Posted on March 19, 2014 AT 09:02am
We hear quite a lot these days about the entertainment industry’s transition to
online formats. Gaming in particular has begun to involve the Internet in ways many
never imagined it would even a few years ago, with online multiplayer options and
mobile apps allowing gamers to interact online from anywhere in the world. Oddly,
the transition has made gaming a more individual experience for many of us. Where
once we might gather with friends to play a multiplayer game together on a Friday
night, we now sit at home and link up online!
There’s no problem with this—really, it’s incredibly convenient and the social
component to multiplayer gaming still exists. However, every now and then it’s
nice to gather in person for a gaming experience, and that’s why live gaming
events have become popular across the world. From multiplayer shooter and
combat tournaments, to gaming company expos, and even live poker events for
online gamers, there are many major occasions that allow gamers to enjoy a more
communal experience with the best competitors from all over the world.
Here are a few examples to consider if the idea of a big-time live gaming event
appeals to you!
MLG Championship Anaheim
If you’re looking for a more competitive live gaming event, look no further than
Championship at Anaheim, which brings together highly successful teams in
some of the world’s most popular online games to compete in person. Held at the Anaheim Convention Center, the event is open to spectators and competitors alike, and the prize money for
competing teams reaches as high as $80,000, in some cases.
The main games involved for this year’s MLG Championship in June include
Call Of Duty: Ghosts, StarCraft 2, and Super Smash Bros: Melee, which should bring a
diverse and skilled range of gamers to the event. Competition is fairly exclusive, as
inclusion in the events depends in many cases on past performance in similar events
and tournaments, but spectator passes are available to the public. Also, watching the
competition at the MLG Championship can be an enormous thrill to gamers.
E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)
This is actually a slightly weak example for those looking for events to attend as
fans or gamers, but E3 is nonetheless the
premier live gaming event in the world. Held every summer at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the
event is essentially a massive festival for game developers and publishers. In many
respects, it functions similarly to a large film festival, in that it invites publishers and
developers to debut upcoming games and accompanying products and merchandise.
The event makes a point of being exclusive, meaning that the only people allowed
to attend are those with specific professional ties to the gaming industry. However,
fans and ordinary gamers to enjoy the event in some respect, as reviews and
expectations for a year’s worth of games come out of E3.
Independent Games Festival
Somewhat similar to E3 in that it is a primarily an expo event for indie game
developers, the Independent Games
Festival is a wonderful event to attend. This one is in fact open to the public.
Gamers who get the chance to go will often enjoy playable demos of brand-new upand-
coming indie gaming experiences. Beyond the fan experience, however, the IGF
has become an incredible opportunity for indie game developers to showcase their
best efforts and even to win various awards and recognitions for distinctions such
as “Excellence in Audio” or “Excellence in Visuals.”
This is also a fun event for the app game lovers out there, as indie developers have
done very well in establishing themselves in mobile gaming markets. For example,
this year the popular mystery/thriller app game Device 6 was up for a number of the festival’s biggest
WPT Tour Events
For those who get their gaming thrills in other environments, like online
casinos, there are also live events to enjoy. The web-based gambling market
has become an enormous corner of the gaming world and WPT Tour events sponsored by online casinos
give poker players a great opportunity to enjoy live environments, and sometimes
the chance to compete alongside the very best players. Furthermore, these events
always have a different flavor and atmosphere depending on location.
This year’s main highlight was the WPT Venice Carnival, which took online poker
players from all over the world to Venice for an event at the world’s oldest casino. At
PartyPoker on YouTube, the online poker sponsor shared a fun promotional video for the event that can help you to
get an idea of the different atmospheres you can run into at these events. Beyond
atmosphere, at the Venice Carnival and other WPT events around the world as well,
online players can seek to gain entry through online tournament promotions and
Calling itself the UK’s biggest gaming festival, Insomnia 51 may just be the best overall
experience for international gamers of all kinds. Held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, Insomnia 51 allows a
full range of experiences for gamers attending: stage shows, game exhibitions,
spectator and player opportunities at live tournaments, and retail. The festival even
has “zones” set aside for areas of popular interest.
For example, there is a whole zone set aside for Minecraft players, as well as one for those interested in indie
games. Even those who wish to try the very latest in gaming tech, such as Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming, can find
something to get into. Insomnia 51 truly offers a touch of everything for gamers
across all genres.
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