College life is all about new experiences. It’s about exploring the community, meeting new people, trying new things, drinking new (and increasingly cheaper) beer and making decisions that are both the most responsible and the most infantile of your life. Depending on your perspective, holding a gaming competition in your dorm room could fall under either heading. But there’s no denying the appeal of getting together your closest friends to eat bad delivery and bask in the glow of a monitor for twelve to twenty-four straight hours. Now that may sound like any old night of the week to you, and far be it for me to say there’s anything wrong with that. But if you really want to do something special that gets noticed, consider organizing a gaming competition in your dorm.
First you must decide on the game. Although it could be cool to have several different titles on the docket with teams coming together to play each one, that’s a level of complication you may not want to dive into just yet. Choose one game, and make that the focus of the competition. Now what game you choose will obviously decide how complicated and how popular the competition will be. A good suggestion is to choose a game where there are definitive winners and losers. While something like ‘Tetris’ could be fun, no one is going to want to sit around and watch someone play it for hours on end. Instead, choose something like ‘Call of Duty’ or ‘Rock Band’, so several people can play at once and head-to-head matchups can decide things.
Now that you’ve got the game, you have to have the system to handle a real competition. If you usually play on your laptop you’ll need to find some additional equipment. Remember, the fun of a competition isn’t just for those playing, but for the rabid fans who get to watch, cheer and throw cheesy puffs when they don’t like the results. See if you can borrow a large television from a friend on the floor. Another option, although you didn’t hear this from me, is to purchase a television to use for the competition and then package it up and return it once the event is over. You’ll be taking a massive risk. They don’t say, “you break it, you bought it” for nothing. But you must have a screen that at least a handful of people can comfortably watch, and a gaming system with ideally four controllers for the best multiplayer action.
With the technical side handled, it’s time to bring in the crowds. First off, are you allowed to have a bunch of people in your dorm room? Probably not. So subtlety will be your friend. Create the invite online through Facebook, Google+ or whatever other platform you and your friends are on. Make it private, so you can keep a hand on the numbers. Talk up the game, the prizes (that’s right, you should have prizes), the snacks and other pertinent details, and ask people to sign up for a competition slot by a certain date. Once you have enough competitors, open up the invite to friends who would want to watch. Keep the numbers manageable, so the main event doesn’t get shut down by the floor supervisor or the fire marshall.
Finally, it will be up to you to maintain order. If you are only mildly successful when organizing the event this won’t be a problem. You and three friends competing against each other with your goldfish serving as the audience won’t exactly draw a lot of attention. But the entire floor trying to squeeze into your room along with the whole computer science and masters music education departments will raise a few red flags. Consider yourself the referee. After all, you get to play these games whenever you want. But you might only have this opportunity to run a gaming competition. And if you play your cards right, the adoring masses will appreciate your efforts.