Gamers Gather for Tournament at the U

Gamers Gather for Tournament at the U

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Paul Nelson, KSL Newsradio Nearly 250 people have signed up to shoot each other at the University of Utah tomorrow. That's because tomorrow there is a marathon gaming tournament.

The University of Utah Olpin Union Center seems harmless enough now, but tomorrow more people will die here than in a Quentin Tarantino movie.

It will be the site of the 2007 Protocol 42 Online Gaming Tournament. "It's amazing what some of these kids will pull off as far as endurance goes with one of these things," XMission Vice President Grant Sperry said.

Thirty hours of online gaming with games like "Quake 3," "Doom 3" and "Star Wars: Battlefront." XMission is sponsoring the tournament. I asked Sperry to help me learn what some of these games are.

"Doom 3" is a first-person shooter where you have to shoot the aliens. "That's correct. Doom 3 sort of loosely plays off the original Doom story," Sperry said.

Sperry says "Star Wars: Battlefront" is more of a team play, where you're the empire or the rebels, and you have to shoot the aliens.

And "Quake 3" is a first person shooter where, that's right, you have to shoot the aliens.

So, how do players get physically ready to basically sit in front of a computer for 30 hours? Do they have to wear the NASA diapers, or what's up? "We do have intermissions in the actual tournaments, but basically it goes open to close. Drink as much caffeine as you need to stay awake," explained Ben VanOrden, network administrator for LAN Party Group Protocol 42.

The Salt Lake-based company is organizing the event, and VanOrden wants to assure everyone they've found a way to bring women to the tournament: they get in free. "Just so they know a gamer isn't your cliché pasty fat boy living in the basement," VanOrden said.

To really understand the complexity of one of these games VanOrden and five other guys had me play "Quake." It quickly became a round of "how many times can we kill the new guy." I think everyone was shocked when I actually killed someone. Still, I don't think I'd win anything if I were to enter.

"The Game and Electronics Expo, which we're going to be co-hosting this year, gave us $6,500 in prize money to give away," VanOrden said.

To enter, it's $20 if you register before 10 o'clock tonight on It's $30 at the door.

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