If you’ve played any manner of games online, be it a sports game, a first person shooter, or an online RPG, you’ve probably run into dozens of loud mouthed gamers who think they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread; maybe you’re one yourself. You know the type. The ones who constantly talk smack in your ear, laugh and giggle like a schoolgirl when they win, and moan, complain, and accuse you of cheating when they lose.
It used to be that there was little you could do but grin and bear their antics. Now though, another avenue is open to you. You can tell them to put their money where their big fat mouth is. Bringit was launched in 2009, and allows gamers to make wagers against other players in a variety of games. Wagers can be anywhere from $1 to $10,000, and the website handles all the details of the transactions and payouts (so you don’t need to hire a collector to get your 3 bucks from a beaten down gamer).
Getting Started on the Road to Riches
The process starts by creating an account at the site, linking it to your PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or Wii name/gamer tag, and selecting which of the available games you’d like to play through the site. After depositing money you’ll be ready to set challenges, or take on other challenges or enter multiplayer tournaments. Results can be manually reported, or you can use a feature called auto-score reporting, which is recommended. Using this feature, the results of games will automatically be sent to the site, and the winner will be credited with their winnings.
While the site offers great potential for betting on video games, it should be noted that the number of users is still relatively small (especially for Wii gamers), so it may not always be easy to find a good match, or any match at all for that matter. Still, if you’re looking to obtain virtual bragging rights that extend beyond the virtual playfield, and into the realm of cold, hard cash, you can’t go wrong checking the site out.
Gaming Leagues - Where the Money (and Girls) Are
Of course Bringit is just one in a growing phenomenon of online and professional gaming leagues and services, headlined by Major League Gaming (www.mlgpro.com). While still nowhere near the prominence of professional gaming and gamers in South Korea (and unlikely to ever be), the best gamers in North America and other parts of the world are finding it increasingly easy to forget about working a crummy J-O-B, and instead gaming their way through life (though one has to wonder what they’ll eventually do once their reflexes fade, and their gaming skills deteriorate; not many Fortune 500 companies looking to hire people with professional gamer as the only entry on their resume).
Different leagues operate under different rules, and use different games, so you may want to look around to find one that suits your preferences. Many leagues emphasize FPS’s, while others shine the spotlight more on RTS’s, fighting games, or sports games.
One thing that’s certain is that these leagues are only going to continue to grow in popularity, and as they do, the prizes and fame that go along with competing in them will continue to rise as well. We're already seeing televised tournaments with prizes in the millions, it's only a matter of time before we have bonafide gaming superstars similar to Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods.
So if you think you’re God’s gift to gaming, get out there and put your money where your mouth is. Just remember to polish your skills at your game of choice. The competition in the virtual realm is fierce, and there’s no greater shame than listening to someone chew your ear off after stripping you of your hard earned dough.