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World Cyber Games: Big fun for gamers

The Grand Finals of the 'Olympics of Video Games' is a fun time for all.

When I covered the Grand Finals of the 2004 World Cyber Games, I had no idea what to expect.

But I recall that it was tons of fun: gamers from all over the world, all happy to be part of this international event and representing their countries as they went up against the best of the best in their particular game.

A match on an outdoor stage during the 2006 grand finals of the World Cyber Games in Italy. This year's competition begins Thursday. World Cyber Games

My favorite memory was watching a match of Electronic Arts' FIFA Soccer, which was being broadcast on a huge screen on the wall. Meanwhile, two announcers were doing play-by-play, and if you hadn't known it was a video game, you could easily have believed it was real soccer.

The finals of this giant tourmanent--about 700 players participate--move around the world year each year. In 2006 it was in Italy. Next year, it's in Germany.

But this year, it's in Seattle. As I write this, hundreds of competitors are boarding airplanes, heading for the Pacific Northwest, and getting ready to begin holding up their national honor tomorrow when the finals begin, which you can read about in my story on