Thirty-year old gamer geeks still living at home now have the perfect rejoinder when Mom wants them to stop playing on the computer: “I can make money at this!”
Thousands of dollars of prize money are at stake for this year’s V Games (thevgames.com), sponsored by Ziff Davis Media Group and EB Games. From March to October 2004, 30 cities will host qualifying rounds of the 2004 V Games, the first-ever live, console- and PC-based video game tournament. An estimated 30,000 people will compete in eight top video games nationwide.
Tournament sponsors are billing the tournament as the video game Olympics. More than $150,000 in cash and prizes is at stake for the inaugural frame of the games. “Our sponsors realize that video games are no longer strictly the province of teenage boys,” says Heath Gross, V Games co-founder and director of marketing. Because of the wide demographics playing video games, Gross adds, "The V Games have caught the attention of companies marketing everything from soft drinks to cell phones.”
The V Games will give gamers a chance to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and compete in the best-selling console and PC video games on the market. “There is something to be said for the live competition–it’s almost like a sporting event,” says Gross. “There will be no shortage of spectators since the games are being held at malls where EB Games retail stores are located. A competition of this magnitude is likely to make shoppers stop and see just what’s going on.”
Players can register online at www.thevgames.com or through a mail-in registration card available at EB Games stores. Anyone registering before Feb. 1, 2004 will receive a free V Games t-shirt, and the first 500 players to register in each city will be entered in a drawing for a $100 EB Games gift card.