Special Report Part 1: Geek It Up
Princesses taken away by turtles, throwing on a yellow spandex suit, and taking down a dragon. No, this isn’t a dream. For some, this is everyday life. In fact, this has been their life since childhood, but what makes a geek a geek?
It all started with those seven notes, super Mario Brothers stormed onto the scene in 1985 and players were hooked.
We are now eight generations in with no signs of slowing down. For me it was when my uncle Gabriel introduced me to shining in the darkness on Sega genesis, that’s when i knew this would be a lifelong passion.
No one celebrates games more than a special club at the University of Texas Pan American.
“The name of the club is the gamers club. It’s been around since “we also play game of today. I know league of legends is a huge popular thing that’s going on right now. And also the new X-Box one games or the Playstation 4 games,”
Gathering almost every day to play games and to discuss their history with the electronic machines that made names like samus, cloud, and Marcus Fenix into household names.
“I got my first Gameboy when i was four. And before that, my dad used to take me to arcades, and we’d go, he’d play games, and he just kind of taught me the ropes and i just went forward after that,” explains Adrian Ponce / UTPA gamers club.
“I guess I’ve just been really play since like, four years ago, when i was a freshmen in high school,” explains Eleanor Dongoldogol / UTPA gamers club
“Man that’s ancient history for me right there. I’d have to say back i was about four with the s-n-e-s,” says Christian Almanza / UTPA gamers club.
“Fourth grade, with the super Nintendo. I’ve been play that since then,” explains daniel Salinas, UTPA gamers club.
Everywhere you turn these days, video games have made a huge effect, moving past the small screen and into the
Silver screen. Even veteran actors have found their way into games. Most recently 24 actor Kiefer Sutherland made the announcement that he will be joining the long running metal gear solid series and become the newest voice and actor the role.
In fact, I had the chance to speak with him myself.
“This is the first time I’ve ever done facial recognition, which consists of about thirty five to fifty metal dots on my face, going all the way into my hairline, going all the way down my neck to a wall of maybe another thirty cameras. Which was an amazing experience because what they were able to do was generating from that the ability to sync up a visual image to a voice that is like nothing I’ve ever seen.” Says Kiefer Sutherland. “The gaming thing is something that’s really interesting to me just because i’m watching this from a technical perspective how that technology is going to incorporate itself into movies because i think ultimately video games are going to actually morph into movies and movies are going to morph into games in the sense that they’ll have alternative endings, etc. Etc.”
E3, or the electronic entertainment expo is one of the biggest events held in honor of video games, with celebrities literally, flooding the arena, and not only for the hot booth babes.
Yet however big the gaming community gets, the thought of picking up a game and just playing is what brought this group together.
“I still come back to the old stuff, because, nostalgia, and it was fun.”
For some however, just playing on a screen isn’t enough, others, need the thrill of battle
That’s where live action role playing, or larping comes in. Meet the heroes of Wickerwood. But how do you describe larping?
“Larping, what we do is a buffer sport. We come out here to have fun, dress up, fight each other. We use nerf weapons at the end of the day, we go home with a little bumps and bruises, and good stories.,” says Joshua Williamson / Wickerwood member
“I was introduced to it back in college. Maybe about eight to ten years ago. A lot of my friends played it, so i went out to the park and started playing it, just fell in love a kept playing for years,” explains Thomas Cagle, Wickerwood member.
“I can say, you make friends faster in combat than you would anywhere else in life,” adds Justin / Wickerwood member.
“Sometimes you can become a squire or knight and I’ve met many females who are knights, fighting knights, who are actually way more vicious and way better fighters than a lot of the males you see out here today,” explains Esliee Rincon / Wickerwood member.
Battles are fierce, the weapons top notch, and the prize, pure glory of victory. After choosing your class and being selected for a team, you prepare for battle.