The Mountain Dew brand has over the years come to be associated with Extreme Sports as you can witness from their adrenaline-fuelled commercials. Sports, like everything else in the contemporary world, has become digitalized. You don’t need to go to a racing track to drive cars at blistering speeds. You can do that in the comfort of your home while seated on a couch. All you need is a TV screen and a PlayStation console. Extreme Sports have taken up fort online and Mountain Dew decided to join them and came up with the Xtreme Gamers Challenge.
On Saturday December 15th, Mountain Dew in conjunction with Mile Gamers and the Parallax Project held the Xtreme Gamers challenge at the Garden City rooftop; a video gaming competition that gave participants a chance at 4.5 million shillings in prize money.
I arrived at Garden City shortly after 11am. Finding the venue wasn’t hard at all. All you had to do was follow the loud music and equally loud MC plus the stream of kids beaming with enthusiasm and excitement.
Like any fanatic will tell you, nothing beats gaming on a wide-as possible, High-Definition picture screen, and having been to one of such shindigs before, I knew exactly what to expect.
The Garden City parking Lot had been transformed into a huge gaming arena lined with several rows of plasma screens, Playstation 3 consoles, pool tables and foosball tables. That in addition to a canteen, a ‘Dew Bar’, as they called it, that redeemed the complimentary soda coupons handed out on entrance, and a VIP Lounge whose purpose and criteria of admittance wasn’t really clear because people kept walking in and out of there as they liked. Though on further notice I gathered it was meant for Mountain Dew executives and local ‘celebrities’.
I was however disappointed by the limited variety of video games. One only had FIFA Soccer, Tekken and Need For Speed to choose from. I would have preferred to see a few more games at my disposal.
The competition was supposed to begin at 8am. But you know Africans and their time; you always add a couple of hours, as if GMT. But by midmorning the games were well underway and the place was packed to capacity with kids as young as 10 to grown men well into their 30s; all dressed casually. There was a handful of the fairer sex so it was exciting to see them go toe to toe with the guys.
All day, there was an air of liveliness. Short bursts of jubilation kept breaking out, noticeably from spectators cheering on the competitors. The crowd favourite seemed to be Need For Speed because of its intensity and breath-gripping nature.
Despite, being literally brought to my knees in the 2nd Round of the Soccer competition by a kid almost half my age, it was refreshing to see an event which brought together all age groups for a fun-filled day well worth the 10,000 shilling price tag. Plus it was good plot for the holiday-makers.
The winners walked away with Mountain Dew apparel, Samsung S3s and up to a million shillings in grand prize money. However the award ceremony got done with hastily due to time constraints.