[Illustration of a group of gamers cheering atop two consoles.]
Illustration by Rachel Edelstein.
Video games are usually seen as time wasters: You sit down, kill some baddies, save the princess and escape from your thoughts. However, video games are now being used in a variety of new ways such as education and scientific research, and, this week, Porter College is using video games in a whole new way: to help give to a good cause and an underprivileged community.

The Porter College Fall Brawl is a video game tournament being held at the Porter Dining Hall on Saturday Nov. 20. All the proceeds will go to Child’s Play, a charity that donates DVDs, video games and toys to hospitalized children during the holidays.

For just $5, participants can end up spending up to 12 hours playing either Super Smash Bros: Brawl or Super Street Fighter IV. The organizers of this event have found a way to make donating time and money easy, rewarding and fun.

This is a superbly innovative and positive way to give back to the community.

The “gamer” community has various negative stereotypes, such as being antisocial or lacking a sense of reality — but these thoughts are untrue and this event proves it. It’s bringing together a gaming community that realizes that there’s more to the world than high scores and bonus levels. Video games have always been considered communal. Their origins are firmly entrenched in the arcades of yesteryear, and, though it was once seen as a only hobby for children and men, it is now becoming fully realized that everyone plays video games.

Video games are one of the fastest rising of art and entertainment mediums, rivaled closely by comic books. It’s smart and modern to take this pastime and find ways to utilize its entertainment factor to contribute to a good cause.

Maybe you have no interest in playing video games, or maybe you have homework, like the majority of the student body. That’s understandable. But if you’re interested in the cause, you can donate on the Fall Brawl website: www.portervgf.org/fallbrawl.

Follow the links, go to the event and feel good about yourself.