Video game expo hits 9:30 club

The Beastie Boys “Intergalactic” could be heard thumping from inside the 9:30 club Wednesday night, but musicians weren’t rocking out in front of a wild audience. Inside, scantily clad girls danced on stages, vendors lined up in rows throughout the room and big-screen plasma TVs adorned the main stage. GameRiot, the world’s largest traveling video games and event competition, had invaded the D.C. nightclub.

Featuring a slew of new and unreleased Xbox and PC titles, casual and hardcore gamers were able to test some of the industry’s latest offerings at a party that catered to all ages. Tournaments, prizes and even giveaways topped off GameRiot’s first visit to the District, creating the ideal evening for virtual reality enthusiasts.

Rows of top-of-the-line Alienware PC ran fan-favorites like Far Cry and Unreal Tournament 2004, in addition to recently-released titles like Doom 3. Along the perimeter, Xbox demo stations gave gamers a chance to try their hand at unreleased titles like Dead or Alive Ultimate and Burnout 3. The main stage was a sight to behold, as eight plasma wide-screen monitors allowed gamers to duke it out in huge, high-definition glory, but not before the “GameRiot Girls” took to the stage for a little pre-tournament dancing. And for those old enough to take advantage, an open bar was available as well.

A staple of the fighting game genre, the latest incarnation of Dead or Alive was a welcome surprise to attendees. Featuring new characters, costumes, stages and most importantly, online play, it still maintains itself as one of the most graphically impressive games on the market. Another surprise came in the form of Conker Live and Reloaded. Available for play by the public for the first time, this unreleased game was at the center of a tournament that left the winner with a free Xbox game of his or her choice, 30 days of free gaming at Blockbuster and a photo posing with the GameRiot Girls.

For the past two years, GameRiot has been traveling the country to bring the latest in gaming to the masses. Even appearing at Lollapalooza, GameRiot has made a name for itself as a sort of mini version of the famous Electronic Entertainment Expo. When asked about the future of GameRiot, executive producer Matt Ringel said he wants to continue to work closely with game developers such as LucasArts, VU Games and Ubisoft to bring the latest and greatest titles to even more cities across the country.

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