If you've ever wanted to flirt with
competitive gaming, now's your chance. The 2006 Electronic Sports World
Cup has commissioned a special edition of Trackmania, Trackmania Nations ESWC, which will feature
in this year's competition with a $40,000 prize.
This is apparently the first time a game has been created especially for the competition, and it's being offered free for anyone in the world to download and try their hand at. Even if you're not a veteran Trackmania player, you've nothing to lose. It's an interesting move, and will doubtless be popular--perhaps further genres will be forthcoming in future years if this experiment succeeds.
[Update: It appears that despite being a free game this has Starforce copy protection built in -- labelled by some as 'malware', Starforce installs hidden device drivers on your system. More information, including removal details.]