Sunday, 15 April 2012

March 2012

So a lot happened in March, let's get right into it.

The girl with the dragon's heart
The dragon is a mythical creature. They are associated with wisdom, longevity and exceptional beauty. They often possess supernatural powers and some guard hidden treasure. Listening to Margaret 'Luperza' Krohn talk about gaming reminds me of just such an exceptional creature as the dragon. She possess an ethereal beauty, as if some hidden treasure pulses from within her heart. As she expertly steers her way through the interview, it becomes obvious that she has wisdom that extends far beyond her years. She enchants countless gamers with the fantasy worlds she creates and her legacy lives on in cyberspace.

The marriage of science and Starcraft
For years gamers have been looked down on as inferior nerds who have nothing better to do with their time than waste it away playing silly games. We either have to battle with biases, on the front of stereotyping gamers or we have to defend games as not being the cause for violent behavior.

But then something truly remarkable happened in 2011, science showed up for the party. The result: a match made in technology heaven between Starcraft II and the SFU Cognitive Science Lab. This partnership spawned SkillCraft, a study on the acquisition of attentional skills and expertise in Starcraft II players. Join me, as I sit down with Mark Blair Ph.D., associate professor at the Cognitive Science & Department of Psychology faculty at Simon Fraser University for a discussion about science, Starcraft II and being a geek. Read the rest of this article here.

"Raise you wrench"

I’ve been playing Team Fortress 2 (TF2) for over 4 years, and I cannot recall 1 pro engineer in African Fortress. In fact, the only thing I remember about someone playing engineer was when Crow, my teamie in ‘Cause of Death’ made this comment. During a clan match, I asked him to, “Please get the teleport up.”, and he replied, “I am known for getting my equipment up quickly’. That comment from him forever marred and set the standard for my opinion about what a good engineer is. A good Engineer gets his equipment up quickly. Read more about the Engineer here.

A look into the enchanted world of Dear Esther
I'm having some difficulty describing this game, because, in all my years of gaming, I've never played anything like 'Dear Esther.' There are no clear goals; no enemies, no tasks, you don’t even have a weapon. You cannot jump, run or interact with your environment. Instead, you wander around, you explore, you discover, you listen, and you feel. Read my opinion piece about this exquisite game here.

Extraordinary Fortress
Honoring some of the extraordinary people in the Team Fortress 2 international community, with Lazar 'Comedian' Jovic from VanillaTF2, John 'Agro' Irwin from KritzKast, Timothy 'wm' Bagheri from OzFortress and Rhys 'Greaver' Hudson from GreaverTV.

Oh my God, who touched Sasha?!
When the TF2 competitive scene started out the Heavy was the predominant and most feared class to face on the battlefield. Gameplay was much slower and maps were played that favoured this class.The players that mastered the Heavy remains well known to this day. I tracked down a man who still knows how to rev up the biggest gun in TF2,Will ‘Ruskeydoo‘ Segerman from Brighton England, read more about this Heavy here.

KLOC is here!
Meet the 12 teams and the shoutcasters for African Fortress' first KritzKast Lo-Fi Offlcass Cup. Read more about this event here.

A Sniper frenzy on Gullywash
The finals of the 16Bit TF and KritzKast Lo-Fi Offclass (KLOC) Cup was one hell of a show. Thanks to everyone who organised, played and supported this event.

That conludes a very busy March.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

February 2012

The month of February can best be described by my closing thoughts on my interview with Agro, "I feel like an adventurer that discovered a hidden treasure." Not only did we launch the 16Bit TF site, I had the honor of interviewing a few extraordinary people. Discover them with me.

'Someting big this way comes.' Meet John 'Agro' Irwin

“Agro – Not just a name; a state of mind.” – John ‘Agro’ Irwin

Grab the water buckets, sound the fire alarms, you’re about to meet John ‘Agro’ Irwin the Pyro. He will set your world on fire. Join me Lola, as I jump boots and all into the mind of this well known Arsonist from Team Fortress. Read the full interview here.

A new 3some is formed.

An interview with Matt 'fluke' Merks from PolarfluKe, Colin Webster from Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) and Lauren das Neves from New Age Gaming (NAG). These 3 organisations each took that which is their greatest strength and added it to the other's, forming a partnership that provides a professional gaming experience to its participants. They are taking competitive gaming in South Africa to greater heights, and I am excited about what the future holds for us. 

Come on baby light my fire!

 Pyro makes me fly. John Agro Irwin

16Bit TF and KritzKast threw African Fortress a TF2 party by hosting an Off-class competition (KLOC). So, in anticipation for this I’ve decided to take a closer look at some of the unsung heroes of TF2, namely the Pyro, the Engineer and the Heavy. In this article I covered the Pyro, a class known for its sexy asbestos-lined suit, its speech impediment and rockstar arsenal. 

This brings me to the end of February 2012.  Thanks to everyone who took time of their busy schedules to chat with me.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

2012 articles

So let's finish catching up. The first few months of 2012 have been challenging, exciting and full of surprises. I've met some extraordinary people and played the most exquisite games.

January 2012

When gaming partnerships work
In SA gaming partnerships are a rare occurrence. The story of Robert 'PandaTank' Botha, Colin Webster (president of MSSA) and Matt 'fluke' Merks (MD of PolarfluKe) shows us that if we put aside our prejudices it is possible to achieve what every competitive player wants – opportunities to compete at the highest level and recognition for achievements earned. Parts of this article featured in the International eSports Federation (IeSF) newsletter.

A Sith Marauder & A Trooper Commando
Star Wars the Old Republic (TOR), topped round the 1 million player milestone just three days after its launch, making it the fastest growing MMORPG. With this article I interviewed 2 Guild Masters, the trooper, Theunis 'Lillian Snowfall' Steyn and the Sith Lord, Alastair 'Tsaebgal' Bowman.

Bromance in the Theatre of Doom

I didn't know it at the time, but this would be my last article for TF2CSA as I moved over to 16Bit TF in Feb. I've had a very fulfilling and exciting time at TF2CSA, much gratitude to Razerfox and LikaLota. This article covered the finals of the very first Ultiduo for African Fortress.

Immersion in Games 
An opinion piece I did on 10 aspects of immersion in games. This piece explains why atm gaming is the fastest growing industry in the world. I did a massive amount of research on this subject, drawing from the collective knowledge of various experts in the field of gaming.

This concludes January 2012. Many thanks to Yolanda 'Lolita' Green from 'Altogether' for her editing and Chris 'Turkish' Smithard for being the most frustrating and challenging soundboard I've ever had ;)