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Adept texters ready to score as 2010 Mobile World Cup clicks-off:

By BRENWIN NAIDU 

But you needn’t despair, as there’s another tournament guranteed to provide the fun and brisk thumb activity needed to quell your post-WC sorrows.LG’s 2010 Mobile World Cup clicked-off on the 26th of August, giving those with a swift texting ability the opportunity to show their mettle against competitors and the chance of walking away with the coveted title of “World’s Fastest Texter”.Since its inception two years ago, participation has grown almost exponentially, from 13 countries in 2009 to 24 this year.Involved countries include Brazil, Vietnam, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Australia, Panama and Croatia.

Much like the risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in such an endeavour, the stakes are high: the winner will receive a 100 000 USD Grand Prize in addition to having their feat documented in the Guiness Book of World Records – should they beat the current world record of a 264-character sentence in two minutes, currently held by Pedro Matias of Portugal.South Africa was represented by Kgothatso Moerane and Natalie Witoslawski – both University of Pretoria students, in the 2009 season.“It was an amazing experience in that we got to compete against some of the world’s best. The competition also afforded us the opportunity to visit New York and make new friends,” said Moerane. Naturally,  in my brief conversation with Kgothatso one question was pertinent – about the condition of her high-performance thumbs, of course. She mused that the pain brought by excessive texting in the Cup was only temporary, holding up a dainty manicured hand.

Also unveiled at the Mobile World Cup launch was the new LG GT350 Chatterbox Plus, serving as the mule for contestants in this years competition.The Chatterbox Plus improves on its predecessor, the successful LG KS360 Chatterbox – which has sold over 5 million units since its release in 2008.The GT350 boasts a 3-inch WQVA touch-screen and appeases social networking addicts with an interface optimised for sites like Twitter and Facebook.

While I didn’t have the chance to fully experience the online networking capabilities of the GT350, I can attest to the functionality of its QWERTY keyboard. Typing is almost similar to using a conventional keyboard, making things easy even for novice texters like myself – I managed an avearge score of 68 words per minute in the texting video game competition for the invited media at the launch. In hindsight, I now wish I had gained more practise on Mxit prior to playing: the top 3 players, who had garnered scores into the regions of 70 and 80, walked away with units of the new LG GT350.

To enter in the qualifying rounds of the LG 2010 Mobile World Cup, one simply has to visit http://zaw.lgmobileworldcup.com from their phone’s browser.The National Championship, which will see eight texters vying for a spot in the top two is set to be held at the end of September.The duo of masterful texters will then go on to New York to compete in the World Championship in the first quarter of 2011.

 

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