Monday, October 15, 2007

The Odd Things People Do For Love & Money

In the past year or so, I seem to have found myself attending all sorts of very strange conventions and events. There was the Rock, Paper, Scissors championship, the hair-restoration surgeons conference, the professional celebrity impersonators, the professional bullriders and the casino chip collectors, just to name a few.

But today, I had to go check out the Major League Gaming $100,000 championship. That is, there's a very rich prize for those who are the best at, uh, a video game. Halo 2. They even had a pair of guys doing color commentary to all those who were following the action at home on a Web stream.

I know, I know. I shouldn't scoff. But I can't help it when I'm told by the MLG spokesdude that recent stats show 75 percent of males age 12-18 play these games two hours a day and half of men 18-34 do the same. And when I see a man who brought his 6-year-old to Vegas to have him compete in one of the contests, I feel like calling Child Protective Services.

My Little Brother, Jamie, and my nephew, Zach are both 17 and totally into this stuff. Now, for the purposes of a New York Times feature related to this world, I must have them show me how this game works. I text messaged Jamie from the event to tell him so. He tried to explain, thinking I needed the info then and there. This is what he wrote:

"Game's about a 'biological super-soldier' being woken from his cryo tube in the first game and throughout the games you defeat aliens called covenant and save the universe and mankind. In the multiplayer, it's different. There are game variants like team slayer, team objective and others. Players can get level ups and rank ups like private and captain. Also, a lot of customization."

Umm, OK. So there IS a reason why tomorrow, when I turn 35, I fall out of Madison Avenue's most desirable marketing demographic.


Anonymous said...

LOL...Nintendo came out in the mid-80's. Didn't you play video games when you were a teen? I'm sure if you tried to explain the purpose of Donkey Kong or Super Mario Bros in one paragraph it would sound silly too.