“Three, two, one, go!”
Students frantically raced to the finish line in Mario Kart 8 in the Student Center last Friday in hopes of winning a $50 GameStop gift card; the popular characters picked included Koopa Troopa, Waluigi, Wario, Animal Crossing Villager and Isabelle.
The event consisted of two games, each set up with four players playing simultaneously, with a cap of 64 people for the tournament bracket (28 people participated this year). After the first eight rounds, winners would move on to the next bracket of two games, then the final round would be a race between the two winners from that last game.
This interactive event was coordinated by the Game Room staff supervisor and junior music industry major, Bashira Khan.
“Mario is one of our top rated games not only in the Game Room but also generally in tournament history,” said Khan.
In contrast to the previous year’s event, this year they had non-Rowan students from the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) conference participating.
Khan said Mario Kart is, “an inclusive game that anyone can play from a kid to an adult.”
The last race of the night was between Waluigi and Koopa. They played eight rounds with no CPUs and, ultimately, Waluigi dominated the competition, speeding back into the lead after being struck by several blue shells.
Shane Sloan, a freshman whose major is undecided, played as Koopa.
“It’s the best I’ve done so far in all the tournaments,” said Sloan, who placed second and won a $25 GameStop gift card.
Jake Hadshinow, a sophomore advertising major, placed third as the Villager, a character who has a unique victory dance where flowers float above his smiling head.
“I think I’m pretty good at it even though I didn’t win,” said Hadshinow.
For freshman RTF major, Thomas Troy, this is his second gaming event and he won as Waluigi.
“I love Waluigi. I’ve been a big fan of him ever since I was a kid and he’s my dream character to get into Smash Brothers,” said Troy.
According to Troy, his favorite part of Mario Kart is “being able to take really cool shortcuts that the developers didn’t intend for you to take and find.”
One of the benefits of this event, aside from the friendly competition and prizes, was the fact that it had a free flowing atmosphere where people were able to not only bring their friends, but had the opportunity to make new ones.
Nathan Benson, a senior theater major, brought his collection of board games and played “Codenames” with ACUI students. He’s originally from Texas and he’s part of a gaming group called DFW Gaming Village. Benson sits at a small round table near the tournament and, at the end of the races, he’s seen playing “Santorini.”
At the same time of the tournament, Rowan After Hours (RAH) hosted their arcade night. There was a claw machine, the Zoltar, Pac-Man, Tekken and tacos.
The Game Room will host an Injustice 2 elite tournament on Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. for advanced players. Then on Dec. 5 at 8 p.m., there will be an NBA 2K20 Xbox One gaming tournament for all players.
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