Computer engineering sophomore James Meadows, left, and ecology and zoology freshman John Heslop participate in Spartans Will Game on Sept. 19, 2014, at the MSU Union. The University Activities Board (UAB) provided different gaming systems for students to enjoy. Photographer: Aerika Williams/The State News
Fast fingers and quick reflexes were on display Friday afternoon as crowds of students huddled around six projectors in the Union ballroom for three hours of intense video game tournaments.
Students waiting in line to be the first to enter a room soon filled with cacophonous sounds of sweet victory and bitter defeat.
Last held in 2012, the University Activities Board’s Spartans Will Game was highly anticipated by MSU’s gaming community. Six big screens were set up for maximum gaming along with Dave and Buster’s arcade games.
There was a “Halo 4” competition open to the first 32 two-player teams. The sign-up sheet filled up within the first 10 minutes of being available. The winners were awarded $50 to the Spartan Bookstore.
Hospitality business junior Jordan Hensley, who organized the event, was excited about the turn out. It was the first event she hosted, and said she put a lot of time into it.
Students looked forward to the experience, especially psychology senior Markeis Burch, who had been informed about the event by a friend that attended two years ago.
“It’s the perfect way to unwind after a long week,” Burch said.
Burch was accompanied by his girlfriend, interdisciplinary studies junior Shanice Sherrill, who is part of the Animosity Club which helped put on the event along with MSU Smash.
MSU Smash is a club that revolves around the popular Nintendo fighting series “Super Smash Bros.,” which is a game that features characters of other established games.
Gaming has always been an interest for Burch, who enjoys conventional multiplayer games that involve everyone and puts people on the edge of their seat.
“More participation means more competition,” Burch said.
This event brought together a community of similar interests that doesn’t often have opportunities to congregate. This was a big part of the event’s draw for Josilyn Clark, a freshman in Lyman Briggs College.
“It makes me feel comfortable because it’s weird for a girl to be super geeky and into games, so being around other people like this makes me happy,” Clark said.
Clark has been an avid gamer since the age of 12 and devotes her weekends to video games such as “Super Smash Bros.” It started out as a way to connect to her older brother, and turned into a way of life.
“Smash Bros.” has attracted a passionate cult following in the 15 years since its introduction, first on the Nintendo 64 in 1999. A lot of gamers were eager about the release of the game’s newest installment, which will be released in less than two weeks, and the anticipation was a hot topic of conversation.
Burch said shared passion for the game brought students together.
“Just being here within the first 20 minutes I’ve met four people,” Burch said.
Spartans Will Game brought together not only people who love “Super Smash Bros.”, but of all kinds of video game fans. The UAB intends to continue the event in future years.
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As a freshman at Michigan State, I interned for the university's student newspaper The State News where I wrote three stories each week, including subject interviews, writing, editing and submission. In addition to my weekly work, I landed two front-page feature articles. I was also responsible for attending and reporting on Michigan State University campus events.
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