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Gamers under the influence

Do drinking and gaming mix?

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July 26, 2012|By Leonor Vivanco | For RedEye

What happens when gamers play under the influence?

Avid gamer and beer connoisseur Jared Hoffa is mixing the two to create a live-streaming competitive game show called GUI.

"It's taking something that sounds ridiculous and turning it into a seriously entertaining game show," said Hoffa, 27, a TV producer who lives in Lakeview. He got the idea a year ago after seeing how popular streaming video-game shows online was in places like South Korea.

So he took that concept and added a twist: beer.

Three contestants will compete on Friday at Blokes & Birds in Wrigleyville for the show's first event in two arcade-style games of "Super Monkey Ball" and "Crazy Taxi." The players will drink a shot of beer at the onset of the game and the winner scores a point and gets served another shot. The intent is to level the playing field and see how well they play as they drink, he said.

Viewers can watch online www.theguishow.com to see how the gamers fare and can also vote on decision that can affect game play.

"I think people will watch this because there's only so many cooking shows and reality shows to watch," Hoffa said. "The gaming industry and gaming culture has been very big. Americans are closet gamers. Everybody plays games but nobody likes to talk about it."

Hosting the game at a bar and adding beer to the challenge makes the game more social, he said.

"If you're not a hard-core gamer, it's still hilarious to watch someone pound down a beer and still play a game you remember growing up," he said.

And he's trying to prove gamers are not lame. "I'm trying to dispel the idea that gamers are geeks in basements cause they're not," Hoffa said. "We all play games and go out and drink and have fun."

lvivanco@tribune.com | @lvivanco

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