In a moment of synchronicity with Sean’s weekend trip to the gun club, I spent a good chunk of Saturday night at Acme Game Store’s Halo tournament watching people pretend to shoot each other. Global Gaming League was running the show and, while they seemed a bit disorganized, all the players I talked to were having a great time. The vibe was much more like a cool art opening than the ComiCon-esque atmosphere that a lot of people would expect. Everyone I tried to talk into going with us made the obvious jokes about overweight middle-aged men and pimply teenagers, but little did they know that the crowd would turn out to be a nice spectrum of cool people and, hold on to your seat, hot chicks. A live DJ was spinning music (maybe a bit too loudly) and there was even a Suicide Girl manning the Virgin Cola-sponsored open bar. Let me repeat that part: …Suicide Girls …free booze. It made for a chill and fun party, whether or not you were into gaming.
For those of us who are gamers, there was the added bonus of lots and lots of Halo playing out on giant plasma screens all over the store. The tournament structure was interesting. Players paid $5 per eight-man game, with a single winner collecting the $40 pot after two rounds of elimination. The first place finisher also collected a grab bag of cool stuff, including a rather nice Xbox hoodie, some sort of Xbox Live speaker box and a copy of Battlefield: Vietnam. It didn’t have the drama or big pot of a larger, longer, traditional tournament setup, but it did allow players several chances to score some loot.
Hot chicks, free booze and Halo aplenty. I told you before this was a new generation of gaming store. I highly recommend you head on over and sign up for their maling list before you miss the next party.