Gore is Vice President of Praxis International, Inc.
Technical Training, Consulting, and Publishing since 1988
a New Appreciation for Computer Games, Gamers
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For some reason, I never really got into playing computer games. A number of years ago, I purchased Tristan pinball and Jetfighter. Tristan was fun to play; Jetfighter required more training and practice than I was willing to put into it. Later, I purchased Nascar 99, but again my enthusiasm did not last long. Recently, however, I stumbled across a reference to the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) and I found a good reason to be excited about computer games…big money tournaments.
Launched in June 1997, the CPL (http://www.thecpl.org/) is the global leader in competitive computer gaming and has held live tournaments in thirty countries on five continents. Its mission is “to advance computer game competitions to the level of professional sport.” December 16-20, 2003 it will host the CPL Pentium 4 Processor Winter 2003 Championships at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. The three tournament prizes, games, and competitions will be: $100,000 Counter-Strike (team play); $30,000 Halo for PC (team); and, $20,000 Warcraft III (one vs. one). Online registration for the event opened August 1.
By all accounts, Counter-Strike is the number one online action game on the planet. Since its release in late 2000, Counter-Strike has sold over one million copies. Some of the statistics quoted about the game include 4.5 billion player minutes per month with about 30,000 people playing the game at any given time.
As a team-based game, Counter-Strike has one team playing as the “terrorist” team and the other team playing as the “counter-terrorist” team. Each team has different weapons, equipment, abilities, maps, and goals.
To practice playing the game on a competitive, tournament level basis, your team needs experience playing with other competitive teams using a fast, dedicated T1 Internet connection or an LAN (local area network) connection. A 56k dial-up Internet connection simply will not be sufficient.
Searching the Internet, I found a local LAN gamer, Tree’s House LAN in King of Prussia, PA, who hosts LAN game parties from time to time. From Tree’s website, http://treemnky.asylum1.com, I learned that he specializes in battle games, including Counter-Strike. Essentially, you bring your tower, monitor, keyboard, headphones, mouse, operating system disc, game discs, cd codes, drivers, and network cables to Tree’s house and he sets up the LAN on his 24-port switch. The preregister price to play is $10-$15 plus extra cash if you want to join the group for pizza and drinks after the party.
Computer gaming has gotten so big that state-of-the-art cyber clubs are sprouting up all over the country. One example is the C3 Cyber Club in Sterling, VA. (http://www.c3cyberclub.com/). This club offers 30 Intel Pentium 4 computers with 19 and 21 inch monitors connected to a fast, dedicated 1.54mb T1 line. In addition, the club features arcade machines, two 54 inch large screen TVs for xbox and PS2 games, plus Internet café and more.
If you want to play Counter-Strike and don’t have access to an Internet or LAN connection, you’re in luck. On September 1, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero will be released. This stand-alone, single player game claims to offer the excitement, challenge, and action of the online game. Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com) is accepting orders now at a price of $39.99. For more information about all versions of Counter-Strike, go to http://www.counter-strike.net/ and http://www.counter-strike.org/.
Serious gamers also need serious computers. One manufacturer of computers for serious gamers is Alienware. (http://www.alienware.com/). Started by gamers for gamers, sales have grown much faster than anticipated. In addition to its sales to gamers, Alienware has found a market among non-gamers seeking state-of-the-art computers.
Another company tapping into the game market is Bawls. (http://www.bawls.com/ and http://www.bawlsgaming.com/.) Bawls is a major sponsor of computer game tournaments to promote Bawls Guarana, a high caffeine soft drink.
The Greg Gore Web Site on Computers and the Internet (www.GregGore.com)
column was published in the Daily Local News, West Chester, PA on
July 30, 2003.
Greg Gore can be reached at gg@GregGore.com.
2009 by Greg Gore. All rights reserved.