For those of you out there who probably weren't aware of this already, Canada was selected to be a part of the 1 vs. 100 Beta by Microsoft. If you didn't know about this, you're not alone. I had been away from my glorious Xbox 360 for a good while, playing some MLB 09: The Show on my PlayStation 3 instead. I became aware of this event when I logged onto Giant Bomb and watched Jeff & Ryan hack a Canadian Xbox Live Gamertag (see below) to play a couple of rounds of this soon-to-be worldwide online experience. This prompted me to turn on my good ol' 360 and to scope out the next live event, so I could witness firsthand all of the chaos and mayhem of the live show. Said event took place last night, from 10 PM to midnight.
How was it? Pretty damn fun, if I do say so myself.
For those of you out there who are unfamiliar with the context of the show, let me quickly run it down for you. There is one person taking center stage, called "The 1", one hundred people facing him or her, composed of one hundred people, called "The Mob", and the studio audience, called "The Crowd". I have no idea how the television game works, but in the Xbox 360 game, everybody gets to answer a series of questions on random stuff. However, The 1 plays against The Mob the entire time. Mob members who do not answer the question correctly are eliminated, thus narrowing down their numbers. Once in awhile, the hostess will ask The 1 to choose between The Money or The Mob. In this version of the game, The Money is represented by Microsoft Points. The more Mob members The 1 eliminates, the more Money they make. If The 1 answers incorrectly, The Money is divided amongst the remaining Mob members.
I logged onto Xbox Live around 9:45 PM. The lobby was made accessible around 9:55 PM, so I joined then. Sadly, since this was my first participation, my spot was reserved amongst The Crowd but, since you can still answer questions even though you're not sitting in "the big chairs", it didn't bother me that much. As my avatar entered a studio filled with my Canadian countrymen's avatars, and while I was busy making him dance like an idiot with the help of the Y button and the directional pad, the live announcer, named Chris, came on the air and welcomed us all to the show. That was pretty cool, since it made the proceedings feel lively. He talked about Canada and the live Beta, how we wouldn't win any Microsoft points or Xbox Live Arcade games because of that (boo!), and gave shoutouts to some random gamertags amongst the crowd. This got me pretty pumped for the rest.
The show kicked off around 10:15 PM, since the person who was playing the role of The 1 disconnected and that they had to choose another person. After answering one or two questions, I got kicked back to the lobby myself and had to wait about 10-15 minutes before I could rejoin the proceedings. I wasn't the only one having problems, since most of my party of four kept dropping in and out constantly. However, after that slight problem, everything went fine for the rest of the evening. The game itself is pretty basic. You're tasked into answering some questions on various topics, which naturally get harder as you go along. You can get a streak of correct answers going, which will nail you more points in the process. It would seem like the best 3 scores will win prizes in the final build but, as I stated previously, no prizes were given out during the Beta. The show would stop every half-hour or so, while Chris returned on the air to talk about the game and tell us that we'd bare witness to 2-3 minutes of "dead air", which will certainly be used for product placement in the final build. That gave me the chance to make my avatar dance some more and to check my personal stats. Although I never made it to The Mob or, better yet, The 1, I really enjoyed my evening.
In closing, I think Microsoft might be up to something really good (and really addicting) with 1 vs. 100. If what they are promising turns out to be true, which means that they'll be giving out Xbox Live Arcade games and Microsoft Points to participants, and that you'll have the possibility to rack up 200 Gamerscore every month, they will have struck a pot of gold. What's even more incredible is that this game will be free for all Gold Members. Man. I cannot wait for the game to go live this fall.