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Press Start Video Games host tournament

Renee Sogueco, ‘Doah Staff Writer
February 26, 2014

'Doah photo by Renee Sogueco

‘Doah photo by Renee Sogueco

Press Start Video Games, a local store in Winchester, recently hosted a gaming tournament, sponsored by Red Bull and McDonald’s, on Saturday, Feb. 22.

Gage Edwards, the manager of Press Start, hosted the event at the popular Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and invited video game enthusiasts to participate in the “Halo 2” tournament. Asked where they heard of the contest, contestants said that they heard through the store or flyers posted by Press Start. To enter the competition, there was a fee of 10 dollars in advance and a fee of 15 dollars the day of the event.

Shenandoah University’s          Professor Joey Gawrysiak, a contender in the competition, is conducting research on video games and how they may be able to become a spectator’s sport.

For it to become such, it would need an incredible following. Some companies, such as Major League Gaming, conduct tournaments online, and there are many video games that require strategy and team playing in order to win “matches.” Twitch, a live streaming video platform, focuses on e-sports and video gaming. As a potential spectator sport, video games hold no physical injuries, less expenses, and most everyone can participate. Some cons to video games may be the lack of realism and lack of entertainment. Other complaints come from the small amount of viewing methods. Video games such as “Halo 2” or any of the “Call of Duty” series, when in multiplayer mode, become split screened, but it may become confusing or boring to some speculators.

Edwards decided on “Halo 2” through a vote on the store’s Facebook page, and most voted on the popular classic multiplayer. As a classic game, “Halo 2” was released on Nov. 4, 2004 and still boasts as a highly popular first person shooter.

Starting at 10 a.m., twelve people, a perfect number according to Edwards, attended and the competition began. People walked into a dimly lit theater of the Alamo and saw the loading screen appear more massive than what could be usually seen.

The rules were simple; the contestants were contending in order to gain the top five spots.

In the game, players must pick up weapons and shoot the other player in order to gain advantage. Edwards picked the multiplayer level, Lockout, as the setting and announced the players in pairs. Presented in split screen, some players had difficulty adjusting to looking at the dual screens. The two players both had health bars that indicated how much life he or she had left.

When the health bar ran out, the player “died.”

Each game had a time limit of five minutes, and at the end of those five minutes, the person who had the most “kills,” or scored more, won the round.

If it turned out to be a tie, the game would restart, and one contestant had to kill the other only once in order to win. During each round, there was no timer to tell how long the clock had been going for, but a voiceover would warn when the one minute mark hit.

When asked about the cost of rent for the theater, he simply stated that the Alamo had “nice people” and by bringing people, he brought business. For him, the turnout was more than he expected even with the small number of 12, but he expects larger turnouts with his “Call of Duty” and “Super Smash Bros.” tournaments. The former brings in about 60 to 70 people. With advertisements, he just relies on the Facebook page, flyers and word-of-mouth.

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