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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Largest crowd yet for SIC video game tournament

  • The campus of Southeastern Illinois College was the scene of violence and carnage last Friday night. Bio-engineered warriors clad in shimmering power armor engaged in dire and hard-fought battles. Pulse rifles blazed and grenades flew through the air like confetti, while shotguns blasted and sub-machine guns delivered devastating, short range kills, with shattered bodies littering the ground.
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  • The campus of Southeastern Illinois College was the scene of violence and carnage last Friday night.
    Bio-engineered warriors clad in shimmering power armor engaged in dire and hard-fought battles. Pulse rifles blazed and grenades flew through the air like confetti, while shotguns blasted and sub-machine guns delivered devastating, short range kills, with shattered bodies littering the ground.
    The SIC Math and Science Club in conjunction with the SIC Student Government was hosting SIC’s Video Game Tournament for the seventh year in a row.
    “It is a very popular event,” said Matt Lees, chair of social science at the college. “Whenever there is a rumor that we won’t be holding the tournament, I immediately get a line of students outside my office door.”
    Begun in 2006, the tournament was the brainchild of the 2006 student body president, himself a big gaming fan, who wanted to provide a safe and fun recreation event for the students. The tournament organizers hold an event each semester and this year’s games saw the biggest attendance in four years.
    About 30 gamers and fans gathered in a small dining area off the main cafeteria on campus at 6 p.m. Friday night and the teams registered and were seeded for the competition. The event is free of charge and open to gamers from the area, the only stipulation is that at least one team member must be a current SIC student. Large screen TV’s and gaming consoles were set up on tables with controllers aligned, awaiting the sure and lethal hands of the contestants.
    Jason Fitzgerald, Math and Science Club co-sponsor and Chair of Math and Science at SIC, briefed the players on the rules and the combat began. Fitzgerald and “My troop of nerds” assist with the technical aspects of the set-up and smooth running of the electronics and game systems. This semesters gaming was using the Microsoft X-Box system and the game of the evening was the popular “Halo 2” game. Two teams of four players each faced off in dire and ruthless combat.
    As the evening progressed and teams enjoyed sweet victory or suffered bitter defeat, the participants and spectators made frequent runs to the bountiful provender of the snack table, returning to their seats with plates laden with pizza, chips and cookies, bottled water and sodas quenching their thirst.
    “The Math and Science Club do the heavy lifting organizing this event,” Lees said. “We rent the TV’s locally, Jason provides the game consoles free of charge and the Student Activity Fund picks up the tab for the for the snacks, drinks and TV rental. We do a different game and game console system each tournament. We plan to continue as long as there is interest in it from the students.”
    Page 2 of 2 - By about 8 p.m. the contest entered the finals, a best of three matches between the teams “Dirty Mike” and “Keepin It K”. After three hard-fought and gory rounds of combat, the team “Keepin It K” was vanquished by “Dirty Mike” and the tired gamers rose from their tables amidst the cheers of the spectators, to exchange handshakes and congratulations of “Good Game, Good Game.”
    Third place trophies went to the team of “DNA Helicase,” the second place trophies going to “Keepin It K” and the first place trophies claimed by the overall victors “Dirty Mike.” When asked to what they attributed their victory, the team of “Dirty Mike” considered, then team member Austin Winters said, “Great teamwork and great communication,” the quiet smile of victory lighting his face.

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