Cries of excitement and hearty laughter pierce through the thick concrete walls of Van Gilder hall. Plasma grenades and bullets fly as the hall-wide Halo 3 tournament marches on into the night. Teams of two battle it out to see who will come out on top in this hall sectional. Silence falls in the room as the scores are tallied.
Large video gaming sessions like this Halo 3 tournament are fast becoming commonplace in the male dorms of Van Gillder, Farrar and Davidson. Gamers around the halls are rushing to crowded dorm rooms to play the hottest games with their fellow dorm mates. So why are so many students choosing to game together? Also, is video gaming a good source of social interaction for students?
Reid Zucati, a junior in Van Gilder’s Northside hall, said, “[Gaming] definitely draws together guys in the hall. Even though we are all different, we have a common activity that draws us together.” Zucati also mentioned that it was easier for him to bond with individuals he did not know well by gaming with them. “Gaming brings us together. It creates a common bond between cultures,” he said.
Anthony Roberts, a senior in VG’s Northside, mentioned that the appeal from video games comes from “friendly competition with and against each other.”
“It is much more fun to play with others than against them. It is much more competitive with people you know,” Roberts said. His foster brother, who was in a wheelchair, originally got him to enjoy video games when Roberts was 8 years old. Video games were one of the few ways he and Roberts could play together. Roberts noted that he became “much closer [to his foster brother] because of gaming.”
Richard Riffle, a junior in VG, explained that video games create a good bonding experience throughout the dorms. He also stated video games are a great ministry.
“You can talk about theological stuff between levels or rounds,” he said.
All three men pointed out several pros and cons of gaming. They said videogames are fun, competitive, bring about closeness and fellowship and are a great bonding experience. But they also warned that videogames can be a distraction from homework and spiritual time.
Oh, and the results for this Halo 3 tournament? Ralph Waldo Emerson III and the writer of this article were the winners.