September 3, 2008 // 7:52 pm
- Capping off three days of gaming, competing, creating and record breaking was the final keynote address given by NVIDIA Senior VP of Marketing, Daniel Vivoli
. It was the culmination of all of the major events of the convention-results for the Guinness World Record, ESWC, the Demoscene and NVScene challenges-as well as the winners of best visual application and emerging companies. But what really stole the show: the Mythbusters blowout demo.
Congratulating the daunting task of completing a new Guinness World Record was the first highlight of the show. A total of 203 gamers played for 36-hours straight against each other-no small feat indeed. For their efforts, those that completed were awarded with customized plaques commemorating their achievement, gift certificates, a refund on their registration fee and sweet, custom NVIDIA-themed shoes by Nike.
An NVISION recap video was then shown, with highlights from the past three days at the convention (with a brief appearance by yours truly in the Sketch Contest-more on that later). This was followed by a presentation of awards for company presentations at NVISION. The best visual computing award went to Total Immersion for an interactive video solution that combines live video with 3d rendered objects, all combined in real time.
For most promising company from the Emerging Companies Summit, the winner was Nurien Software for work in combining graphics, virtual worlds, and social networking for a seamless experience. NVScene Art awards were shown next, with the Judge's Award going to The Ship, by Mednios.
Next up was the awards ceremony for the winners of ESWC. Out of 300,000 competitors, these 600 entrants are the top of their game, not only from their respective countries, but now in the world. After 3 days of tough competition, the winning teams in the Grand Finale were:
-Counterstrike: PGS.MYM, Poland
-Counterstrike Women: SK-GAMING, USA
-Quake 3: CYPHER, Belarus
-DOTA: ZENITH, Singapore
-Warcraft 3: WHO, Korea
-Trackmania: FROST BUELE, Sweden
Finally, the Mythbusters–Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage–arrived to thunderous applause. The theme for their presentation was "CPU vs. GPU," a depiction of the differences between central processors (linear processing) and graphics processors (parallel processing). The first machine used to represent the CPU, dubbed "Leonardo," was a mechanical arm on treads with an attached paintball gun–a true Mythbusters creation.
After lining it up with a canvas, the arm proceeded to single-shot a smiley face. It was certainly impressive. But to demonstrate how a GPU works, they upped the ante big time: a behemoth, 1100 barrel compressed air cannon. Firing 1100 paintballs 8-feet across to the canvas, it was such a potential risk for splatter that Adam tossed out plastic sheets to the front rows of the audience. After an epic countdown, a split second later the Mona Lisa was splattered on the canvas in all her glory!