What do you do when faced with a crowd of wizards, dragonslayers, assassins, and mustached brothers wearing overalls? Put them in the same room, of course!
Academy of Art University opened the doors to its Game Room on September 12, giving students a place to meet and compete with fellow gamers across campus. The Game Room features high-end PC and console games for students to try, including those supported by Xbox One S, Playstation 4, and Wii U. Open to casual gamers, non-competitive gamers, and competitive gamers alike, the Game Room provides a space for students to build a supportive and fun gaming community.
“The Game Room offers a unique opportunity for students to come together from all departments for one common interest: games,” Academy of Art University School of Game Development Technology Coordinator Michael Witzel said. “Gamers can become very social with other gamers because of their shared love of games. The Game Room does exactly this, it brings everyone together and makes the Academy of Art University feel more like a community.”
With Esports growing in the world of gaming, the Game Room hosts several intramural tournaments that give students across departments real-life experience in their fields. Students from the School of Game Development and School of Communications & Media Technologies participating in the tournaments experience what it is like to be a part of a production team by coordinating livestreams of the tournaments posted to the Academy’s Esports Twitch channel.
“Game Development and Esports are the perfect fit for the Academy of Art University,” Witzel said. “There is no better place to be, especially if you want to work in the game industry one way or another.”
According to Witzel, game development involves a mixture of multiple departments—such as the School of Animation & Visual Effects, School of Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media, School of Visual Development, School of Illustration, School of Fashion, School of Architecture, and many others. As game companies demand products such as advertising and website development, the Academy provides a cultural and social hub that helps bring these opportunities to students.
In the fall 2016 semester, the Game Room hosted six intramural tournaments for games such as Overwatch, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. 4, and Paragon. The tournaments are open to all Academy students at every skill level. Every semester, the Game Room will host at least six different intramural tournaments based on popular games being played at the time. On top of hosting intramural tournaments, the Game Room organizes tryouts for the Academy’s collegiate Esports teams.
“The best way to be invited to tryouts is to show up to the corresponding tournament and play your hardest,” Witzel said. “It is a very competitive scene, but our teams had a great time playing this semester.”
This semester, the Academy’s Hearthstone Esports team competed in the Hearthstone Regionals, where they played against the University of British Colombia. The match was livestreamed on Blizzard’s official Hearthstone Twitch channel.“
It was a great semester for us here are the Academy of Art University for Esports and the future looks even bigger and brighter (not too much light now, we like it dark) better,” he said.
Keep up with the Game Room’s intramural tournaments and collegiate competitions by following the Academy’s Esports social channels!