Feb 042003
 
Authors: Christopher J. Ortiz

I have never been a big gamer before. Most of my experience is confined to console gaming like PlayStation and Sega. That is why I was so surprised when I visited Academy Gaming.

For the most part, PC gaming seems too complicated for me – too many rules, directions and buttons to press. I have bought a couple of games for my PC but I soon forget after playing Madden Football on PlayStation. So I couldn’t say I was too excited to try out the PC games at Academy, but after Darrow Clark and Tyson Parker, two of the three owners of Academy, coached me in a WWII battle game, Battlefield 1492, I ended the game with a different opinion.

When you first walk into Academy, it looks as if a telemarketing company was set up here. At first glance, you notice rows of computer screens lit up with people’s reflection in them. The people at the screens are wearing headphones, indulged with whatever is on the screen. But more closely, you notice these people are not trying to get customers to switch over to a long-distance company or buy a newspaper subscription; they are trying to kill a battle of enemies against either a computer (known as a “bot”), with another player in the room or across the globe via the Internet.

24 computers are set via a LAN connection to a share T1 line (what the residence halls are set up with).

Just as the cars in “The Fast and The Furious” were supped up for street racing, the computers at Academy are stocked for maximum game playing with the best and fastest processors … and other cool stuff that I didn’t know what it did but I took the guys’ word on it.

Gaming can also be a social thing because now people can play the same game in the same room at Academy instead of, let’s say, playing in the halls and yelling across rooms when you win or lose.

Academy hosts different competitions during the week, including Wednesday Warcraft III and Thursday Battlefield 1492. Teams and individuals are invited to match wits and brains during these competitions.

Academy has 24 computer titles on hand, including – Starcraft, Sims, Diablo II, the popular Battlefield 1492 and Everquest.

Since I am not alone with my contentment with console games, Academy has two 55-inch widescreen, high-definition televisions for X-Box, PlayStation 2 and Gamecube. We tried out Dead or Alive for the X-Box when I was there and I was blown away by the graphics the games showcased on the big screens. I was told that a lot of games coming out for these systems are HD-ready. The details in the characters and even the background were brilliant; the only drawback I could see in this is the gamer being disappointed when they go home to play the same games on their puny 19 inch TV.

The popularity of gaming has increased over the years. There is now a channel on cable solely dedicated to gaming and Academy Gaming is proof as well. Twenty years ago, arcades were huge and were popping up everywhere, now we have come to basically PC arcades and with the demand rising, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more stores like this.

I would recommend Academy Gaming for all gamers, for beginners to advanced; also Academy gives gamers a chance to play games before buying them.

Academy Gaming

221-GAME

622 South College Ave

www.academygaming.com

Student prices: $5/hour with ID

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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