Gaming goes Overkill

LAN tournaments, anime featured at 12-hour event

From 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Saturday, the ground floor of Academic Building A was filled with something other than miserable students.

Back by popular demand, Maximum Overkill, Binghamton University’s premier gaming and anime event, was revived Saturday. The event will now take place at the end of every semester, according to Ryan Smith, president of Binghamton University’s StarCraft and eSports Association.

Maximum Overkill offered 12 hours of gaming tournaments and anime screenings. This event featured tournaments for StarCraft 2, League of Legends, Halo 3, Pokemon, Street Fighter 4 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. It also hosted board games and card games. Prizes awarded to the winners of each tournament included the new Halo 4 and other various games.

Smith, a senior majoring in computer science, emphasized the welcoming environment of Maximum Overkill.

“It’s open to anybody,” Smith said. “It’s a lot of people who just love gaming. It’s free for everyone. If you’re interested in gaming and anime, come down.”

According to Smith, the event allowed gamers and anime fans to bring their hobbies into a mainstream environment.

“I think it is important because it brings people with similar interests together and introduces our interests to new people,” Smith said. “I think it is important to break the typical stereotype of gamers, nerds and geeks. There seems to be prejudice towards gamers in our society and people seem to think it is a waste of time. I do not think that being passionate about something and having the courage to do it is a waste of time; no matter what it is. These things can be enjoyed by everyone, not just those people that are considered nerdy.”

Maximum Overkill is one of many LAN (local area network) events that take place on campus. Due to complications and changes in leadership, Maximum Overkill has not been held on campus in over four years.

“They used to run it the past, the CORE student group on campus, but recently they haven’t run it and we just brought it back this year,” Smith said, referring to the Computers, Robotics, and Engineering group.

Smith said that Lanime, a similar event that was held in Maximum Overkill’s absence, showed room for improvement.

“There was a similar event hosted the last few years, but we thought that it could be greatly improved upon so we decided to bring back Maximum Overkill,” Smith said. “I think this event is a great start, but there is still much to be improved upon for next time.”

The event was the work of the StarCraft Team, CORE and the Animation Club. The clubs funded it with their own budgets, but it was also sponsored by CommuniKey, EA Games and Nozomi Entertainment, who all provided prizes.

Kyle Mulligan, treasurer of Binghamton’s StarCraft and eSports Association, said the collaboration of the different clubs was integral to bringing Maximum Overkill back.

“We’ve had a leadership change this year,” Mulligan said. “We’ve had a couple extra groups come in. In the past, we’ve had issues with communication; it kind of takes the shine off of it. This is the best organized it has been.”

Mulligan, a junior double-majoring in political science and Russian, is a veteran to LAN events such as Maximum Overkill and said this one is different.

“I think it’s one of the best because it’s unique,” Mulligan said. “There aren’t a lot of events on campus like Maximum Overkill. It’s one of a kind.”

Friends and strangers united during the event with a shared interest in gaming and anime. From intense gamers to casual spectators, the overall atmosphere at Maximum Overkill was friendly and supportive.

“It was fun for us because we got the chance to enjoy the things we love with our friends, as well as make new friends,” Smith said. “As college students we don’t always have time to set aside to just have a good time and not worry about anything else, but this event allowed us to do that.”

Amy Sun, president of the animation club and a senior majoring in computer engineering, said the group’s purpose at Maximum Overkill was to screen more obscure anime shows.

“We’re trying to show what else is out there,” Sun said. “’Summer Wars’ and ‘Hotaru No Mori E’ were our main attractions tonight.”

Rachel Joseph, president of CORE and a junior majoring in geology, debunked any belief that only intense gamers and anime lovers can attend such events.

“It’s for casual gamers, as well as the hard core gamers,” Joseph said. “We have tons of tournaments but we also have free play time. Hopefully next semester we can get even more casual games because I know that’s bigger campus wide than the hard core gaming might be.”