Archive for January, 2010

Reality TV Killed The Video Game Star

I guess I haven’t hinted at it much in this blog, but I am terribly interested in a reality television enterprise called “WCG Ultimate Gamer.”   The first season aired around this time last year and featured 12 gamers that would compete against each other in video games and related “real life” challenges (ex: Halo and paintball, Dance Dance Revolution and dancing, etc).  The show featured Amy “Athena” Brady who, with her sister Amber, founded PMS Clan (of which I am a member, and a general at that!) and Chelsea a.k.a. Delicate who is also a prominent, long-time PMS Clan member, the only two ladies, I am pround to say, who made it to the final elimination gauntlet.  If you’d like to check out the show, all the episodes are on Hulu and additional information about contestants can be found on the US World Cyber Games homepage.

It was awesome to watch two of my favorite girl gamers climb to the top of the pile, but it was even more awesome to know that video games and gamers could be so spectator-friendly.   As someone who has been hiding as much as gaming behind my computer screen, it made me positively giddy to see my hobby join the mainstream, like extreme skateboarding and winter sports before it.  After all, I had something culturally relevant to reference when people questioned my motives for things like “Team Fortress 2 practice” and “selecting Training Mode on Street Fighter IV.”

Anyway, since the show debuted, I have been dogging anyone with clue (show contestants, the host Joel Gourdin, WCG executives…) about WCG Ultimate Gamer season 2 because OH MY GOD I WANT TO BE ON THE GODDAMN SHOW.   Maybe you think it’s not cool.  Maybe you think I’m trash (just because I am from New Jersey and I summer at Seaside does NOT mean I am “like that” :P).   Maybe you think girls suck at games and the only contestant should be Fatal1ty… But know this:

I have been competing in video games for money and prizes for over three years.

I have defended titles alone and on teams.

I have been hired as a personality at gaming events.

And I have worked both on camera and off as gaming press.

Inspired by the show, last May I acquired an Xbox, something I had once been feverishly opposed to.   Only recently acquainted with the game, I went within 100 damage of winning a best-of-three Street Fighter IV show match with Sweden’s recently ranked 2nd place finisher at Summer Dreamhack.

My partner and I took a pilgrimage to SK Gaming’s home lan center in Stockholm, tested arcade skills in Amsterdam, logged hours in game cafes across Europe, and came home to a booming tournament scene that slung us back across the globe to TorcH’s 3rd place victory in Chengdu.

I’ll go anywhere in the world for a challenge.  Too often I have to take a back seat to other people’s gaming achievements, and more often I’ve hid myself altogether.   Ultimate Gamer is my chance to be more than a support class, more than the cute face at the Quake booth.  I plan on busting in, guns a-blazin’, and really tearing shit up…as it were.

I’m Seltzer, and I assure you I have what it take’s to be WCG’s next Ultimate Gamer!


The Rumors of my Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Between winter DreamHack in Sweden at the end of November and CES in Vegas early in January (totally jealous of all the jerks who got to go this weekend!), the gaming world pretty much goes into hibernation.   Sure, the industry is booming with holiday sales and servers world-round are flooded with noobs who are just getting their hands on the latest games, but as far as competition, innovation, and networking…YAWN!  Wake me up when the events start.

Christmas has been pretty good to me this year.  The arcade stick my mom got me will ensure I never get another thumb blister from mashing out ill-timed Cannon Spikes in Street Fighter IV.  My new Guitar Hero guitar is a huge plus too since I’ve been working off a very fancy, but very heavy plastic bass that’s a bit too big for my spindly arms and lacks the whammy bar of which I am terribly fond.

Also in my stocking were Left 4 Dead 2 and Halo: ODST, two games hugely embraced by the Xbox Live community that I’ve been missing out on since the fall.   Now I’m just waiting for the spring semester to start up so my roommate moves back to the apartment because I’m WAY too scare-dy pants to play zombie games on my own… and he and I ROCK FACE on Halo together.  But until then, I’ll just be training quietly for this year’s tournaments and looking forward to the next big event on my radar… Penny Arcade Expo East in Boston!