In continuing their celebration of a much more simpler time, the Campus Activities Board let students take a break from their daunting classes last week to remember a special part of the 1990s. With the month of September referred to as “Mental Health Month,” students were given free range to unwind by playing some of their favorite video games and enjoying some candy sweets in the EUC Claxton Room last Thursday afternoon.
CAB, in their event, featured such video game titles as: Madden 2016, Sonic’s Genesis Collection, and most notably, the classic Super Smash Brothers Brawl for the Wii. With a more calm atmosphere after dealing with demanding schedules and work, students certainly had a pleasant time playing some of their favorite video game titles and reflecting on the very idea of the benefits of video games.
Sophomore Cassie Burt said, “I think are a great stress reliever for the pressures of being in college. I think it’s a very good way to distress and just have something fun to do with friends.”
Sophomore Joshua Webb echoed a similar statement about how video games provide a nice break. “I think for this specific event, it is very nice for me to be able to come to campus and do something as I wait for class or before work, since I live off campus,” said Webb. “With that, I just enjoy playing games because it relieves stress.”
Typically, with a video game event such as last Thursday’s, the one spot where students were most huddled around, and which featured the most, “I got next” statements was the station which featured Super Smash Brothers Brawl.
Super Smash Brothers Brawl was a video game titled released in 2008, and it was the third installment in the megahit crossover video game series, Super Smash Bros. The series has featured such beloved Nintendo game characters such as: Link of Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong of the Donkey Kong series, Pikachu from the Pokemon series and Mario and Luigi from the Super Mario. The beat em up style game released their fourth installment a year ago in the form of the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
Junior JT Williams, who explained that his favorite character to use was “Mario [because]… he’s the most well-rounded character out of the whole roster” was a longtime veteran of the Super Smash Bros series, and grew up playing Super Smash Bros. Melee, released in 2001 for the Nintendo Gamecube.
Williams talked about his favorite aspect of video games, which does not even feature a specific game title. “I like the fact I can use them to bond with my family and friends,” said Williams. “Because sometimes, we will just spend a lot of time playing, and some of my favorite memories are playing video games and just laughing and toying around.”
Another prominent game featured at the CAB-sponsored event was the newest series in the longtime Madden franchise. Sophomores Simon Chase and DJ Bell, who were replaying a rematch of Super Bowl XLVII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, mentioned that they actually do not play many football video games, but just enjoyed the option of playing one last week.
“I am actually not much into football games like this,” Bell said. “I usually watch, and If I play, it is just to learn, and see what I can do with it.”
Chase reiterated the statements of his friend, listing off video game titles he usually plays. “I play the NBA2K series and GTA (Grand Theft Auto) and fighting games like Tekken 6 and Mortal Kombat.” In the NBA 2K series and Mortal Kombat, both Chase and Bell said they enjoy using the Cleveland Cavaliers in the basketball game and Sub-Zero and Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat.
Video games, a prominent passion on the UNCG campus, as exemplified by the popularity of the UNCG Gaming and ESports Club, have not always been a well-respected practice in the industry. In regards to those who look negatively on video games, some students defended the industry.
“I don’t think they have a pretty good idea of what we actually play. I know a lot of soccer moms that have a problem with violent video games, but honestly, in cases like that, you should be watching what your kid plays anyway,” said Williams. “…Just like movies and tv shows, there are some things for some people, and some things for other people.”