Quake Scene South Africa — LAN Parties and the First Quake 2 Wedding

‘Quake 2’ vows

Till death do them join

No sooner had the judge pronounced Paul Wratt and Merle Doubell married than Paul turned to face Merle and shot her dead. Fortunately, she has a sense of humor. “In the practice, I blew him up,” Merle says. “He was just getting me back.”

All’s fair in love and war, and Paul and Merle got a little bit of both when they tied the knot in a Valentine’s Day Quake 2 ceremony. That’s Quake 2, the shoot’em-up 3-D computer game that you can play online, in character. Which is exactly what they did. Merle, dressed in a traditional wedding gown, and Paul, wearing a formal suit, sat in front of their computer terminals in a South African cybercafe and operated the controls on the Quake 2 game. The crowd, which included cafe onlookers as well as online observers all over the planet, saw them as “BadBoyBubba” and “db_High.”

They say it’s the first Quake 2 wedding, and it’s a claim that would be hard to dispute. Paul, 29, who met Merle, 32, at a mall, is pretty much a Quake addict. He works eight to 12 hours a day at his job as an Internet developer and plays the game up to 12 hours a day. Do the math. His fellow Quake players have become like family to him. So it seemed logical to get married in character. He asked. She thought, “Why not?”

“We’re both a little bit different,” Paul says. “I wanted to be inside the game so badly. It just felt so natural for me. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.”

The wedding, Merle says, “was stressful but beautiful.” The voices in the ceremony were pre-recorded to church music, and the game’s scenery was altered to be more church-like. Merle’s mom “wasn’t too impressed,” she says. But her father is “very open-minded. They’re very happy I found myself a good man.” Even though he killed her?

It was only natural. “You can’t physically kiss in Quake, but you can kill,” Paul says. For those wondering, yes, they did get officially married. And when he was told he could kiss the bride, Paul did not pull out any automatic weapons.

-Excerpt courtesy of USA TODAY, “‘Quake 2’ vows: Till death do them join,” by Janet Kornblum, February 21, 2000

BadBoyBubba and db_High’s Quake 2 Wedding — Valentine’s Day 2000



GameZone: Duel Tourney — April 2000

General Rules and Guidelines

The Gamezone Duel is all about promoting competition and fair play. That’s all there is to it, Lamers, disconnecters, foul-mouthed losers and other inhabitants from the school of Power Dorks will not be tolerated. Failure to comply with the guidelines outlined below could result in your unceremonious expulsion from the tourney.

Let the Score Tell the Tale: The best players are those that can beat the crap out of you in a game and shake your hand afterward. They don’t gloat after they’ve given you a man-beating, and they don’t make excuses when they get handed one. Good-natured taunts can be a fun part of the game, but taunting another player and bragging after a win makes the winner look like a fool. On the flip side, if you lose and move on, you’ve got a healthy attitude; if you lose and gripe about it, well, you’re just a noisy loser (and a power tool to boot).

Maintain some perspective: It’s only a game…… If you find yourself losing control, taking your game too seriously, and taking it out on other people, it might be time to take a walk, recite the words to your fave tune, take a Prozac, clear your head…

Finish What You Start: Do NOT quit in the middle of a duel. Do not do this for any reason whatsoever. The referees will be monitoring pings at all times, and if we decide that your ping is unplayable we will call it as such and schedule a rematch. On the same topic, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have playable ping….we all know that any number of issues can affect your ping, and we will look out for that at all times. Calling “lag” all the time is not going to make the referees reschedule the game, in fact you will probably end up pissing them off.

Cheating is not acceptable in any form: Cheaters suck, to be honest. Cheating by game hacking, Zbot, Proxy aiming, misleading people or exploiting loopholes in game or contest rules destroys the competitive atmosphere we hope to create here. If you are caught cheating not only will you be immediately disqualified from the tournament, but your name will be publicised in neon on all Quake-related noticeboards, marking you as the Lamer of the century.

Impersonating Other Members: Impersonating another member or falsifying your screen name anywhere during the tournament is also grounds for disqualification, don’t do it.

