Gamers Unite

A Sneak peak on the next new upcoming sport

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Gamers Unite

A Playstation 4 controller glows as it awaits the gamer to grab ahold of the portal to the gaming world.

A Playstation 4 controller glows as it awaits the gamer to grab ahold of the portal to the gaming world.

A Playstation 4 controller glows as it awaits the gamer to grab ahold of the portal to the gaming world.

A Playstation 4 controller glows as it awaits the gamer to grab ahold of the portal to the gaming world.

Andy Kotenko and Drake Strong

          It was a long day at school and it’s time to go home to unwind the ball of stress.

          There was a difficult test in Math, English consisted of writing a really long essay, Science tackled a very confusing concept, and to make matters worse, lunch consisted of a small, sad sandwich.

          The bus ride was too loud. The walk home was cold. Bags are dropped by the door. And disheveled bodies migrate to the television.

          You grab your controller, boot up the system and wait for the game menu to load up. The Quick Play option appears.

          A character and specific details are chosen. Your eyes light up. You become the character that you are now playing.

          You jump into the world of gaming and your day is finally beginning.

          Both casual and competitive gamers alike are rapidly increasing in numbers and are becoming all too popular in daily lives of people.

          Male and female, old and young, everyone plays video games

          But the thing that makes regular and casual gaming different from competitive gaming is a matter of definition.

          “My definition of playing competitively,” Junior Justin Packham explains, “is when you analyze and play a game in a way that people often overlook. My favorite game to play competitively is Overwatch and I’ve been playing for about a year.”

          Some people might wonder why to even bother with competitive gaming and why it should matter.

          “I love playing competitively because of the thrill it gives you and that it actually matters because if you get good enough you are amazing and can stomp over scrubs can go to tourneys (tournaments) and win prizes and money and stuff,” stated Packham.

          According to an article on CBS news, the biggest tournaments offer grand prizes up to $20 million, attracting pro gamers who compete in popular video games such as “League of Legends,” an online battle arena video game in which you are in control of a “champion” that you must go around and challenge other players.

          Another popular tournament game is “Overwatch,” which is online first person shooter.

          There are two teams with six people on each team along with 25 playable heroes to choose from.  There are 3 main game modes: Assault, where you attack a point. Control, where the team attempts to maintain control over a point. And Payload, where there is a vehicle that one team tries to “push” to checkpoints.

          But in order to even think about going to tournaments you have to be good at the game. How does one get better at the game?

          “The way that I get better is by just playing the game, don’t search for guides on how to play the game.”

          This is because each person is different and some techniques that work for some people don’t work for others.

          “Just play the game and you’ll get the hang of it,” says Packham.

          Junior Ikaika Griffith also said, “The way I get better when playing is by playing the game but also making some objectives for myself such as getting a certain amount of kills in a round or making it to a specific destination in a certain amount of time.”

          While trying to play your game and get better at it, you will encounter a type of people called “toxic players” these people are the type of people that make up the bad side of online gaming such as leaving in the middle of a match, targeting one specific player, or doing nothing the entire match.

          When doing online gaming, there will be “toxic players”, there is no way around this, but how should you deal with them?

          “The way that I deal with the standard toxic player such as trolls or leavers is by just leaving the game or trying to ignore and avoid them. It’s not worth my time, what am I going to do, kill them in the game?” says Griffith.

          Junior Haley Dornan says, “The way that I deal with the standard toxic player is by not interacting with them and silently laughing at them.”

          Now why are some players sometimes toxic ones? Dornan explains, “I have been a troll in many games of Overwatch. I am above average at the game so, I’ll mainly play the hero Sombra who is a hacker, and continuously “hack” one specific opponent so they can’t use their abilities such as secondary fire because it’s funny when they get really mad.”

          Some people would argue that gaming is more harmful than helpful because it makes people more violent and they stare at a screen like zombies.

          “One disadvantage of competitive gaming in normal daily life is that it can pretty addictive and you can get really mad if you continuously lose match after match”,  explains Dornan.

          There is a downside to competitive gaming but gaming is known to also reduce stress and help people relax according to A 2010 study at Texas A&M conducted by Associate Professor Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson showed that both men and women who play violent video games long-term seem to be able to adopt mental skills to handle stress, become less depressed and get less hostile during stressful tasks.

          In fact, Ferguson suggested that violent video games could potentially be used as a form of therapy to help people find a way to “work through their frustrations” in real life.

          For avid video gamers reading this, the results probably come as no surprise, considering that if you ask anyone you know who plays games why they play, a common answer is, “to relax” or “de-stress.”

          Now we can have arguments about gaming being good or bad for you, but one thing is for certain, it can be quite lucrative if you’re good enough, and colleges are catching wind of this.

          Over 50 colleges around the country are giving out gaming scholarships CBS news says,  “We’re talking to at least three or four new schools every single day. We did not expect this type of reaction,” said Michael Brooks, executive director of the National Association of Collegiate eSports, a group that represents more than 40 schools with varsity gaming teams.”

          Since this is becoming a part of people’s daily lives, we should grab hold and try to see the opportunities that this is giving us.


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