University searches for “Heroes”

By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer

Fingers were flying and wannabe rock stars were strumming at Eastern New Mexico University’s Campus Union Ballroom in a Guitar Hero video game student tournament Monday night.

Guitar Hero is a musical video game with a guitar-shaped controller that allows the player to simulate playing well-known rock songs by matching button presses on the guitar controller with color coded notes on screen.

Even though the diversion dominates dorm rooms across the country, this is the first ASAB sponsored Guitar Hero tournament. Many students said it’s about time.

“You’re actually interacting with the video game — there’s more interaction,” said John Gallegos, a junior from Rio Rancho. “I saw the ad (for the tournament) so I just decided to come.”

Gallegos is majoring in accounting at Eastern.

“It helps absolutely in no way with accounting,” Gallegos added.

Gallegos also has a real guitar in addition to his game controller.

“I actually haven’t played Guitar Hero in a while, I’ve been busy playing my real guitar,” Gallegos said. “I figure with all the time I spend on Guitar Hero, I could be learning something a little more productive instead of playing a video game.”

ENMU freshman Stephen Barela of Clovis has been playing the game for about two years.

“I’d say I’m pretty good. The game is very addictive,” Barela said.

Freshman Alex Chavarria, an electronic engineering major from Lake Arthur, also competed in the event.

“It’s a very enjoyable game. I play (it on) expert (level) but I’m not really that good,” Chavarria said. “I came to the tournament to have fun and play some Guitar Hero.”

ASAB is a committee made up of students who use a portion of student funds to bring events and entertainment to the ENMU campus. The event drew 35 competitors.

“It’s an event that the students can get away from their classes and get away from their homework and have a little bit of fun,” ASAB special events coordinator Azzy Krulik said.

Tournament prizes included gift certificates from Game Stop and an iTunes gift card.