendo and Pokémon South Africa. Instead of listening to the speech and because I am terrible, I spend the next ten minutes thinking about why so many companies in the gaming industry go out of their way to have women as their representatives. I also realise the irony that I myself fall under this heading.
Cameron from Genshiken UCT, the anime and gaming appreciation society at the University of Cape Town, speaks to us about the society and its goals. Once again, I am completely distracted; this time because I realise that he looks exactly like Harry Potter and is completely adorable.
Steven Smith talks about his event Geek Pride Day that will take place on the 25th of May 2013. There will be cosplay, comics, graphic novels, gaming and board games…because we geeks “love things and we love them a lot.” This is definitely an event that I’m going to mark on my calendar, or at least try and remember in my brain (because I don’t own a calendar).
Fallen Lobotomizers’ (FLS) Sovereign and Beanibility, winners of the Do Gaming League Gears of War 3 Cup, tell us about the importance of team chemistry as an aid to victory.
Cape Town Cosplay gives us a crash course in Cosplay 101 and treats us to a dance routine
Brad Kirby of MWeb says words into the microphone about cool stuff you can win from the ISP and the upcoming 1 vs 1 Black Ops II Sniper league that Gamezone plans to host. I hope that lots of people enter because I have a thing for snipers (aside from the obvious fact that it will be interesting to watch because of the levels of skill required).
I enjoy the atmosphere behind all these talks because it’s very warm and friendly. Both crowd and speakers feel comfortable enough to heckle each other.
The promised celebrities do not arrive, but they are some sports guys and thus easily disregardable for me.
2upgamers provides us with pizza. For me, it’s free and thus tastes twice as sweet. I meet a very nice and funny man named Brendan tells me that “you can taste the Halaal.” He also tells me that someone at his work has made a Twitter account that collates his amusing quotes, but unfortunately I spell it wrong when I write it down, so I hope he reads this so that he can tell you who to follow.
After I have ingested my food that was covered in delicious meat, I decide to partake of some of the gaming tournaments on offer. MWEB is hosting an Xbox FIFA ladder, which unfortunately I forget to watch, but in my defense, FIFA is a silly game. To be fair though, it’s highly possible that I don’t like it because I can’t win. FIFA is especially traumatic because my ex used to spend ten thousand hours playing it with his friends when I wasn’t there and then ten thousand hours getting mad at me because I wasn’t as good as them. It makes me feel better that I knocked him out with one punch the first time I picked up a controlly to play UFC where the same scenario was applicable.
I do watch the Gears of War: Judgement tournament going down in the Zombie Pit. These gamers’ faces lack expression entirely despite the amount of concentration they are clearly investing in the game and it makes me wonder what goes on behind their eyes as they go in for the kill. Perhaps this lack of expression is the mark of a people who are actually good. P.S. Gears of War: Judgement looks amazing fun multiplayer.
I also forget to watch the couple’s games, but there were those too. I did manage to find one very nice lady after they were complete who told me that bowling on the PS3 Move is a lot of fun and that there was one freakishly talented couple who got 400 points.
I enter the Tekken tournament because lulz and I get to Round 2 via forfeit. My first game is versus Kombokitten. I lose to her, mostly because she is really good, but also because I didn’t know that I had to use the D-pad to move my guy around and was highly confused by the fact that he remained motionless when not kicking.
I lose my second match (and chance to redeem myself) to Heilong. I told him to be gentle because I had only just figured out how to make my little man move forwards and backwards. I also decided to be adventurous and use the Tekken arcade pad provided. Turns out I am not intelligent enough to use that either. Heilong let me get in a few token beat downs and I have to say that that was very kind of him.
It’s now eleven thirty and because I am 28 and thus entitled to be lame whenever I want to, I decide to go home because I am old and decrepit and exhausted. As my final thoughts, I record that overall, this evening has been an immense amount of fun and I would definitely suggest that if you are a gamer and in Cape Town, you should attend next month’s event. What struck me the most was that this was one of the few social thingies I have ever been to where everyone I met was open and friendly and not just because they were incredibly drunk. I really enjoyed meeting the people that I did. 2upgamers set out to unite the gaming community and from my perspective, I feel that they most indubitably succeeded in fulfilling that aim.
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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd