My First and Last Mansion Party (… unfortunately)

In the last two years I have had the most fortunate opportunity of getting to know some of South Africa’s most prominent animators, coders, musicians and all round geniuses in the local video-game design scene. These amazing new friends – including the likes of the people behind Cool Your Jets, Team Lazerbeam and Free Lives – are widely praised as the humans responsible for tons of new much-loved games being played across homes almost globally now. They also tend to organise and host a range of incredible events from Super Hardware Jams – where geeks, gamers, coders, artists, newbies and everyone in between are invited to come together and collaboratively create new indie games and consoles under one roof – to their Super Friendship Arcade events, where they let all of us play their awesome games by using projectors and DIY consoles to turn bars into a giant arcade rooms filled with interactive adventures and crazy co-op fun. They’re also the starry eyed faces of this self made infomercial telling the rest of the world why Cape Town is the most ideal global collection point for indie game creating (which we can do nothing but totally agree with, by the way):

This last Saturday the guys from the Free Lives team hosted another one of their famous Mansion Parties, and whilst it was my first time attending a one it was also going to be the last. This is largely because the team is moving out of their metal clad architectural dream of an abode, where they have lived and made games 24/7 for the past few years. Hopefully soon to be settled into a brand new live-in, game-making, party-throwing hub.

In my times hanging out at arcade jams and game-design days I’d heard a lot about previous this party series and I didn’t plan to miss this last one. As we walked up the long dark driveway to the party entrance I could hear the energetic buzz – a mix of banter, DJing, live music and of course video games – that has come to be quite familiar from these sorts of events, where the multitudes of diverse indie talent in Cape Town all come together to collaborate and share interests. One of the highlights of the night promised to be the debut performance of Shit Friends, the worlds worst cover band. This was also the motivation behind Jamie running around the party with a camera, getting snapshots of party people and performers alike. What followed was an evening of alcohol-laced laughter, bathroom queue bonding, draw bridge death evading, jacuzzi soaking, sing alonging, robot piñata bashing wonderfulness.

Words don’t really describe from this point on, so please see a few key shots for your enjoy below or check out the full album on Facebook.

The End is Now | Final Free Lives
Photographs taken and edited by Jamie Dimitra Ashton

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