This episode, we step into the world of YouTube creators in South Africa. Chantelle Alexander (or Chani_ZA as she's better known) is not only a YouTube creator, but also one of the co-hosts for the NAG podcast. We sat down to chat to this console gamer girl about her path to geekdom and why she chose to jump into YouTube content creation.
Tayla Barter, otherwise known as Kinpatsu Cosplay, started cosplaying for the first time just over four years ago. Since then, the South African has gone on to amass over 100,000 followers on Instagram and Facebook alike, and is now looking to make cosplay her full time profession.
There's a lot going on at Release The Geek, and GeekXP in general - too much for an intro, but not enough for an hour's discussion. The answer? Our first Sub-Podcast!
Chris Jordan has built a successful career in radio broadcast, stretching back from his days at Tuks FM at university through to be the producer for 'On Air With Ryan Seacrest'. Chris is now giving back to the community, helping young announcers find their way with the first text book in South Africa that covers radio broadcasting.
You can find more information about Chris and his book 'A Word On Radio' at his website.
The esports space in South Africa has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. At the coalface was Steve Whitford, former GM of the Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL). We chatted to Steve about the origin of the DGL and some the fiscal truths behind competitive esports in South Africa.
Release The Geek hits 100 episodes! To celebrate, we throw co-host Vittorio Leonardi and The Variants Cover team of Limpho Moeti, Nas Hoosen and Greg Nell at host Les Allen to find out HIS geek origin story!
Creative parenting expert, Nikki Bush, joins us to talk about how parents can help guide their children in an ever-changing world of technology!
Nikki is THE "go to" expert when it comes to parenting in South Africa, a much sought after speaker and author who provides incredible and easy to understand insights on a very difficult topic.
Release The Geek co-host Vittorio Leonardi has always been fascinated by the strange and the bizarre and, in 2017, he'll be launching is new podcast, Urbane Myths!
This episode of RTG is a sneak preview of what you can expect from Urbane Myths. In this episode, Vittorio talks about the Vela Incident, where a Vela Hotel satellite captured a flash of something in the Southern Indian Ocean. Thing is, the Vela satellites were designed to detect nuclear explosions ...
For more from Vittorio, you should follow him on Twitter (@vittorioleo)!
As a final lead in to all new 2017 podcast episodes, we present another fantastic ICON 2016 panel, which directly links to next week's podcast - South Africa's 'go-to' parenting expert, Nikki Bush, and South Africa's 'go-to' tech advisor, Arthur Goldstuck, took to the stage to talk about how to be a tech-savvy parent in an ever changing world!
Was back in the dark times of 2016, we chatted to the 'go-to' guy of SA tech, Arthur Goldstuck, about his path to geekdom. During the chat, he mentioned he'd written a number of books about urban legends and we were keen to here more - so we organised him a panel at ICON 2016!
Join Les Allen and Vittorio Leonardi on stage with Arthur Goldstuck as we talk about South African urban legends!
You can find more about Arthur's work at the 'Legends From A Small Country' website, or follow him on Twitter (@art2gee)!
Back in June 2016, #ICON2016 brought up the topic of the seeming 'rise' of speculative fiction. Master fantasy author Raymond E. Feist and SA author Fred Strydom took to the stage to talk about the idea that spec fiction is on the 'rise' and gets to the truth behind this common conception.
We are now well into the festive season, but there are plenty of you out there who either didn't take leave or who were denied it and have now been stuck at work (hopefully, it isn't that busy at time for you). This can be an onerous time, particularly for office workers who may not have a lot going on.
To help you wile away the drudgery, the Variants Cover team has come to your rescue - there are hundreds, if not thousands of entertaining and thought-provoking webcomics out there that can help ease the passage of time. The Variants Cover team, in their ever so humble opinion, give you a raft of webcomic recommendations, along with the reasons as to why you might like a particular one based on other things you like.
With the festive season just around the corner, you're going to need help with gift ideas for the comic geek in your life (or even for yourself if you want to dip your toe into the deep comic pool). The Variant Covers team steps into the breach to help identify the best comics of 2017 to make your shopping decisions much easier!
