Of all the niches in video gaming, there are few I find more fascinating than players of the arcade version of Big Buck Hunter.
Why? Because I normally associate it with smoky saloons, men who have killed things and the stench of spilled bourbon, three things that normally (at least together) don't go with video games.
But they go with Big Buck Hunter, so much so that earlier this month there was a world championship for the arcade iteration of the game.
On September 24, IT worker Nick Robbins, of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, beat out the competition in the 2011 World Championships to win not only $US15,000 in cash, but also the coveted (?) "Pappy's Jug", the trophy awarded to the world champ.
He was joined on the winner's podium by the game's first ever "Ladies Champion", Sara Erlandson of Beldenville, Wisconsin, who only won $US2000. Showing that there is a glass ceiling even in the world of competitive Big Buck Hunting.
Random fun fact: driving ace Travis Pastrana, who DiRT fans will be familiar with, entered the competition and placed 11th.
Of course, it was called a World Championship, but it wasn't really. Given where the machines are normally located and the fact they involve shooting defenceless wild animals, the contestants weren't really from all over the world. They were from the United States and Australia.
And the 2011 Big Buck Champion is… [Arcade Heroes]