In a world dominated by technology the latest and fastest growing gaming trend can surprisingly not be found on PS4 or XBOX One. That’s right, the biggest world-wide boom in gaming right now is not happening on your flat screen, but on your dining room table!
Over the past few years board-, card-, miniature- and collectible games have taken the world by storm. Gone are the days of staring solo at a screen, or talking to your friends over a headset, this time round it’s face-to-face, across a board, from behind a hand of cards or staring each other down across a landscape of painted miniatures or coloured dice.
It’s gaming redefined, gaming that reinvents the platform it all started on and does so in a way that unites every human’s need for social interaction with every gamer’s need for full immersion into another world – a world where you are the marine, the warrior, the detective , the wizard, the general or even the villainous mastermind.
In South Africa three companies have worked tirelessly to bring about awareness and growth in the table top gaming culture – Blowfish Entertainment, Boardgames SA and Skycastle Games – and with great success to boot. This year, at rAge 2015, for the first time, these three companies are officially announcing their synergy and intent to partner in various ways to promote and grow table top gaming in South Africa.
The first of many initiatives is the UNPLUG YOURSELF Campaign, with its official launch at rAge 2015 – a campaign that will form the bedrock upon which these three companies intend to build awareness for this exciting gaming phenomenon. The campaign will build into the future with a dedicated website, a Facebook page and various initiatives at conventions and events nationwide that are geared at getting people all over the country to play more games – unplugged.
Part of the future campaign will also be geared at working with eligible retailers to enhance in-store experience of table top gaming, with incentives that will draw gamers into stores to have unique social and competitive experiences. With a philosophy of “but is it fun?” UNPLUG YOURSELF aims to leave a trail of enjoyment wherever it goes!
At rAge 2015 UNPLUG YOURSELF will provide you with tons of demo space to try out a wide variety of new and old games, take part in tournaments, get special deals, buy the latest games and even get free stuff!
The campaign hopes to tear down the misconception that table top gaming is boring, difficult or somehow sub-par to electronic gaming:
“UNPLUG YOURSELF is all about a gaming revolution, redefining perceptions and bringing change – about opening people’s eyes to a new world and a fresh way of gaming,” says Skycastle Director Eugene Vermeulen.
“It’s not a substitute for electronic gaming, but an addition, a completion even, and many electronic gamers are embracing its unique flavour into their gaming culture. Whether it’s Settlers of Catan, Magic: The Gathering, Heroclix, X-Wing, Ticket To Ride, Ascension, Dice Masters or a host of other games that are currently taking the world, and South Africa, by storm; the fact is, table top gaming is here to stay and it’s no longer a second rate substitute, but a platform where some of the most innovative advances in gaming in the world are currently being made.”
It’s fitting that the UNPLUG YOURSELF Campaign is situated right at the heart of the rAge exhibition space, because table top gaming has always been where gaming life originated, and where the UNPLUG YOURSELF collaborators believe it’s returning to.
So what exactly does UNPLUGYOURSELF hold for the future? The three collaborators remain tight-lipped with a “watch-and-see” glint in their eyes, but if rAge 2015 is anything to go by the future is looking bright for UNPLUG YOURSELF and table top gaming in South Africa.
Why not try something different at rAge this year? Play some games. Unplugged.