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Microsoft IT Technology

The Docx Games: Three Days At the Microsoft Office World Championship ( 57

An anonymous reader shares a report: On a Sunday night two weeks back, in the Rose Court Garden of the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California, 150 antsy competitors between the ages of 13 and 22 milled around eating miniature whoopie pies by the light of the Moon, sizing up their global rivals in the efficient use of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. It was as if the Olympics opening ceremony was replaced by a networking event: teens were decked out in national T-shirts, while others handed out business cards specially made for the event. At one table off by the bar, two chaperones nudged their folding chairs closer together and taught each other how to say hello ("Yassas," "Ciao") in their respective mother tongues. In the distance, through the palms, the tiki torches of Trader Sam's, the hotel's poolside lounge, were flickering into the black sky. This marked the first night of the 16th Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship, in which teens and young 20-somethings compete for the title of World Champion in their chosen professional application. It's an event put on annually by Certiport, a Utah-based subsidiary of standardized testing giant Pearson VUE. It's also a marketing stunt, pure and simple, devised to promote Certiport's line of Microsoft Office certifications. This allows the certified to confirm the line on their resume that claims "proficiency in MS Office" is backed up by some solid knowledge of deep formatting and presentation design.
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The Docx Games: Three Days At the Microsoft Office World Championship

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @02:47PM (#55027649)
    >> ...competitors...sizing up their global rivals in the efficient use of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word

    Is this a joke? Or just another sign that we're really on the road to Idoicracy?
    • Everyone is struggling to be the best so that they can be first pick for a mediocre clerical job.

    • This sounds like something that would make a person want to compete in the BME pain olympics instead.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Is this a joke?

      Oh, no! In fact, I have enrolled in the Linux version of these games.

      Our goal is to build a complete computational fluid dynamics simulation of a NACA airfoil using a shape description provided, in under 3 hours, using nothing but options to the "ls" command. We have been given a 524 page, leather bound copy of the "ls" manpage, and the first team to complete the task and successfully simulate the airfoil behavior under stalling conditions wins. You may use any ls option or combination of options. Bonus

    • Wow. I bet that was smash ratings for whatever network broadcast it.

    • No, it's finally making sense: Microsoft Office is an adventure game. That's why there's no documentation. That's why all the features are randomly patched together instead of being joined by a common design concept. That's why the ribbon shuffles around and changes whenever you resize the window. And "This product doesn't have a valid license" is really the grue, which sneaks up on you if you stand still too long.

      So obvious in hindsight, how did I not see it before? I can't believe I didn't get the ironic

    • Is this a joke? Or just another sign that we're really on the road to Idoicracy?

      I think it's actually a sign of your ignorance into how complicated some truly advanced use of Office applications can be, and just how important they are in keeping the world ticking over.

  • by Megahard ( 1053072 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @02:50PM (#55027673)

    Create this slide [].

  • by cunina ( 986893 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @02:52PM (#55027701)
    Prozac, Ritalin, Red Bull, and Dockers.
  • I want to encourage people who are doing things with their life, becoming more than just media consumption zombies [], but it's really tough on this one. Learning nmap and ping would be better.

    Anyway, doing something is better than not doing something, so eh, good job competitors!
    • by dkone ( 457398 )

      For a person who's job depends on the use of Office applications, what good would learning ping or nmap be? Just because the millions of people that use office applications on a daily basis to complete their jobs do so on a computer doesn't mean they have any use of the mastery of ping or nmap. Your snarky little comment about something being better than nothing is really uncalled for. Just because these may not be the tools you use (or prefer) in your line of work don't make them less important.

      • If all you can do is use Microsoft Office, you have a miserable life ahead of you. Nmap would at least give you something of interest.

        But hey, you know, some of these guys won an Xbox.
    • I disagree.

      If you can figure out how to debug IE 6 CSS code so it looks pretty and works flawless among all browsers then you are a God. You may loose your hair in the process. Also as a regular user it would be nice to figure out how to outdo the formatting errors in MS Word on my resume. I started over with a template and I have to make fonts a different size in certain parts so they all look the same size throughout ?! I am not kidding on that one. Each version of Word renders it differently so HR thinks

      • Print your resume out as a PDF. Everyone accepts that.

        Also, super not impressed that your explanation is working around the bugs in this crappy software
  • Don't play this game. You are the one who will get played. They say docx is Office Open XML (OOXML), an open format (an ISO standard indeed, but let us set aside how that came about), but it isn't. Usually it isn't. You are thinking you are receiving or saving a publically documented format but it is actually that plus proprietary extensions such that you cannot interact normally with the rest of the world.

  • What, program macros into Excel to make it play Life?

  • PC gaming has officially jumped the shark!

  • The Microsoft Special Olympics.

  • Wut? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by richy freeway ( 623503 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @04:07PM (#55028623)

    Someone needs to introduce these kids to drugs and vandalism, get them off this dark path they're heading down.

    • In particular, they need to be introduced to weed, if they have not already. That would set them on the path to becoming super star video game programmers the likes of which have not been seen since the glory days of the 80s and 90s.

      Yes, I know Pong and the Atari 2600 were from the 70s, but it was not until some disgruntled employees left Atari to form Activision when video games actually gained more than just the bland life Atari made them be; and though founded near the end of 1979, their first game didn

  • It is established that this is a marketing stunt, so Slashdot is giving it free publicity?

    Screw that. It's not news, and it doesn't matter.

    • by imidan ( 559239 )
      I understand that the whole thing is just advertisement for MS Office certification, but I'm still curious what kind of things a person has to do to win the competition. All these articles about the stupid thing, and none of them has managed to provide an example of a task that a person might be expected to perform.
  • So... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @06:38PM (#55029969)

    If this is a legit e-sports event, who won the cosplay competition? Pics of grown-ass employees dressed as Inori Aizawa, Clippy, and John Hodgman or GTFO.

  • Don't miss the blockbuster DLC - Access The Apocalypse!

    I hear the next installment in the series is already in development.

    Excel: Adventure Mode II - The SQL.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.