OPINION/PERSPECTIVE: Gamerz club’s ‘Horrid Casino’ brings out Truman’s inner nerd

by Yesica P. Prado, Staff Writer and Photographer

Truman's Gamerz Inc. unites students interested in video games, Asian anime movies, comic books and cosplaying, demonstrated above with costumed students playing like vampires. Photo credit: Yesica P. Prado

Truman’s Gamerz Inc. unites interests in video games, Asian anime movies and manga books, graphic novels, comics and cosplaying, demonstrated above with costumed students playing like vampires.
Photo credit: Yesica P. Prado

The soldier runs in circles inside the mansion desperately looking for an exit, only to find the doorways blocked. He takes a peek through a foggy window, searching for survivors beyond the darkness of the virtual night. Suddenly, the screen turns red. The soldier gets cornered, and blood squirts out of his head as dozens of hungry human teeth ferociously devour him.

“Ahhhhh, what the fuck,” a 6-year-old boy yells at the 51-inch TV. “Noooooo, don’t die!” he continues, grinding his teeth and slamming the remote against the floor.

BAAMM! White pieces of plastic and colorful buttons burst out from the $40 control.

Many of us have stereotyped video gamers as quick-tempered, anti-social, nerdy and lazy. I didn’t believe in stereotypes until witnessing my sibling break his fourth remote control this year.

Searching for a new club as a shy new student, I immediately stereotyped the gamers club as I pictured my angry little cousin, which made me hesitate to join. Yet, after hanging out with Gamerz Inc., Truman’s official video-game club, I found the members to be more than nerdy guys playing video games. The gamers club is a family founded on friendship.

Welcome to the 'Horrid Casino'! Photo credit: Yesica P. Prado

Swords and sorcery at the ‘Horrid Casino’ celebrating Halloween 2013.
Photo credit: Yesica P. Prado

Gamerz Inc. has many interests for every taste, from video games, anime, manga and comic books. The members plan events every month that include gaming tournaments, anime screening days, parties and fundraisers, stated Reginald Graham, Gamerz Inc. Vice President.

They hope to make students more aware of lesser known non-mainstream anime, and as for video games, shooting and role-playing games such as “Call of Duty” and “Kingdom of Hearts” are among their many favorites.

This month, the club along with Truman’s dance crew HYPE hosted “Horrid Casino,” which was a fun gaming party on Halloween, from noon to 6 p.m., in the Student Activities Lounge, where students socialized, ate candy, wore costumes and played video and group games.

Wearing a costume was not required, but members enjoyed cosplaying as zombies and Batman, to name a few, which is a fanatic trend among gamers and anime lovers where participants wear costumes and accessories to represent their favorite fictional character.

Fantasy martial-arts fighting breaks out at the Gamerz' 'Horrid Casino' on Halloween 2013. Photo credit: Yesica P. Prado

Fantasy martial-arts fighting breaks out at the Gamerz’ ‘Horrid Casino’ on Halloween 2013.
Photo credit: Yesica P. Prado

“Brandon cosplayed as an elementary schoolgirl last year,” said Victor Arduno, club member recalling Gamerz Inc. President Brandon Figueroa’s costume. “I think he even shaved to keep it authentic. Seeing him in a dress was a little weird, but it’s understandable since it’s cosplay.”

Joining the Gamerz Inc. grants you a fresh start: new friends, new hobbies and even a new name. In the member’s initiation, you will be baptized with a name that best describes your personality.

Club member Jennifer Nguyen was renamed as “ladyxdeath” because “they think I’m evil,” stated Nguyen. I guess you know what they say, “it’s always the quiet ones.”

But are video games productive? My aunt certainly doesn’t think so, but still allows her child to play video games. She is contradicting as always.

The average child aged eight to 12 plays 13 hours of video games per week, according to the research organization Harris Interactive. One might think, “they are just kids, and they’ll grow out it.” Wrong.

Video game researcher Stephen Burgess conducted a study on “Video Game Playing and Academic Performance in College Students,” revealing 81% of 18 to 29-year-olds play video games. Additionally, exposure to violent games may disrupt school performance, as the study concludes those with higher exposure demonstrated the lowest GPAs.

But of course, there are always exceptions. Arduno has been a club member since the fall of 2011, and although he admits playing video games in excess, sometimes for even 10 hours in a day, he has never abandoned his studies.

“I work two part-time jobs and I go to school,” said Arduno, alias “machete.” “When I’m not doing something productive, I’m playing video games. It really calms me down and releases stress. It’s 10 hours of relaxation and then back to reality.”

Should we allow frightening statistics and stereotypes influence our choices? Maybe. But we should also take risks, otherwise we wouldn’t get up everyday. Oddly enough, falling out of bed accounts for 1.8 million emergency room visits, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Don’t let their club name define who they are. Everyone deserves a chance for fair representation, right? Besides, Gamerz Inc. has become Truman’s largest club with over 100 members, staying connected even after graduating, said Graham, alias “edgedragon.”

“We have a secret Facebook page to link all members, which allows us to interact and do stuff together,” said Graham. “We had our former president from two years ago still come back to play even though she goes to DePaul now.”

Gamerz Inc. will be hosting another gaming party on Nov. 27 with an ’80s theme. For more information on joining the club, visit the Student Activities Lounge on Mondays and Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. for their weekly meetings. Don’t miss out on being a part of this wonderfully weird family.

Every day is Halloween for Gamerz. Photo credit: Yesica P. Prado

Every day is Halloween for Gamerz.
Photo credit: Yesica P. Prado

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