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Goodbye friends - What I've learned in my year at GameZone

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Today marks the end of a journey I thought I'd never take. Like that beautiful girlfriend who moves over seas and all that's left is a heartfelt goodbye - exactly that. You'll always remain friends with her, and who knows, maybe one day in the future you will be together again, but for now, all you can do is wipe your tears and say goodbye. That unfortunate scenario best describes how I feel on this cold morning, my last at MWEB GameZone.

A year ago I got the message I'd been accepted for the internship at MWEB. After quitting my degree to pursue a career in gaming, I'm not embarassed to say it felt as if it was all falling apart right before this opportunity presented itself. I entered a world of gaming which far exceeded my knowledge of talking about games into a microphone. All of a sudden I was faced with issues and concerns about gaming I never even considered. Publishers, pre-orders, hype trains, #gamersgate, are just some of the things I now discuss on a daily basis. Along the way I learned a ton. I gained a much more intricate knowledge of gaming, one I will always cherish, and I'd like to share some of that with you.

The Wild Wild West

Throughout my year at MWEB I met a lot of really interesting people. I was lucky enough to attend a few meetings with important people, and after hearing them discuss gaming, I had an epiphany. Gaming in South Africa is like the Wild West. Much like prospectors chasing gold throughout the early 1800s, gaming in South Africa is a land of opportunity. All the people I met had one thing in common - passion for gaming. That passion is what drives the gears of gaming in South Africa and allows individuals like myself to continue to work in an industry which is still in it's infancy.

One thing I had to wrap my head around was marketing. Before joining MWEB I just assumed things happened, and all was fine and dandy. I was completely unaware of the processes behind hosting tournaments, running campaigns and just gaming in general. This was one of the most interesting lessons learned; how important marketing is within any industry and more specifically gaming. 

Be nice to your ISP

One aspect of my job was customer support to gaming related issues. Dealing with customers on Twitter, Facebook and Forums. I can honestly say I now have a new found respect for people who deal with customer support, especially an ISP, on a day to day basis. I'm not shy to admit I was once one of those people who would immediately jump aboard the hate train every time my internet went down, lashing out on social media. Since I've had to deal with gamers and gaming related issues I don't think I will ever behave that way again. I realized how much work goes in to maintaining a server, responding to queries, basic administration and dealing with the panic when everything falls apart.

I realize now that any issue you may have with your ISP cannot be resolved with the click of a button. I've learned that there are important processes which need to be followed when dealing with specific issues. I advise you to be nice to your ISP.

We never grow up

I thought the transition from being a student, surrounded by young people, to a working environment would be tough, but I soon realized the people I work with are almost exactly like me. The majority of our days were spend talking about gaming, girls and pretty much everything I would discuss with friends. Instead now it was with people who very easily became my friends. I realized we never really grow up. Seeing the same reactions on the faces of people nearly double my age when talking about gaming was truly an eye opening experience. Most people would think gaming speaks to a very specific generation, but what they don't realize is the appreciation a large majority of people from an earlier generation have for gaming. Even those within MWEB who were not gamers were always eager to hear what was going on in the industry, and that always made my job even more rewarding.

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My final act as Editor to Kyle, see that ninja pose ;)

Thank you

I will never be able to truly thank the guys at MWEB for what I've learned here. Never in my 24 years have I met a bunch of people so passionate and driven. They say if you love your job you'll never work a day in your life, and that has been the case over the past year. I have a new found respect for the work people in this industry do. People who fly under the radar, putting out fires and making sure the entire gaming world doesn't fall apart. I arrived with nearly nothing to offer other than a name people may have recognized, but today I leave more driven, more passionate than I have ever been. Our paths will cross again, and on that note I'd like to personally thank Brad, Desmond, Ryno and Han for the most incredible year.

Thank you, and goodbye MWEB GameZone.

Congo's Twitter | Facebook / MWEB GameZone Twitter Facebook

Switch to the ISP that prioritises your gaming traffic. Simply switch your ADSL line and data to MWEB by selecting theADSL line speed and data package that suits your needs. 

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd  

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