Random Acts of Lameness: There are a bunch of other things we’d rather you not do. Repeating typed lines is just about the most irritating thing on the planet after Celene Dion and Kenny G (who are really the same person in case u were wondering). Spectators who choose to repeat lines will be banned from the server cos it’s just crap. This applies whether the referee has muted spectator babble or not, so be warned……..

Skins and things: All players must wear only standard ID skins. This means only the male, female & cyborg models will be allowed. No non-standard skins.

Quake2 Settings: Maps to be played in the tourney as as follows: Q2DM1, Q2DM3, Broken2, ztn2dm1, Dlite, Grind and Kick. See the maps section.

Matches will be played on the fxDuel Tournament server with the following settings: 10 minute time limit (except for the Grand Finale, which will be 20 mins). No fraglimit. No Quad, Invulnerability, BFG 10k or Power Shield. Spawn Farthest. Instant Respawns. Deathmatch 1 – Weapons respawn. 10 second official countdown before game starts. 2 minutes warmup time.


South African LAN Party Photos — 2001 – 2002


GameSpot — Quake 2 Wedding, by Amer Ajami

This Valentine’s Day, a South African couple will wed each other through a Quake 2 server.

This Monday, February 14, on Valentine’s Day, a South African couple will marry each other in the holy sanctuary of a Quake 2 server. The bride and groom will say “I do” as the male and female (respectively) grunt models inside a Quake 2 Battlegrounds server to be hosted by M-Web’s Gamezone, a popular South African gaming network.

“Our biggest worry is that one trigger-happy guest will get so excited he’ll start shooting, and the wedding will turn into virtual killing frenzy,” said Judge Gosh’t, who’ll be marrying the couple. “We’ll then have to restart the whole wedding ceremony.”

The two lovebirds will actually be sitting next to each other in a Pretoria cyber cafe, while Judge Gosh’t will preside over the ceremony through his computer in his Cape Town home.

The wedding starts at 7pm local time February 14. Guests are invited to register at the official Quake Wedding web site, linked to the right.


M-Web GameZone: Justice Hall — The Law, According to M-Web’s Academy of Law

From the pages of 2001AD Magazine came a future legend of the Judges. Those who were empowered to dispense law without courts of inquiry. They were Judge, Jury – and sometimes – Executioner. In the cynical spirit of reverse psychology, we dedicate this page to all those who seek the truth, and we acknowledge the creative spirit of the creators of Thaarg and Judge Dredd. Here at M-WEB Justice, we now render unto you a new legend.

Storyline: Following the Flame Wars of the 20th Century, most of Africa has become a reactionary wasteland. In the far south, only M-Web Megacity survives. Outside its blackened walls lies an irradiated wasteland, considered unfit for human habitation. However, this desert is populated by all manner of mutated creatures, who scrape a meager living in the tough environment. The area is largely deindustrialized, and the communities are often dominated by quasi-religious doctrine. In extreme cases, these communities become organised and threaten M-Web Megacity.

The Problem: In an overcrowded city like M-Web Megacity One, tensions and rivalry between neighbouring clans are inevitable. These feeling spill over into full-scale wars. Because each clan is an independent unit in its own right, a sense of patriotism is attached to membership. For the Judges, a Clan War is one of the toughest situations to police, simply because there are usually so many people involved.

The Cure: M-Web’s Gamezone Megacity is run by the Judges of the M-Web Justice Department. First envisaged in a nuclear fallout bunker situated five kilometers beneath what was once Table Mountain, M-Web Justice has a difficult job. As any future sysop knows, policing netspace is virtually impossible, but here at M-Web’s Gamezone, the impossible is achieved daily due to the M-Web Judges who’s duty it is to keep some kind of social order between M-Web’s testosterone drenched warriors. In an arena as competitive as online gaming, the Judges provide an essential ingredient to ensure fairplay. Judges have a strict code of honour, and training a Judge takes thousands of hours. Many of those initially considered flunk out, or are expelled. Judges have to be righteous filters of information, and those unable to uphold the basics of peaceful law enforcement are quickly weeded out. Would be Judges are either cloned from proven genetic stock, or enter the Academy before the age of five. Both physical and mental skills are vital to a Judge, as is a high state of alertness, but Judges are also appointed according to the good deeds they’ve done. Once appointed, a Judge is entitled to use the M-Web Justice badge in e-mail, or on their homesite.

