Adversity Gaming on the New Zealand gaming community and Hogathon

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Fancy yourself a good Warthog driver? Sure, you might be able to wheel around in Halo: Reach without falling off its various cliffs, but how do you think you’d fare trying to survive on a small platform suspended high above Forge World?

Oh, driving alongside seven other gamers in Warthogs.

Seven other gamers intentionally trying to push you OFF that platform.

Welcome, my friends, to Hogathon.

Taking a break from its usual competitive, MLG-oriented action, New Zealand’s premiere Xbox Community Adversity Gaming — or AvT — has announced an upcoming social Hogathon tournament. While one victor will ultimately be proclaimed, the true goal of the event is simply to have fun and for members to get to know one another. Stevivor.com recently sat down with AvT’s Sami Shanley, Owner, and Dylan Beck, Forum Admin, to learn more about the tournament and the New Zealand gaming community in general.

“After previous NZ Halo communities had shut down, and the closest thing we had to a community was an Australian site where Kiwis could only enter online competitions,” Sami explained, “the current AvT was formed in November 2009 so Kiwi Halo gamers could have a community to call their own.”

The group quickly moved away from a sole focus on Microsoft’s sci-fi shooter. “We’re not only a community for Halo, but for all Xbox games – we’ve since gathered groups of people for games such as Call of Duty and Guitar Hero,” she said.

The community’s roots didn’t necessarily stem from Halo, either. “The basis of AvT’s name came from a Quake clan that was started in 2000, which one of our founding members, Paradox, was a leading face for,” Dylan added.

Adversity Gaming currently has around 500 members — mostly Kiwis, but with some gamers in the USA and Australia — and with “about 100 being very active posters in our forum,” said Dylan.

“We don’t have that many Aussies, I’m afraid,” added Sami. “Mainly, because we don’t have the facilities to look after Australian gamers as easily as we can New Zealand gamers” — hence, the need for a New Zealand-based community. “But that doesn’t stop us from welcoming any Aussies to enter our online tournaments like Hogathon. If you’re game to fly, you’re more than welcome to come and complete at our LAN events!” she said, laughing.

AvT has its only solo LAN event planned for January 2012 in NZ’s capital city, Wellington — appropriately nicknamed the “Welly LAN.”

Sami lit up as she described last year’s LAN event. “It was the first LAN we’ve held of its type, and we managed to bring in the largest number of LAN attendees New Zealand has ever seen for a console event. Gamers competed in many different titles, with Halo: Reach alone gaining a turnout of fourteen teams – which is one of, if not the largest, turnout for a Halo competition in the country.”

“LAN events are an experience far beyond gaming – as well as the lag-free connections and the chance to go head-to-head against rivals in person, there is also the opportunity to put faces to the names, and make friends with people in ways you simply can’t online,” she continued.

“Next year, we’re looking to go bigger, with more games added to the lineup, different ticketing options, and hopefully more gamers!” Dylan added. AvT currently has plans to make Halo: Reach, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Gears of War 3, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, Tekken 6, Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Super Street Fighter IV available at the LAN.

Until then, the focus is Hogathon. “It sounds easy enough,” Dylan laughed, “but the longer the round lasts, the more obstacles – like gravity lifts and fusion cores – begin to spawn. A simple flat platform in Forge World suddenly becomes a bumpy and explosive deathtrap!”

The rules of the game are simple: each game will have 10 rounds. The player with the most round wins will be deemed the game winner. As it’s called Hogathon for a reason, players must not leave their Warthogs; if you’re ejected from your vehicle but remain on the platform, you can either re-enter your own Warthog, or board an opponent’s within 30 seconds. Otherwise, you have to jump off the platform to remove yourself from the round. A round-robin process will determine who plays off in the finals to become the ultimate champion.

If you’re interested in participating in the Hogathon or other AvT events, registration on the forums is a must. Join via the Registration page; then, head on over to the Hogathon page for continual updates. The tournament is scheduled for 4pm NZST (or 2pm AEST), Saturday 24 September 2011.

For a taste of what Hogathon offers, check out this trailer:

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