Halo 3 may not be considered a sport, but it is now an intramural.
Eastern recently added a Halo 3 tournament to its list of competitive intramurals. The student director of intramurals, Ryan Matteuci, known to many students as “Moe,” came up with the idea of having a video game-based intramural last year.
“It started with a weekend tournament between friends in an attempt to raise money to sponsor a child in the Compassion International program,” Matteuci said.
Though the turnout of players isn’t as many as expected, there is still a great amount of interest shown in the first-year intramural. Currently there are six teams involved in the Thursday tournament. Each team is made up of anywhere between two to six players. There must be at least two players from a team competing for the match to start. Any team may have up to four players participating at once.
The rules for the Halo 3 intramural came from online-gaming league websites that Matteuci is familiar with. These rules were then tweaked to fit intramural purposes.
Since the Halo 3 competition is new and must be done over the Internet, there were two main concerns going into the first day of competition: cheating and Internet connection.
There are three teams playing on campus and three teams playing off campus. With there not being enough referees to be in every dorm room or apartment where competitions are held, Matteuci is relying heavily upon the honesty of his competitors. While there is a concern that non-Eastern students could join one of the six teams, giving unfair advantages, Matteuci does not foresee any problems.
Some competitors are concerned about cheating as well. “Yes, I’m worried,” sophomore David Slaght said. “But we’re all hoping that everyone can act like gentlemen.”
There is also the question of Internet lag. Lagging, as it pertains to playing live games, would cause a delay in live information being delivered to people playing in a match. This delay could give an opponent, who is not experiencing lag, an easy victory.
Because the majority of Eastern students are using the same network on campus, there were initial questions of what kind of gaming lag would occur for on-campus students.
“We do need better connections,” Slaght said. “However, the most glitching that has occurred so far has been for students off campus.”
There have been some critics of the new intramural, proclaiming that the game is not really a sport and therefore should not be a part of the intramural process. First-year student Dan Harbuz disagrees.
“Players that are in this Halo tournament play because they are good, not just for fun,” Harbuz said. “It’s harder to be a good team in [Halo] than it is in other intramurals.”
Slaght agreed: “Whoever said intramurals had to be a sport anyway?”
Just like other intramurals, this Halo 3 competition has been an opportunity for students to come together and have fun, even if it is through a TV set and Internet connections.
“Halo creates good interaction and community with other players on campus,” Harbuz said. “And it is not actually killing. It’s more like mind games. This Halo competition is just one big game of chess.”