COLUMBIA — Truman the Tiger has already made his way into the online world by having his own Facebook profile. Now, his cyberspace status has grown, and 3,079 members of the Mizzou Facebook network have joined an online group to support him in a college mascot competition.
EA Sports’ new NCAA Football 09 video game is coming soon to Nintendo Wii, and its Mascot Challenge is under way. An online poll will decide which NCAA Divison I Football Bowl Subdivision mascot is to appear on the game’s cover. Everyone is eligible to vote once a day until the contest ends on March 14.
This will be the first NCAA football game for the Wii gaming system, and according to Steven Farrow, EA Sports’ MU campus representative, it is set to be released in July.
Tony Layson, a supervisor at Slackers CDs and Games in downtown Columbia, said the Wii console and games are becoming more popular, especially for demographics other than children, who make up the usual target market for video games.
“More people are getting a hold of the systems, so more people are buying the games,” Layson said. “Surprisingly, there’s a lot more adults buying them.”
Farrow said the game would be released worldwide, and the far-reaching distribution of the game could present an exciting opportunity for the university if MU fans voted Truman to a win.
“It would help further push the football program nationally,” Farrow, a member of the Facebook group, said. “Hopefully it would garner more attention for us.”
It appears that Truman’s fans need to raise the bar if Facebook is any indication of support. As of Friday, a Facebook group supporting Kansas’ Jayhawk mascot boasted 8,723 members, more than twice the number in Truman’s group.
There is no way to determine which mascots have the most votes on the Web site, but Farrow said his boss confirmed that at one point during the contest, Truman was possibly in the top 10. He said he can’t disclose vote totals, and fans will have to wait for the final announcement on March 18.