Honour the code — Keep the Faith.


M-Web GameZone — News and Events


M-Web GameZone — Server Hosting History

Our online multiplayer gaming community was the first of its kind in Africa with the deployment of the first dedicated game servers namely; Karoo, Kalahari & Namib that hosted Quake 2. Popularity grew and soon other titles such as Half-Life deathmatch, Unreal Tournament, Tribes and of course Counter Strike Beta joined the fray. On Valentine’s day in 2000, Headspace Studios webcast the world’s first ever online Quake wedding hosted on our servers. It was also the first SA gaming initiative to receive international media interest!

We were the first South African Internet Service Provider to host Dota 2 servers. We were the first (and currently still the only) to bring CS: GO matchmaking to local gamers. We were the first to host Battlefield 4 servers.” We are also South Africa’s biggest game server host, see here for a list of our servers, and here for an in-depth explanation of how we manage gaming traffic.


Quake 2 Wedding Officiant Judge Gosh’t — Headspace Studios

2000 – Valentines Day – Headspace webcasts the world’s first online Quake wedding from our studio for M-Web. This is noted by both national and international media. M-Web’s gaming site gets 80,000 visitors on this day.

December 1999: Some short excerpts from the Dalai Lama’s appearance and talk at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, South Africa. This is a retrospective on the millennium mood that pervaded everything during this time. Before 9/11, before the Stock Market collapse, before Obama, before before before….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D7tNBbIOXw

The Ghana Totality Caper: Filmed at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana during the total eclipse of the sun on March 29th 2006. Trip courtesy of South African Astronomical Observatory and South African Large Telescope. (S.A.A.O. and S.A.L.T.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcVxrpJmR94


Quake fans pledge virtual wedding vows, by Jason Norwood-Young — Johannesburg, February 15, 2000

Conventional weddings may be out of vogue, but the holy matrimony between BadBoyBubba and db_High this Valentines Day broke all barriers of tradition. The couple chose to tie the knot in a virtual reality wedding, Quake 2 style.

“I always felt that if I got married, I would like to incorporate Quake 2 as part of my big day,” says BadBoyBubba, known as Paul to his mother. “The Internet is virtually my life and Quake 2 is where I spend all of my time.”

Around 40 guests watched the ceremony from a server hosted by M-Web`s Gamezone (www.gamezone.mweb.co.za) in Cape Town, while the real-time event took place in the Cyberjack Caf’e in Kempton Park. The dual-550 Dell Xeon was capable of handling 128 simultaneous users.

“While online weddings and special events filmed for live broadcast over the Internet are now commonplace, the idea of a virtual reality wedding taking place inside a computer game is a breakthrough idea,” says Antonie Roux, M-Web CEO.

“Injecting real people and events into multiplayer online games, which are accessible in real-time from around the world, gives new meaning to the term cyberspace.”


Remembering Antonie Roux, by Chris Roper — June 26, 2012

The moustache is dead. It’s hard to believe.

Naspers CEO of MIH Holdings, Antonie Roux, who I worked for and with from 1999 to around 2009, was the most livewire person I’ve ever encountered in the workplace.

I can’t be more precise about dates and hierarchies because even when Roux handed over responsibilities to others, you still felt he was in charge. It felt like every project you worked on came from him.

So, if some of the projects I list below actually belonged to other people, I apologise. But they’ll understand if I make any errors.

Probably the worst thing Roux made us build at MWeb was an Ancestry website. Ancestry.com was in the top 10 sites globally at the time. To any right-thinking person, this would mean that the market was saturated.