On October 20 this year, Jordan Belamire posted an article on the Medium website detailing a recent experience she had playing the HTC Vive game QuiVr. In the game, she was 'virtually' groped and harassed by another player, moments after speaking in game - her voice identified her character as female, otherwise there would've been no way to know.
In her article, Jordan related that while she was not touched physically, she related that the groping felt just as real, and it started a heated conversation online as to the various factors around sexual harassment and sexual assault in the virtual space - can it be called sexual harassment if its virtual? What are the legal ramifications? Can someone be charged?
These are complicated concepts and questions and we needed some help to go through them, so we went to some of friends who are much smarter about these things: Avri Spilka, psycho-sexual consultant & educator and Pippa Tshabalala, our go to gaming expert, sat down with us to help us come to terms with what sexual harassment means, how this relates to virtual worlds, and how we might fix this in the future.
A note: we go to some pretty deep and dark places, and some people who may have had experiences with topics such as sexual harassment, assault and rape need to be aware of this.
Back in May this year, GeekXP managed to secure a pre-screening session of X-Men Apocalypse, and the Variants Cover team were there to enjoy the movie. Of course, being the comics fans we are, we had to sit down and dissect it, and there are some very strong feelings around the content of the movie, its relationship to canon and plenty of discussions about the X-Men cartoons.
You can find each of the Variants Cover team on social media! Follow them all on Twitter: @GregJNell, @NasWho and @JustLimpho!
Tabletop and boardgaming is on the rise around the world, and South Africa is no exception. The retail side of this industry in South Africa does have its own challenges - an unsympathetic exchange rate means we're paying more for the product, and the distance from suppliers means more expense due to shipping costs. There are also issues like regional distribution models that, while beneficial for the manufacturers, may cause additional pain for local retailers.
Earlier this year, three of the country's biggest tabletop and boardgame wholesalers, Blowfish Entertainment, Skycastle Games & Toys and Boardgames SA came together to start a brand new company - Solarpop. Eugene Vermuelen sat down with us to talk about his path to geekdom, his decision to start Skycastle and what the joining of forces of these three companies means for the gaming community and industry in South Africa.
It's November, which means progressively hairier men and NaNoWriMo: the writing initiative designed to help budding and existing authors create 50,000 words before 11.59 pm on November 30th.
In honour of NaNoWriMo, we chatted to Kelan Gerriety, author of 'Crimson Skies' and founder of Sera Blue Publishing about her path to geekdom, what made her decide to start up her own publishing company and why she decided to run a competition that could help another author get published!
Paul 'ReDeYe' Chaloner is one of the biggest names in professional esports, having hosted and broadcast from dozens of countries around the world including the US, Singapore, Australia, China and now South Africa.
Paul was in SA in January this year to promote the launch of the Telkom DGL Masters, the biggest esports competition to date in this country. Paul was back in SA at rAge Johannesburg in October to host the Finals event, which was quite the spectacle.
We managed to catch up with Paul just before he left to talk about a range of topics including his path to esports geekdom and fame, how SA esports compares to the world skill wise and who his dream broadcast team would be.
Also - a big thanks to Sam Wright and Wayne Miller for helping to make this happen.
Guy Sclanders is a Johannesburg based roleplayer who has been a GM since the age of 12 - he was not forthcoming with how many years that makes. But he's not keeping his trove of skill to himself: Guy produces a large amount of YouTube content giving advice on how to not only be a great GM yourself, but how to be a great player.
Starting October 1st, Guy and his YouTube roleplaying group the 'Bacon Battalion' launched their Patreon campaign and are already well on the way to hitting their second funding goal. Guy took time out to chat to us about his path to geekdom, which Starfleet captain he finds is the best and Bacon's journey to the magical YouTube subscription number.
An aside - we really want to thank Guy for squeezing in time for this interview: it was actually recording the night before Bacon's Patreon launch, which was a pretty stressful time. Kudos to him for taking time out for us.
ScopeX is a public outreach initiative established by the Astronomical Society of South Africa to promote interest in astronomy, telescope making and astrophotography. Scope-X 2016 happens this weekend in Johannesburg, and we chatted with the Urban Astronomer, Allen Versfeld, about the state of amateur astronomy in South Africa, the naming conventions of planetary objects (hello, George!), what you can expect to find at Scope-X and great names for supernovas.