By Kevin Izaguirre
Intending to meet at the end of every month and before the semester ends in December, Northwest University’s two-year old E-sports club is expanding itself into more than a video game club. The question arises: what role does a Christian university have in online gaming?
If you are familiar with the toxic community certain video games can produce, then you would agree with the president of the NU E-sports venture, Daniel Williams. Williams believes Christians can counter the culture of nastiness and unnecessary cruelty with Christ-like patience and gentleness.
“It boils down to the type of community video games give, and why we as a school can be a beacon to that,” Williams said.
The club meets in HSC 102, where the PC games are positioned on the left side of the room as you enter, and the consoles are positioned to the right side. If free ice cream and socialization aren’t enough, teams are being set up for certain games such as “League of Legends” on PC and “Super Smash Brothers” for the Nintendo Switch.
Bringing your own console will ensure participation, and security measures will be provided for protecting your property — as guests from other universities may visit. The club also has a coach and faculty advisor, Austin Salgado, who offers instruction on the games being played to newcomers and provides aid in skill improvement, with tutorials varying between genres of games. So, if you don’t feel skilled enough in a type of game, there are countless options, such as the PC client Steam or the console online stores, that can provide a brainstorm. Who knows? Maybe with the rise of smartphones catching up to the rest of the videogame universe, the casual gamer can find a place and transition into more intensive play.
Salgado explained that the game choices are compatible with the NU lifestyle policy, with cooperative and multiplayer games such as Fortnite among the variety of games played in the club.
Salgado said the club’s goals are both recreational and competitive.
“[We want] to provide place of fellowship, and a competitive edge if those students are interested in that direction,” Salgado said. He said he is open to teaching the games being played to newcomers.
NU E-sports is a thrilling way to find friends where learning to have something in common through personal taste is accessible, as well as practicing Christlike virtues in a virtual reality. Reaching past its own society of entertainment, NU E-Sports club has a social media page on Facebook, NU E-Sports, where event reminders and messages to the club officers can be accessed. Unique in its scope, NU E-Sports has the best of both worlds, virtue and virtual reality, where the Prince of Peace can calm down a violent world of trash talk and bullying.