Onlookers and contestants look as one toward the screen in the Union during the SAB Smash Bros. Melee tournament on Feb. 6.

Onlookers and contestants look as one toward the screen in the Union during the SAB Smash Bros. Melee tournament on Feb. 6.

By Devin Dietrich
Student Writer

When nuclear physicist William Higinbotham invented Tennis for Two–the world’s first video game–in 1958, he could not have imagined how his innovation would rock the world. Seeking only to “convey the message that our scientific endeavors have relevance for society,” Higinbotham would be amazed to see how mainstream gaming has become in the past decades.

As America dives into 2015, we may be entering the beginning of gaming’s greatest evolution yet: transitioning from trivial entertainment to both a sport and an art form. An example was seen at Messiah Friday night with a Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament, which was sponsored by the Student Activities Board.

The second game to be released in the Smash Bros. franchise, Melee has sold over 8 million copies worldwide since its release in 2001. Designing a tournament based around the game promised that many Messiah students would have grown up playing it, so finding eager contestants was effortless. Comprised of 59 students, the tournament went through three rounds, lasting over two hours. Victory in the final round went to sophomore student Larry Cannon.

The Union was filled with contestants and spectators alike. Students who came to the Union for food couldn’t help but notice the Nintendo characters battling each other on the projected screen. The entire scene, in a small way, captured how much things are changing with video games in the public spectrum.

What was once a pastime for geeks and nerds to be played in their basements and dorm rooms is swiftly becoming an integral part of American entertainment and culture. Clubs and communities of gamers are cropping up across the country in high schools and colleges. Moreover, previous stereotypes that kept video games out of the spotlight are being broken down.

For instance, the notion that “video games are for people who can’t play sports” might be changing in the near future. E-sport video games are blurring the definition of “athlete,”and strategy games like League of Legends and Starcraft II are being considered for the 2020 Olympics.

Another common misconception is that video games are just for guys. With the rise of mobile gaming, one study by the Internet Advising Bureau found that 52% of gamers – a slight majority – are women.

Video games’ popularity is growing, and as the technology makes characters eerily lifelike and virtual reality consoles prepare to hit the market, virtual entertainment may become much more than that in the future. For many, Nintendo, Xbox and Playstation defined their childhoods.

Soon, they may begin defining our adulthoods as well.

2 Responses to “Smash Bros. Melee and Beyond: Video games becoming mainstream” Subscribe

  1. Gifari May 11, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    articles of interest possible if there is continuous athlete may also be replaced with a game, or a game that can be athletes.Nice

  2. i loved this post ! read your blog fairty often and
    you’re always coming out with some great stuff i shared this
    on my facebook and my followers loved it! keep uo the good work 😀

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