OK, here is the scenario. It”s 8 p.m. and you have a psychology exam the next morning. About to start studying, your roommate, dorm buddy or neighbor shows up and says, “Hey, wanna play some Madden?” Do you: A) tell them you are too busy studying B) say, “OK, but just one game” or C) blow off studying and play a season?
While a good student would tell you A is the obvious answer but B is somewhat acceptable, many students on campus find themselves in scenario C far too often.
“When I start playing videogames, I tell myself I am only going to play for an hour, and sometimes, that becomes four or five hours,” LSA senior Brian O”Byrne commented on his compulsive videogame habit.
Without nagging parents to tell them to come to dinner, go to sleep or start studying, college dorms become a playland for students. LSA senior Mark Kloporwitz experienced this videogame overload his freshman year: “All the guys in my hall at East Quad were obsessed with playing Quake and it began to grow on me. I ended up paying people to pick up food for me so I could keep playing,” said Kloporwitz.
While sometimes detrimental to studying and grades, videogames have built bonds for many students. Many students meet online to play against or with each other. Other students have formed leagues for certain sports games. For LSA junior Denzel Erickson, his dream of being coach of the Wolverines has come true through EA Sports” popular title, “NCAA Football 2002.” “Right now, me and five other guys are playing a dynasty. I am in my third year coaching Michigan. We (Michigan) lost in the Alamo Bowl last year but now I am ranked number three in the country,” said Erickson.
For some college students, playing videogames starts at a very young age and has become a regular part of everyday life. “My parents bought an Atari when I was like three years old. It”s weird because it still works and I play it almost 20 years later,” said on LSA junior Jeff Undel. And even with all the new systems and technology available, such as Sony”s Playstation 2 and the brand new Xbox from Microsoft, Undie still prefers his Atari. “My housemates and I will come home from the bar and play “Pong” until we pass out,” he said.
Not all gamers on campus can be so content with past technology. Last year”s highly anticipated release of the Playstation 2 resulted in many students camping out at retail stores in hopes of getting one of the first ones. LSA senior Adam Rouls found himself doing just that. “A friend and I tried getting one at Meijer at midnight, but there were already like 200 people waiting to get one. We then drove around like mad men until we found a short line at a K-Mart where we waited 10 hours before getting the system,” said Rouls.
Needless to say, Rouls was tired after a long night, but he still had work to do. Did he have to write a paper? No. Did he have to go to class? Negative. “I skipped class so I could play all the new games I bought,” said Rouls.
With the release of two new game systems this week, Nintendo”s GameCube and Microsoft”s Xbox, many gamers find themselves in a similar position: “I tried pre-ordering the new Nintendo in August, but all the stores were already sold out,” said LSA sophomore Ricky Gisher, “I guess I am going to have to stay up all night.”
Aside from new systems, many obsessed gamers mark their calendars for dates when new games come out. Showing up at midnight at the Meijer on Ann Arbor-Saline Rd., Ypsilanti native Jeff Urbley hoped to find a copy of “Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty,” which is considered by many to be one of the most important videogames of all-time. “I have been counting the days for this game. I can”t believe it”s not on the shelves why isn”t it on the shelves?” a frustrated Urbley asked.
Some videogame fans cannot even go onto campus without having videogames to play. LSA freshman Martin Davis is a big fan of his new Gameboy Advance. Nintendo”s new portable gaming device, which was released this past summer, helps Davis kill time between classes. “This little thing is really addicting between classes I play it all the time. Sometimes when I get too wrapped up in my game I end up playing it in the back of a lecture hall,” said Davis.