I’m going to be honest.  I wasn’t really sure how I was going to go about this article on the 2upGamer 6th Gen event.  Usually, I have a very clear cut role in it all – I simply go along as an excited community member and write a bunch of waffle about it afterwards.  Usually said waffle is (hopefully) entertaining, informative and paints the very genuine attempts at growing the SA gaming community in a positive light.

Friday night’s 6th Gen was a very different beast for me – and for the attendees.  I was in the rather strange position of having to wear more than one cap* on the night.  For the attendees, it was a case of a new venue, a missing ringmaster, new activities and a whole lot of “Murphy”.

The move from Rygersdal Sports Club – the venue for the last few events – to Bellville Peninsula Cricket Academy appears to have split opinion right from the offset.  It should be noted that the change was not “last minute” as some appear to have suggested.  That being said, the venue still offers the space and bar that appears to be the main ingredients needed to fuel an evening of gaming related activities – as good a space as any to get the 100+ community members in comfortably.

On paper, the line-up of guest speakers and sponsored gear certainly looked to represent a good cross section of the gaming community.  These included the community project ‘Blankets for Cape Town’, Nintendo SA, Clan Connection, PC clan ASF, LG, eGamer’s FIFA tournament and the Ozone exhibition match between F34R and High 5.  Then there were the prizes – Friends of Design and their study vouchers, Springleap, Clan ASF (Gigabyte and ECS hardware) and Nintendo (and Pokemon) goodies.  All pretty good… on paper.

As mentioned, “Murphy” decided to play a very real part in the event.  The aforementioned ringmaster was approached to participate in the Top Car Guinness World Record attempt just two days before 6th Gen.  This meant the support team was tasked with setting up in an unknown venue that none had seen before.

The effect of this – whether directly or indirectly – was unfortunate.  The event kicked off later than expected.  The sound was poor in the venue.  eGamer could not go ahead with their tournament due to lack of consoles.  The monitors for both the PCs and the LAN arrived late (unfortunately this meant that set up continued well past the scheduled start of the event and contributed to more noise than should’ve been happening).  The pizza – while there appeared to be plenty of it – was not Halaal.  The power was unable to cope with the amount of hardware running off essentially one extension lead and decided to shut down as the LAN was about to kick off.

Now, it’s easy to claim that everything was a disaster – and watching Twitter that was the case for some.  On the other hand, while most agree that there were issues, they appeared more a matter of personal taste than anything else, and reassuringly a fair number of community members have accepted that – while issues happened – they still got to spend an evening with fellow community members and friends.  It’s also credit to the two clans that the match still went ahead – even though it went on later than scheduled in front of less people than expected.

Unfortunately – due to the proverbial caps worn on the night by yours truly – I didn’t get the opportunity to actually listen to any of the guest speakers until near the end.  I missed the promising and highly commendable community project ‘Blankets for Cape Town’, Friends of Design and the new game by Angry Ant Games – Vlokkie, Clan ASF and their plans for the community, Nintendo and their casual (yet no less important) games still to be released, LG and their mind-blowing new gamer orientated splitscreen TV (picture over a picture…), Clan Connection and Mweb’s new tournament…  The only thing I actually got to listen to was Ozone’s announcement of their second sponsored clan and the date of the paintball – 29 July if you’re interested in shooting a few mates on the “other” console in a real-life setting.

It should be noted, that community events are born out of a community desire, and the hiccups of the 6th Gen are more than likely going to be a distant memory when the 7th Wonder rolls around on (tentatively) 6 July.  I think that it will rock harder than AC/DC.  And you can quote me on that.

For more pictures from the event, check out our Facebook Album.

*Please note that the difficulty of reporting on this event was born out of my usual desire to write an article on the event as an outsider looking in.  With 6th Gen, I had taken an active role in helping facilitate the Ozone F34R vs. High 5 match (tests for the LAN had been run successfully two weeks earlier at Mweb’s Mcave) which was meant to be set up prior to the arrival of attendees but for the monitors.  I was also asked – and happily agreed – to assist the 2upGamers’ team with setup, placing me in a rather difficult position in writing this article.

As for the mention of “Murphy” in both this and the article about the F34R sponsorship , I am referring to “Murphy’s Law” – “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”.