I went to see The Hive, Monte’s new online gaming shop

Last night t I was invited to Monte Casino to the grand opening of The H.I.V.E which stands for Highly Interactive Virtual Entertainment. Being at Monte Casino I was expecting something to do with gambling but in fact it turned out to be a new venue for playing online video games.

The assortment of press and partners was a bit of a weird one with myself, Lauren from NAG and a bunch of what I can only imagine are mainstream newspaper or magazine journalists there as they didn’t seem to know what the shop was even after it was announced.

The concept is as straight forward as you get really. There are 16 stations; 9 downstairs and 7 upstairs, with custom software running that only allows you to play one of the 7 pre-loaded games. Those games being;

  • Black Ops 2
  • H.A.W.X 2
  • Guild Wars 2
  • Starcraft 2
  • Battlefield 3
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted
  • World of Warcraft

All the games are hooked up to the relevant online communities via 2 x 4Mb ADSL lines.

UI

You buy store credit at a rate of R35 an hour which works like pre-paid airtime where you are given a notification with 10 minutes remaining to top up and the time can be used whenever you want.

The Father and son team who are running the business have big plans for expansion with their next shop planned for Pretoria then Cape Town and then Durban and the rest of the country. And then Australia, Europe and America… yes he said that.

The plan is that the credit can be used at any store across the country, but the chance of me needing credit at Monte Casino and then again in Canal Walk seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

We were then given a chance to try our hands at Black Ops 2 with the two gaming journalists playing alongside the mainstream media who had to be taught how to run, shoot and aim.. and what the point of the game was… which was an interesting thing to watch unfold.

LowerFloor

Unfortunately my station kept disconnecting from Steam but everyone is allowed first night glitches and I’m sure they will have all those issues sorted out in a short period of time.

We played two more games after that where I started to find my love for PC gaming again, it really is way better playing FPS games with a keyboard and mouse and our team dominated both matches which always makes things more fun.

In the end I can’t say the store is offering anything unique but it appears to have a fair bit of cash behind them and I do really hope it works out for them. I cut my teeth gaming in Internet cafe’s and it’s where we found Darryn so good things do come out of these places.

if you’re interested in taking a look The Hive is located at Shop 32 in Monte Casino, right across from Joe Parkers Comedy Club and just down the passage from the arcade and movie theatre so they really do have their location perfect.

3Statins

However if you do go make sure to say that NAG sent you because the owner is so obsessed with them I wouldn’t want to burst his bubble. Congrats to the NAG journalist for walking away with 3 prizes for beating the mainstream media and losing to the Matrix Employees… yeah that was weird.

You can find more information about The Hive on their webpage

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Author:Gavin Mannion

I'm cranky, arrogant and ever so amazingly annoying but when you get to know me you will also realise I'm honest and incredibly good at describing myself... now pass me that beer

  • Rincethis: Spellalicious

    Hahahahaha! Gavin, splendid! The sub-text in this article is so prominent I could cut diamonds with it :)

    • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

      whatever do you mean? I would never have sub-text

      • Rincethis: Spellalicious

        • matthurstrsa

          Favouritest skit ever!

  • http://twitter.com/MatthewFig Matthew Figueira

    I think its a neat idea… think about them kids who are often dumped at an arcade. R35 for an hour of gaming vs liike R2 a token in the arcade where the machines are like 2-3 tokens a pop :P

    Other than that… I don’t see anybody with a PC and Internet connection rushing out to play there xD maybe it could be used as a venue for high profile gaming tourneys at some stage.

  • 2scaly4j0o

    Internet gaming stores are dead. Hopefully the venue will serve them. Think it is better than the “token” style arcade machines that will rip your wallet a whole new credit card slot!

    • Howler

      It is a good place to test games if you would like 2 buy them…

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    That’s gross, you like have to share headphones and keyboards and stuff.

    EWW EWW EWW EWW

    • Rincethis: Spellalicious

      Is that the sound you make when you are playing CoD? troillololo!

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      I agree with Erwin, that’s nasty – especially sharing headphones… what if those who played before you has lice, or some weird tropical scalp disease? EEWW EWWW EWWWW!! There is not enough hand sanitizer in this world to get me there.

    • GunS

      There is sanitising wipes in the shop for ppl to wipe the equipment down should they feel they need to but all equipment is wiped down on a regular basis.

      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Good to hear, but still, not for me. I like my own dead skin cells and ear cheese

  • matthurstrsa

    Pity about their choice of media but at least its another option for parents to leave their kids at. Roughly the same price as a movie, which isn’t bad.

    • http://twitter.com/MSouthA Mark Treloar

      Right but do they check ID at the door? If so the kids should not make it in at all.

      • matthurstrsa

        Why would they check ID? You mean for the casino?

        • http://twitter.com/MSouthA Mark Treloar

          Black ops 2 has an age restriction of 18. So if parents are leaving their kids there how do they feels about them having access to this content, and would The Hive be legally obligated to not expose underage kids to mature content?

          • GunS

            Parents are required to sign there kids in if they allow there kids to play the games. Age restriction at the shop is 16.

  • Jafricaman

    I hate to say it but this wont work in Durban, R35 for an hour? We have a brilliant internet cafe setup here in Florida road which I frequent, (being a student ) Its R20 for an hour. 2x 10 meg lines and ten computers each with 9 games plus the steam service and a ps3? yeaaaaaaah everything I need plus the amazing coffee. Cityzen ftw!

  • caponeil

    You want to see the real HIVE – check out this http://www.uwc.ac.za/Faculties/NS/News/Pages/Education-in-3D-HIVE.aspx#.UXGCg7X-HnE

    I did a software install there last year, complete 3D capabilities now there is where I would go gaming!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neel-Kamal/100001737384083 Neel Kamal

    Playing Online Games not only helps child to have fun but also these games plays great role in overall development of a child, improving problem handling skills and creativity level.
    http://www.freeworldgroup.com/game.html

  • Shannon

    Your logo is really eerily similar to the H.I.V.E. book series logo, and it doesn’t help that the acronym for your shop is the same.

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