OAS game tournament awakens players’ inner ninja

By Justin George

Like countless anime protagonists before them, players entered the arena on March 19 to participate in a battle of epic proportions, hosted by Kean’s Otaku Anime Society (OAS). In this case, the arena was the University Center game room and the battle was a video game tournament where entrance fees were being donated to charity.

The game that the tournament revolved around was Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, a game that didn’t have nearly as many competitive players as other fighting games.

“We were originally gonna do Super Smash Bros Brawl, but ultimately decided on Naruto because it was available on PS3/Xbox and it’s one of the more recognizable animes,” said Sam Steingart, OAS vice-president.

There was no shortage of competition during the match however, with battles being fierce and frenetic. Despite the good-natured intent of the tournament, the matches in the tournament were anything but, with several upsets and close calls. Eventually, a single victor stood on top, Mike Zavist, winning a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card and a Gundam model as the grand prize. Winning with the game’s titular character Naruto, he wasn’t too sure he would even make it to the finals at first.

“I didn’t know what to expect from my opponent; I wasn’t feeling a little nervous going into the tournament, even though I hadn’t played in a while,” Zavist said. “But after a few practice matches, my confidence and skills were coming back. It was a lot of fun and I wouldn’t mind participating in future tournaments.”

Ian Padua, treasurer in OAS, was optimistic on both the amount raised and the participation in the tournament.

“The highest amount donated by a single person was $20, and I feel there was a good turnout with a lot of participants,” Padua said. “It was much more populated than expected, and there’s a likely chance we’ll do it in the future.”

There was no minimum fee required to participate, but that didn’t stop nearly all the participants from donating the recommended $5 amount to participate in the tournament. And unlike anime fighting tournaments, where the entrance fee is usually used to cover the prize, the proceeds went to a much nobler cause.

“The proceeds are going to Child’s Play, a non-profit organization designed to help needy children who can’t afford video games in impoverished homes,” said Chris Caruso, OAS’s secretary. “It’s just like secret Santa; a parent contacts Child’s Play with a game in mind, and that child and game are put on a list. When it comes to charities, a certain amount reached will give a game depending on the amount donated. OAS has been wanting to do a charity event for a while, so we’re glad have finally a chance to do so. It feels like we can finally do our part to contribute to a good cause.”

OAS meets every Monday from 3:30-4:30 PM in the University Center, room 315.

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