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All posts by Pippa Tshabalala: Columnist

Pippa Tshabalala: Columnist
Pippa Tshabalala is the former presenter of The Verge -- South Africa's first locally produced TV show on videogames. She has a passion for all things gaming and tech related as well as a growing collection of tattoos. Based in Johannesburg, she is currently the On-Air Producer for Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Nicktoons. Find her @unexpectedpippa on Twitter or at unexpectedpippa.co.za.
  • Prepare to be A MAZE.d at indie, alt game expo in JHB

    A MAZE. Johannesburg, an offshoot of the original A MAZE. festival in Berlin, is now in its sixth year and going from strength to strength. It's partnered with the Fak'ugesi festival and features a host of game makers, digital artists, musicians, researchers and coders, all engaged with the subject of play -- the driving force behind the festival. Since its inception in Berlin, A MAZE. now interacts with creative events in a number of festivals all over the world, including Croatia, Romania, Palestine, Cuba, Kosovo, Ukraine, Russia and of course South Africa. A MAZE. Berlin takes place in April and A...

  • Better late than never: Pippa’s E3 2017 diary

    E3 came and went quite some time ago. But with Cape Town's own EGE having come and gone, now's a good a time as any to take a look back. And what better way to look back than reading Pippa Tshabalala's E3 diary, having attended the week-long extravaganza herself? My first entry in a while Dear Diary, Sorry I haven't written in a while, but I've been REALLY busy. There's just so much going on at the moment, but something very exciting happened to me today however and I just had to tell someone! I was asked to go to E3 by the organisers...

  • Are games easier or are we just lazier?

    I have a conundrum. I'm trying to decide if games are getting easier or if we're just getting lazier. If you don't really know what I'm talking about -- I'm old, ok? I remember games that required you to type in commands in order to make the character do anything. It was worse when you were trying to type fast because something was chasing you… Opne doro. Open dor. *Damn it!* Open door. You open the door. King's Quest IV I remember games that didn't give you a map, or a guide to where you were supposed to go next,...

  • Switch it up: here’s what’s good and bad about the Nintendo Switch

    The Nintendo Switch, the newest console on the market, has hit our shores and by its marketing campaign alone has certainly turned heads. But is it everything it's cracked up to be? It's innovative and exciting certainly but can it hold its own against its competitors. We rounded up the three best and three worst features of the Switch as it launches in South Africa. The Good 8 console local multiplayer You have to admit that's pretty awesome. You can sync up to eight consoles to play both competitive and cooperative multiplayer and while it's not unique to the Switch it also has...

  • eSports in 2016: the lists and figures you should know

    I've written before about eSports, but the thought occurred to me the other day -- apart from the obvious Counter Strikes and Call of Duty titles -- how many other eSports games do you actually know? I'm certainly not an expert but I am familiar with all the games on the lists below and I was surprised by some of the findings. If you're an ardent fan, then you've likely spent some time watching eSports matches on platforms like Twitch so you're probably more in the know there, but there are a number of factors to consider when looking at the...

  • LEGO Dimensions [PS4] review: the next big thing, or passing fad?

    Is LEGO Dimensions the next big thing? Well it's certainly the next thing that's going to bankrupt me! The Toys to Life concept isn't a new one. My eldest son for example is obsessed with Skylanders, and although he never really got into Disney Infinity, he absolutely loves LEGO so it seemed like a logical fit. In fact it was a huge hit. So much so that I'm planning his Xmas list around LEGO Dimensions add-ons. You'll need to follow instructions in order to build your pieces -- some of these are physical instructions and others are unlocked once you start...

  • eSports, rAge and the development of South African competitive gaming

    When I was growing up there was no such thing as competitive gaming or eSports. Video games? You grew out of them when you became an adult. LOL! I wouldn’t have a career if it weren’t for video games, and I have no doubt that if anyone had come to me and told me I could play games professionally as a sport, I would have practised a hell of a lot harder! The great thing now of course is that these things are a reality. You can get your South African colours in vidya gamez. For realzies. And a couple of weekends...

  • Ode to Spring: 6 fun games oozing with new life

    Spring is well and truly here. In fact, even before we hit the 1st of September, the cold was becoming a distant memory and not only could we feel it, but the plants had a pretty good idea about it too! Luckily for you this isn't a musing on the seasons, but rather a tribute to the onset of Spring in the best way we know how -- by listing our favourite video games that incorporate amazing landscapes -- the most iconic symbol of Spring. Flower Released in 2009 on PlayStation 3, this is probably one of the most beautiful indie...

  • Inside, The Witness & more: Pippa’s 8 best indie games of 2016 (so far)

    We know all about the big titles, with marketing material splashed all over our screens, magazines and billboards. But what about the hidden gems? The indie titles with smaller budgets but just as much heart (sometimes more). Have a look at the list to the best indie games of the year so far. The Witness The Witness comes from Braid developer Jonathan Blow (which means you know it’s going to be mind-bendingly challenging). It’s a first-person puzzle adventure game, in which you explore an unnamed island. You also uncover mazes which you must solve in order to continue and unlock subsequent puzzles,...

  • Overwatch, Uncharted & Dark Souls: the 10 best games of the year (so far)

    We are now half way through the year -- can you believe it? It always kind of sneaks up on you, and in this industry, the games that you thought were so far away from release are suddenly upon you, taunting you with their price tags… There have however been some pretty spectacular ones so far, and this is that list! Overwatch Honestly, Overwatch is not particularly original. It’s a multiplayer FPS with some standard archetypes. It is however, a ridiculous amount of fun! The cartoon styling looks beautiful, the action is fast paced and actively promotes teamwork. DOOM DOOM has a long history...