Zachary Gray – Co-Editor-in-Chief
They’ve been around for decades, bringing families together and kids out for competition. They’ve brought joy to the victorious and sadness to the defeated. They continue to sell by the millions and create controversies with the government. They can be found in nearly every dorm room on campus, both male and female. They, of course, are video games.
What makes video games so great? For every person it’s different. It could be the artwork, storyline, playability, music, sound, or anything in between. Video games can grasp our emotions, happiness, excitement, sadness, sorrow, and fear. Video games are the ultimate interactive form of entertainment.
This generation of college students was born into the best era of video games. The Super Nintendo was the hot seller, SEGA was competing with Japan’s video game giant, and Microsoft wasn’t playing with boxes, instead it was Windows. Our parents, aunts, uncles, and older relatives had enjoyed years of 8 and 16-bit systems and were saving money to purchase the first in 32 and 64-bit gaming. Many of our first systems were the Nintendo 64 or Sony Playstation. Crash Bandicoot, Super Mario, Link, and Spyro wished many of us a Merry Christmas or happy birthday. It was a joyous time to be a child.
As we progressed in our lives, so did our video games. The ability to play along with millions of people around the world became a reality with the Playstation 2 and Microsoft’s XBOX. Middle school and high school were filled with hours of after school gameplay with friends, both at home and online.
Video gaming grew to a new level with the release of the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3. Online gameplay of these systems connected us around the world to friends back home, across campus, and even those abroad. Furthermore, they defined video games in college.
Gaming is a different experience while living at school. There’s no one to say when to shut them off and no need to be quiet. Games can be as competitive as possible and there’s almost always someone to play with at any given time. While our education from kindergarten through high school brought us to the classrooms of Wolfe or Wass, our early stages of gaming in Game Boy and Super Nintendo brought us to the battlefields of “Call of Duty.”
Perhaps it takes away from homework, campus activities, and socializing as a whole. But there’s no denying the popularity of video games. Communication Professor Brian Wardyga is currently teaching his second video games course, “Video Games and Culture.” The Campus Activities Board hosted its second “Mario Kart Wii” tournament at the beginning of last semester, with the winner receiving a new Nintendo Wii. The tournament was a huge success, as the bracket still hangs in my room and the Wii is on just about every night.
When students look back at Lasell in the future, writing papers, spending hours in the library and in the dining hall will be part of college memories. We might have different experiences of college, but one thing is for certain: we’ve all experienced video games.