“Fluff,” professional gamer Brian Lee, led a team that crushed the enemy in Defenders of the Ancients on Sunday, January 20, at UCSD’s Price Center. Gamers surrounded the tables and watched over the players' screens while Fluff led the team through strategies and steps the spectators had never seen before.
"This game is the pioneer of its generation of multiplayer strategy games," said Adrian Wong of Sixth College’s Technology Committee, a group of UCSD students that has been holding Winter GameFest since 2006. "The possibilities are nearly endless, and each game is never the same."
Last year's GameFest drew about 3000 people — mostly local gamers. This year, more than 2000 players signed up for the free three-day event (the group doesn't have a final count yet). The players entered tournaments for Defenders of the Ancients (DoTA), Call of Duty, Halo 4, Star Craft II, Super Street Fighter IV, and other games. They brought their own controllers and computers to play.
Playing video games, according to a 2011 Wall Street Journal piece, is mostly good for people. The Be a Gamer, Save the World article noted that gamers rate high in resilience and innovative thinking; and that gamers are good learners because failure is built into playing and accepted as the path to learning,
But, for all the time they spend together in cyberspace, gamers don't have a lot of opportunities to get together in the same physical space.
"We're not given the opportunity to be social,” said Wong. “For sports, they have places to go to games — like stadiums and arenas — to meet other fans and be part of the event. We get an enthusiastic reaction to these events….”
Winter GameFest wrapped up its three-day run on January 20.