Host Bios


 

rsz_1rsz_logo_-_colour_-_with_title_-_Douwrsz_logo_-_colour_-_with_title_-_Gregg

 

 

 

 

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 Bio: Douw Pretorious 

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My earliest memories of the start of my great geek journey in life are of ingenious contraptions and puzzles of TIMWin (The Incredible Machine). Many an hour was spent at home trying to work out just how to get those darn Mels into their homes with only an elastic band and bottle of Nitro Glycerin to do it. But that soon moved on to learning the codes to make fatalities easier in Mortal Kombat, the quickest route round Monaco and the patterns of those darn logs coming down the waterfall in the Lion King’s jungle level.

As I grew older I found myself spending more and more of my hard earned car washing and mp3 renaming money on games and hardware to run those games (that Voodoo 3 took forever to acquire) but soon it was that my generation’s need to get home before 4 to watch the latest Pokemon episode that lead me towards the non-video gaming side of the geeky world and I fast found myself battling the gym leaders of the Wizards in Edenvale. None would beat my super energy removal tactics, if only for the fact I would trade very well to remove the local meta for it…
By the time I hit high school a strong introduction from the likes of The Hobbit and Harry Potter lead me to a great interest in fantasy settings and when DnD 3rd ed came out and I had grouped together enough interested parties, subverted from all the Baldur’s Gate players I knew. We our first campaign and my first foray into that most dark of powers, Psionics.
By the end of high school I had tried almost every TCG I could find at my FLGS and went into uni where a chance meeting with another geek reading a Faerun novel before our maths 1 class lead me to the club that would seal me in the geeky world and introduce me to so much more than I could have thought was out there.
WARP, with its dingy ramp and rampant love of black clothing had sunk its claws into me. Before long I had found my first loved setting Eberon, new anime without dubbing and a Faerie deck that could raise curses from the most ardent of magic players and my chaos space marines, a 21st birthday gift from most of the geeks in my life. I eventually find myself as Grand Magus, a not entirely self appointed title, of WARP and now had the great responsibility of making sure future geeks could find the same joys that I had.
Around this time I finally got bit by the Con bug, joining in at Icon and since then I have participated in most of the activities on offer, even winning some events (breaking a certain all girl team’s winning streak recently with a crew of motley roleplayers in tow).
These days I find my time mainly spread between my Paladin in WoW, getting my Gundam themed tau army painted and ready for play and general consumption of all things L5R (Legend of the Five Rings), whether it be plotting my samurai’s next move in court or running the next draft tournament. Oh and I guess now co-hosting a podcast for all things geeky.

 

Bio: Gregg Barlow 

This is a Playing card version of Gregg

Back when the elves were young and I was naught but a young lad in the beginnings of his schooling, with a keen interest in reading, my grandparents bought me and my brothers the latest and greatest in gaming technology…

a Nintendo gaming console.

Pulling me and my siblings into the mystical 8-bit realms of Rockman (Or Megaman as many of you now may know him) and the ever exciting depths of the “100 in 1” cartridge and its myriad of games with its fantastic array or re-tooled knock off titles, it was all a quick and slippery slope from there. The ravenous hunger of the gamer was awakened in those dark depths and as I progressed through the standards the games became more elaborate and varied. My desire to consume more games was met with the use of desktop computing, following the evolution of the gaming world as it grew with me, until one day I stumbled across an iceberg of a game, hiding just outside my limited purview… a small little cardgame that had gone through it’s first few editions. It’s name was Magic. From then on money was plunged deep into funding the magic addiction so many of us know so well. Spending countless evenings every week at friendly local game stores in order to compete at tournaments, it was only a natural progression to start asking questions about what these strange tomes lining the stores walls were, leading to a love of pen and paper RPG’s I have yet to sate too this day.

Dungeons and Dragons!

So much mass monster killing, so many dungeons looted. New friends found, old ones forced to move away. With a plethora of RPG’s to work through there was plenty of fun to be had. It was around this time that I also discovered the magic of Anime. Greedily drinking in what little the country had to offer like a stranded sailor trapped on a dessert island, classics like Bubblegum crises and Dirty Pair opened my mind to Japanese media, flowering like a Sakura blossom into an equal love of Manga and a burning desire to watch more. I made some good friends in the anime community, attending Blackblade screenings in random sites all over Joburg. It was in looking for some tabletop miniatures to resemble the party that I feel into the 40 000th millennium. The Tau had just been released as an army and my anime craze was in full swing. “Space Samurai you say? Sure I can pick up a box of infantry” was the innocent and unknowing phrase uttered by my naive younger self. Several apocalypse armies and a wallet on terminal life support later, I had just entered university, where a group of Geeks known as the WARP (Wargames, Anime, RolePlaying) society had the misfortune of catching my eye. From there, using the new friendships gained, my hobbies kicked into overdrive and spread their tendrils of corruption even further. I became a gaming nomad, roaming from one ruleset and group to another, always happy to game with others. Sucked into the MMO well on multiple occasions only to be spat back out when the next latest and greatest game was released, life was a festival of gaming (oh… and err.. an engineering degree)

Near the end of my studies, South Africa got it’s first major weekend long LARP together in the form of MEAD (Medieval Adventures) Always keen to try something new, my somewhat naive and idealistic “do gooder” of an orc mage Kovac was born, along with hundreds of new friends in the larping community. It wasn’t soon after that my inner GM was nagging at me and I pushed myself to help shape the MEADel world wherever possible and soon I found myself on the MEAD plot team, crafting all sorts of shenanigans for the players to overcome. An alternate and dark mirror of Kovac, Kavis was born, along with his entire nation of Bleakmire in the barony of Horgus and their sinister plots.

Rulesets move on however and the opportunity of licencing a new Nero sanctioned chapter arose. Months of worldbuilding with a dedicated plot team gave birth to the lands of Teana, with a fully fleshed out world and a carefully prepared storyline to help mind, the Larping scene grew even larger and richer for all.

Then… the years of darkness arrived… sequestered to the wastelands of South Africa for my work and career, chained to the masters of darkness in servitude, a lot of my hobbies became unsustainable to to the distance from their “source”. Internet connections became unreliable. Travel to tournaments unfeasible and holding a regular roleplaying group? Not a chance! Thankfully, I had my loving wife to help keep me sane as a beacon of hope in the land of the forgotten, plus the occasional trip back to civilisation to feed a rampantly growing boardgame addiction with “Once a month Saturday night board games night.”

That is, untill today!

Breaking free from my bonds of servitude, I fled back to the civilised Geek world. Once again picking up the reigns of many of my hobbies, my fellow host and I decided to spread the word of our Geeky world to all those who will listen.

Also, geez, did you just read all of that? Thats dedication… I owe you a high five next time we meet… let me know.

TLDR: Gregg plays lots of geeky games and stuff