To Roux, it was an opportunity to take on the world. Actually, implementing QQ.co.za was pretty bad too. Building a version of Naspers’s massive Chinese Tencent instant messaging platform was always going to be a thankless task in SA.

In China, there were millions of active users (currently over 700m). In SA, at the time there were probably less than 3m users of the Internet in all.

But Roux’s definition of failure appeared to be “something you haven’t tried”. He believed that true online progress came from having many massive failures, and a few startling successes.

Roux started with Naspers in 1979 as a lowly technician, and gave the company 33 years of service.

He was a founding member of pay-TV channel M-Net before taking over as MWeb CEO in 1997, and then moving on to head Naspers’s Internet operations.

With his energetic guidance and help, Naspers acquired holdings all over the globe: Tencent in China, Allegro in Poland, Mail.ru in Russia and various other companies in Brazil, India and the US.

He was always willing to try something new, no matter how stupid it seemed to the people under him. An example of his lateral thinking was when he made us run two front pages at MWeb, then one of the biggest websites and Internet service providers in SA.

We monitored the traffic, and the one that got the most users was the one we’d roll out. The first was the usual content-rich front page, with the huge bucket of Media24 content underneath it.

The second was an empty page with just a big fat button in the middle saying “e-mail”. Quite what that would have done to Naspers’s online content strategy if it had succeeded, I shudder to think.

Some of Roux’s criticisms of new designs and products could be exasperating. At times he’d veto a design because, he said, his wife couldn’t use it. I’ll never know if this was true, or just his way of reminding us that usability is everything online.

He was always far ahead of his local peers — and indeed most people in general — when it came to technology.

At MWeb, with his impetus, we launched messenger systems, blogging platforms, video e-mails, gaming platforms and much, much else, all of it way ahead of its time in the Internet backwater of SA.

Roux was a true online person, and it’s no exaggeration to claim that he shaped much of what the Internet in SA has become. He didn’t see media, only opportunities.

He made many enemies through his cavalier disregard for legacy systems, and in legacy systems I include the worlds of print and television.

If he thought there was a better, newer way to do something he made you do it, his moustache bristling with aggression as he issued his orders. He was abrasive, irritating and an online star.

When I heard he had died, I tweeted “Roux was a man who taught us that belief is a legitimate business principle, and being a whizkid (sic) is a function of acumen not age.”

It’s true. He never seemed to tire of exploring the endless possibilities of the new, or of embracing the opportunities of the now.

He died on Sunday, 24 June in Heidelberg, Germany, after undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer.

LanGames.co.za — Your SA LAN Game Portal


South African LAN Party Photos — 2001 – 2002

Fishing Day, FDC — Saturday, April 7, 2001

Mayhem — Saturday, March 17, 2001

CCNC, Crawford Carnage North Coast — Friday, June 22, 2001

Mayhem — Saturday, May 19, 2001

Carnage — Saturday, April 7, 2001

FragLIMIT — Saturday, April 28, 2001

Monthly Link Day — Saturday, June 2, 2001

Fishing Day, FDC — Saturday, May 26, 2001

Vaal LAN — Saturday, June 2, 2001

Mayhem — Saturday, June 23, 2001

Bullet_Proof — Wednesday, August 8, 2001

VC LAN Party — Saturday, August 25, 2001

Mayhem — Saturday, September 15, 2001

FuNkY CoW LaN — Saturday, September 15, 2001

FuNkY CoW LaN — Saturday, October 6, 2001

Mayhem — October 27, 2001

Christmas Mayhem — Saturday, December 8, 2001

Mayhem Second Year — Saturday, January 26, 2002

Hout Bay LAN — Saturday, March 2, 2002

Been there… Got the T-Shirt — Friday, March 29, 2002

DIE! CHKNHD LAN — Saturday, April 6, 2002


LanGames.co.za — LAN Reviews


Letter posted by Munkey,  the organizer of Overload — 2002


LanGames.co.za: The Guide — The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Organizing LAN Events


