Virgin Gaming May Put A Nerd Into Space

Posted: Jun 15 2010, 6:44pm CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 9:48pm CDT, in News | E3

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Virgin Gaming is now live. Starting today, gamers from around the world can compete for free (or for money) in a variety of online games. I had a chance to sit down with the team behind Virgin Gaming and pick their brains about the new service. We settled down in a mercifully air-conditioned trailer and got to talking.

What separates Virgin Gaming from competitors like Steam is the game validator. This gives Virgin the ability to validate winners, tally up scores and judge tournaments automatically, with no human intervention. Everything about these tournaments is handled automatically by machine, which ensures smooth gaming and unbiased judging (the occasional hilarious glitch notwithstanding).

Out in front of Virgin's set-up is a giant box of (fake) money. The cash is there to represent their $100,000 red-hot summer. Every day will feature a new free tournament. Major cash prizes, as well as other rewards like video games, will be given away to winners. Virgin's unique tiered system means that players of like ability will only compete with their relative equals. Tournaments will also be handled this way, which means players of all skill levels will have a shot at prizes.

And these are some fabulous prizes.

Money, games, Virgin flights and cool gadgets will all be winnable in tournaments / purchaseable with points earned through playing, registering, getting friends to register and, of course, beating the hell out of people online.

“We are about serving gamers.” was the phrased used several times throughout the interview. Virgin Gaming promises that they are actively listening to their player base for new ideas. They aren't married to consoles and computers either; mobile gaming is definitely on the radar. There are too many iPad/iPhone gamers to ignore.

It's worth noting that Virgin Gaming exists under the same umbrella as Virgin Galactic. This means that, in the not-so-distant future, Virgin Gaming will be able to offer trips into space as a prize. I was able to confirm that they are seriously considering the possibility. How's that for motivation to join today?

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
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