Jeff Gerstmann over at Giant Bomb briefly ran down the doofy spectacle that is “Salty’s Dream Cast Casino” on a recent Bombcast but I still want to break down what is going on over there and muse a bit about what makes it so fascinating to me. For those who haven’t checked it out, its a 24/7 MUGEN Livestream over on Twitch that has a simple betting interface over it for the community to engage in. You’re not betting real money, so don’t worry about that, but its enough to give you a bit more investment in the fights you’re seeing. Oh right, I guess the key differentiating factor is these are AIs fighting. That is easily my favorite ingredient in all this.
I’ve been a casual fan of fighting games for awhile but I have never cared to tune in to a live tournament or anything as I really have no interest in the human skills required to play that manner of game. Fighting games have been a cheap source of giddy, stupid thrills for me over the years and little more. I want to see a strange green man that has electricity rippling through his body because that’s weird and ridiculous, not because Blanka is especially well-suited to take on Sagat, for example. “Balancing” is of no interest to me. So this MUGEN-fuelled craziness is exactly the kind of thing I can watch for hours and still get a kick out of.
Since first tuning in yesterday I have seen Fred Flintstone throw down against Watchmen’s Rorschach, a Japanese school bus fight some chibi anime character I’m not familiar with and I finally cleaned up good when I bet on Popeye over some sword-wielding woman with the odds stacked 56:1 (I think she was from Soul Calibur but I can’t rightly say). Mr. Burns, a Spanish-speaking Leela, several versions of X-Men’s Rogue, a poorly animated Dr. Robotnik ripped from a YouTube video. Just…dumb stuff, but its randomness fuels some hilariously stupid chatter from the thousands of viewers tuning into this stuff around the clock and the rapid-pace of it all ensures some pop-culture icon you recognize will be busting out nonsensical fighting moves within the next five minutes (pro-tip, bet on Ronald McDonald every time he comes up, dude cannot be stopped).
Now, this betting interface was initially designed for real fighting tournaments, you know, with humans, but color me disinterested in all of that. I want to see weird, goofy stuff at a fast-pace with no faulty human factor gunking up the works. Keep it stupid, keep it broken, and keep the party going. This kind of 24 hour programming is something I wouldn’t mind seeing more of on Twitch. Just bizarre gaming spectacles with nothing but the feed, the chat and the betting interface going on. Something about it smacks of the future, where AIs entertain us and all of pop-culture just kind of folds in on itself in a completely nonsensical mash-up. The goofy mixtape they have behind it helps fuel that even more, with tracks from all manner of games and TV shows popping up.
So yes, SaltyBet, give it a glance. If you’re a fan of internet stupid, this is a top-notch source for it.