How Unreal are you? OUS to find out

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Eyes dart from side to side, scanning for any potential foes. Electronic carnage flickers across the computer screen as players immerse themselves in the head bobbing, finger twitching mayhem that ensues.

The video game is not based in reality, as the name Unreal Tournament 2004 implies, but Rick Eid, IT coordinator for OUS' Center for Innovation and Leadership, emphasizes that the fun and excitement it brings are certainly tangible.

Ohio University Southern and Tickstorm LLC will host something a little different than its usual fair starting at 3 p.m. Oct. 8 and running through Oct. 10 during the first annual Unreal Tournament Tournament gives video game enthusiasts a chance to battle head-to-head.

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Unreal Tournament 2004, classified as a first-person shooter game because of the visual perspective and game-play style, allows players to run amok throughout the virtual world and war with opponents.

"We are doing this for fun. We are not promoting violence at all," Eid said. "We chose Unreal because it is one of the more popular games of this type and is not a realistic type game like others. Very few of the characters are human and few of the weapons are realistic."

Eid knows a thing or two about gaming.

"I have been working with computers since 1980 and playing games ever since. It is a little bit for relaxation," he said. "If I am real stressed out I can hop on the computer for a couple of hours and immerse myself."

The game does have a mature rating and anyone under 18 must have parental permission. So far, a few dozen people are signed up to compete but Eid hopes to get as many as 350. They will be at the Ashland, Ky., and Huntington, W.Va., malls this weekend promoting the event that features more than $7,000 in prizes including a big-screen TV, home theater system and TV to PC convertor as the grand prize.

Entry fee for the double elimination tournament is $20 per person and can be done at Campus & Community, located at 1508 S. Ninth St. across from the city pool, at the mall locations this weekend and online at

So why the unusual type of event? In addition to the pure fun, Eid said it will promote computer technology and the myriad of things that can be done with modern games.

"The first thing we wanted to do was promote computer technology degree at the campus and the game design classes," he said. "Second, we wanted to try and bring more technology event to this area. Competitions like this are held all over the world but the closest one to us is Indianapolis."

Eid hopes to get good participation for the event so it can continue and grow larger and larger. The first priority will be for everyone involved to have fun so they will have a variety of non-computer based competitions in what Eid called the "Geek Olympics" with events such as lawn parts - a variation of lawn darts where computer parts are the projectiles - paintball target practice on a monitor, keyboard dismantling and much more.

"I'll go out on a limb and say that everyone who shows up will win something," he said.