A MAZE. Games and Playful Media Festival Johannesburg

In September Ben, Regina and I headed up to Joburg for the now-annual A MAZE. festival. A shoot off from the original Berlin festival, founder Thorsten Storno has done a great deal to elevate the local game scene onto the global stage, and for young South African devs, this has become the calender event of the year.

Having met up with Thorsten in Berlin earlier this year, I also contributed an article to the conference publication on jamming as an inclusive methodology for creativity.

Before the official conference started Thorsten, along with some international game devs, myself, Regina and Ben headed through to Alexandra to go conduct a game jam. Although the jam didn’t go as smoothly as predicted, we did learn many lessons through doing.

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Then over two days, we attended talks, played a variety of games on the main floor, the VR passage, the experimental foyer and the sex games dungeon. The selection of games were super impressive, and given that most of them were locally conceptualized and realized, they signalled a bright future for the South African games industry.

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Braamfontein is also just one of the coolest neighbourhoods for any kind of event, and myself and my friends were lucky to experience the buzz of the city from hotels that were located a spit away from the venue.

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Along with leading a panel discussion on inclusivity and diveristy in games (with Richard Pieterse, Alicia Contestabile, Hanli Geyser, and Regina Kgatle)

To end it all off, Ben, Peter and Richard treated Jozi to a Braam-incarnation of Super Friendship Arcade!

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