Treasure Planet

When it comes to truly planet-wide games, there’s nothing like a bunch of gamers cranking on some PC favorites. At least, that’s the thinking of the World Cyber Games. Move over, Olympics.

It’s a digital world, so why are we stuck with archaic events like the Olympics or the World Series? Wouldn’t it just be easier, not to mention cooler, to have a competition that’s cybercast from many different cities, with gamers zipping through their T1 lines to take each other on? Well, that time has come, thanks to the World Cyber Games (WCG).

Started in 2000, the WCG is an annual event of live tournament play around the globe, and even has a funky mascot that looks as if its head is crafted from boomerangs (its name, of course, is GamON).

After teams make it through a national preliminary and a national final in their home country, they get to test their mettle in tournament gamer nirvana: the Grand Finals.

Although previous WCG Grand Finals were hosted in Korea, and this year’s will be as well (from Oct. 12-18), there are plans afoot to hold the tourney in a different major city every year. The WCG should have plenty of city centers for decades to come, since there are approximately 60 countries involved now, and interest from others.

Unlike the Olympics, which have the same sport line-up each year (except for that trampolining try-out), the WCG changes the official games every year based on what’s popular, and how well preliminary tournaments are organized.

This year’s selection boasts six PC games and one console favorite: “Age of Mythology,” “FIFA 2003,” “Half-Life: Counter-Strike,” “StarCraft: Brood War,” “Unreal Tournament 2003,” “WarCraft III,” and “Halo.”

You want prizes, you say? Don’t worry, you got prizes. In the 2003 tournament, the total purse for distribution to 8 teams will be a cool $400,000. Medals will also be given out to those who wish to brag up the tourney to their fellow cyber cafe friends.

In terms of where it’s being held, the WCG couldn’t have picked a more fitting venue: the Seoul Olympic Park.

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