I.D.E.A.S. Hosts Second Annual Video Game Tournament

If you build it, they will come.

Or in this case, if you host a video game tournament, the players will flock together and do what they do best – game to their heart's content.

Whether you're aware or not, there is a culture often hidden and swept under the forces of music and movie fanaticism. Despite billboards, television commercials, and even blockbuster films, the general population tends to forget that video games can be just as entertaining as earlier mentioned.

The Improving Dreams Equality Access and Success club, I.D.E.A.S. for short, was clued in on this, and thus came forth the second annual Video Game tournament.

Hosted as a fundraiser, the tournament consisted of two main video games: the ever popular Guitar Hero: World Tour and from the popular fighting game franchise, Street Fighter 4. Contestants challenged one another in song and brawl for a chance to prizes, like an iTunes gift card. Meanwhile, those that prefer to watch than play (or those already kicked out of the tournament) were given the option of free popcorn to enjoy themselves.

"We had it last year and it was a success," Mariana Villafana, 19 organizer of the event, said. "We had a good turnout this year," before diving once again into compiling the competition rounds.

The crowd at first was a gathering of ten or so, but gradually, more and more people showed up to compete in a round or just to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of gaming. But what exactly is it about these games that attracts an audience? Actually, much like movies and music, video games work as a way to escape and indulge in a good time.

"It's a way that I can treat myself after studying," Miguel Martinez, age 18, said. "Playing video games is just cool and fun."

"I'm not much of a video game person, but when I play them it's for fun," Adriana Carillo, 18, said. "But it also gets my mind off of things."

Granted, while I.D.E.A.S.'s fundraiser was cheap, adopting these games into one's life takes a good deal of discipline and, worst of all, money. And in these current days, even money for a movie or music album is scarce, which may be the cause for the seemingly underground tone within the culture.

However, where there's a will and a way, and there are always used games that go for cheaper, or even renting companies like Gamefly with plans to send the games to your home without ever turning them in late.

So, even if gaming isn't your thing but you need to take a break from cramming for your final exams, try the casual, stress-free Guitar Hero with which to start your experience. Maybe for next year's tournament, you'll manage to place in the competition!