Do you watch livestreams of other people playing games? I must confess that I tend not to bother myself -- I'd rather spend my time playing games and discovering what they have to offer for myself -- but I'm well aware that watching streams is a great way to get your gaming fix while away from your computer and consoles.
Salty Bet, a new site that makes a game out of watching game streams, might get me to change my ways, however. And be warned: you might just find yourself addicted, too.
Salty Bet is, in its creator's words, "a free game that allows you to place virtual bets on live competitive events." Specifically, it appears to be a series of AI-on-AI matchups between disparate casts of characters on a custom fighting game engine (apparently the popular MUGEN platform), running near-constantly to the accompaniment of some wonderfully cheesy music drawn primarily from the world of video games. Prior to each match, you can bet virtual money on either of the two participants, with winnings coming in according to the odds if you picked correctly. There's also a real-time chat facility so you can talk to other "players" during matches, cheer each other on and trash-talk.
The site originally started as a means of covering major fighting game tournaments in real life, allowing stream viewers to bet their virtual currency on the outcome. The idea for using MUGEN AI-on-AI matches came about as a means of keeping the site running when there weren't any tournaments or other events going on. (Thanks very much to @DMThigpen on Twitter for the additional information on the site's history!)
Salty, the site's creator, claims to have over 1,300 custom characters, 750 battlefields and 500 music tracks at their disposal. That means regardless of when you tune in to the stream, you can be pretty sure that you'll see an interesting matchup. Earlier today the stream saw Evil Homer fighting against Sub-Zero, Psylocke battling Green Goblin and, at the time of writing, Thanos up against Predator -- though the game itself appears to have crashed as I type this, meaning Thanos and Predator are currently just hanging out on the beach rather than actually fighting.
Salty Bet is free for anyone to play, though you'll need to make an account to actually start betting. There's an optional premium "Illuminati" membership available for $3.99 a month, $8.95 for three months or $30 a year -- this removes ads, guarantees you'll always have at least $666 in virtual money to spend and gives you access to detailed statistics and betting history. There's also plans in place for an "Illuminati-only" forum in the near future, plus showing your support financially helps keep the stream running and will potentially allow Salty to expand the "service," such as it is, in the future.
If you want to check out Salty Bet for yourself, head on over to this link -- though note that, as mentioned above, the game itself doesn't appear to actually be doing any "fighting" at the time of publication. You can still sign up, browse the other site content and chat with other players, however.
Drop five bucks on Predator for me, will ya?