The gaming community at Becker is continually growing. This event was the most crowded it has been since I’ve began attending during my freshman year. On November 19, 2011, the Becker College Gamer’s Fair was once again staged at the Game Design Building at 45 Cedar Street with an entrance fee of two dollars. The event ran from 10 am to 10 pm.
The first floor of the design building was swarming with new faces. This may have been the first time whole families attended. Booths were set up, selling trading cards and video games. It was unfortunate that for the hour I was there, art tables were nowhere to be found. I enjoyed it last year when I had requested a handful of sketches from senior game designer, Bailey Applegate, and chatted while my drawings were approaching fruition. Bailey was sick this year, and I missed her art and her presence. Thankfully, though, the community amongst us was still thriving.
I signed up for the Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament as I do every year. It was a one dollar entrance fee with the grand prize being the pot, approximately 30 dollars. I ran into Indiana Girolamo while waiting for my round. He recently left Becker during his sophomore year because of financial difficulties. He now attends the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he initially enrolled to study computer science but quickly decided on transitioning to a psychology major. He said that the community over at UMASS cannot compare to that of Becker for him. UMASS is huge, with 3 campuses complete with lounges similar to the Hawk’s Nest. He hasn’t been able to find that group of friends he got to know at Becker. He was visibly happy to see everyone again, all the while cracking his infamous “my mama” jokes.
Nate Casimiro was among the crowd, also waiting for his spot in the Brawl tournament. He was absolutely exhausted, having recently been working as an auditor during his night shift at a hotel. He looked exhausted, but he couldn’t pass up being at the fair. He seemed right at home, although he couldn’t wait to actually go home.
My first match came around, and it was against Heather Nicoll, a senior doubling in both the design and programming majors. She brought her newborn, Keira Rose, who was warmly welcomed. We were both rusty on our gaming skills, having not played this particular game since the last fair. I had the upper hand, since Heather was working the controller and caring for her baby at the same time. Although this was a tournament, I was not competitive; I just wanted to have a good time with my fellow gamers.
I made my way over to Terrasa Ulm, professor of game design and development, to ask who I was up against next. She said I would face Athena, a name I was not familiar with. She pointed behind me to reveal an 11 year old girl standing by her mother. I was excited to see what sort of skills Athena had in gaming. Athena, her mother, and I briefly talked before our match. The mother found out about the Gamer’s Fair while looking through job listings in the area. She was enthralled to find a community such as Becker has here, as she’s never come across one like it before. She’s hoping to teach at Becker in the business field, having just recently applied for a position and received her master’s degree.
My match with Athena began, was another a 2-out-of-3 win. Athena was good at Brawl. Although, since she was younger, I picked goofy characters to fight for me and generally fooled around in our battle. I was a little too clumsy, and she beat me fair and square. I gave her a fist bump before I went off to tell Professor Ulm I had lost.
From 4 to 5 pm I greatly enjoyed myself and the personalities with whom I came into contact. The Gamer’s Fair is definitely not an event to be missed. I will continue to return every semester to enjoy a night of fun.
Brendan Testa, Staff Writer