About LanGames.co.za — How It Works


Quake 2 Wedding — Guestbook


NTKNow: *The* Weekly High-Tech Sarcastic Update for the UK — “World’s First” QUAKE WEDDING


One More Quake 2 Wedding for the Road — Steph and Cacophonous, Married in Q2DM1, September 1999


UPDATED APRIL 2020 — My Quake 2 Wedding, by BadBoyBubba

Howsit, BadBoyBubba here,

I am writing to you to give permission for media content to be stored
and view on DondeQ2 – you da man :)

I did have a copy of everything, and Phong sent me the working map file. The church was in the middle of one of those multi-zone Rocket Arena maps, if you have ever played it you cant miss it (pews, hight ceiling stained glass windows, etc). Witblitz (who also did webpage) re-skin the Fat model (female, farted when jumping, looked like fat hillbilly) with a tuxedo for me (cos she was the opposite of me – tall and skinny), and Merle used the thin female akimbo pistol Action Quake model, with black leather suit (because she looked identical to it in RL).

We then cut and invisible hall way in the left-hand corner of the church, which used floor triggers to play our pre-recorded vows and Judge Gosht’s officiations – Witz walked down the the corridor to trigger them in order, pausing between them. After the last dialog “.. in the name of N D C ..” (I could probably record a wave file of that, its burned in my memory) I really wanted to “kiss” db_High in-game, so I railed her. Wierdly un-Quake2, she did not _die_ with one shot, so I kissed here again, and every one present stood in an arc, railguns & blasters shooting the roof (made those cool trails looked like a may-pole ribbon) above the pulpit where Gost was in his judges skin for Grunt model.

There were 4 camera, Gosht was going to make a video out of live footage and demo footage. The live HD camera had an issue not picked up at time (in his studio in CapeTown), and the video camera footage from Cyberjacks Internet Cafe was too dark you use (in Kempton Park, Johannesberg, where Witz worked, was a family owned business that went under due to mall rent) so the “video to come” never came.

There were some digital camera pictures from the cafe too, but again most of them were too dark or blurry (probably should have done a dry run 1st, actually we did, but not the camera people :). Merle wore a traditional white wedding dress handed down from her grandmother. I wore a autumn colored patterened silk shirt with black jacket and pants.

There is a movie version of the demo on the South African demo site from that era, also run by Phong, which is how my mum got to see it. Phong is no longer is SA, but the demo server was still there till 6-ish years ago (when I last checked)

The March edition of USA Today has a writeup about it, along with a couple of pictures taken (with the phone interview) a bout 3 days before the wedding. For 4 months I had saved 20 bucks for gas to get to the wedding / cafe, Merle arrive at the mall entrance with her father is his restored blue 1963 Mustang Fastback, which her son was given in 2016.

After the ingame ceremony, we went to the other end of the cafe and had a Witches / Wicha blessing and rope binding performed buy her ex-mother-in-law. The local (Kempton Park) JP (Justice of the Peace) signed the Marriage Certificate to make if official. There were about 20+ people in the cafe (which had about 8 Voodoo Banshee computers), with all other screens (and one small OHP) showing in-game views for guests. A neighbor and friends did a small catering.

Gosh and his video studio had the contract to run the Mweb Battlegrounds Servers, they got a new Duel (Quad?) Xeon machine that allowed 128 connections, of which about 40 were allocated for in-game guest and in-cafe connections, the rest being chase cam connections (afterwards they used it to run 64 player maps, and competitions). There were 17 different countries on the server that day, and they had to keep kicking people so the in-game guests could connect. They all stood in the pews. I forgot there were 80k international visitors watching the live stream from CapeTown (from the camera the did not record).  Gosht tried to get it live streamed into an Mweb business meeting in CapeTown that Bill Gates was attending, but someone was not interested, so he never saw it.

The whole thing cost 20 bucks (Rands), and that was so I could put petrol in the car to get to the cafe, and took 2 weeks to put together. Tight arsed USA Today would not contribute, and ended up NOT sending the magazine(s) they had promised…


Paul Wratt

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