On The Record, Vol. 4, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, June 15, 2012 Page: 22 of 32
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A BREAK FROM REALITY
DEMTONITES UNITE OVER GAMES. COMICS
BY KATIE OLSON
There exists an unfortunate
stereotype of certain segments of
modern American youth: sitting
alone in a basement, spending hours with
either a stack of comic books or a computer
buzzing from the effort of running the
latest video game.
However; in Denton, watching televised
video game competitions, playing
Dungeons and Dragons and dressing up
like character from comic books aren't
individual pursuits, but community events
that bring together all walks of life.
Vigilant Video Gamers
BRT computer science graduate Joey
Lietchy started ''Barcraft'' in Denton,
when he realized that there was a sizable
group of people with a shared interest of
watching online gamers duke it out by
playing a strategy game, "Starcraft,'' that
calls on mastering economy management
and about 100 different units, each with
very specific attributes.
Barcraft brings together dozens of
Dentonites at venues around Denton to
watch professional, televised matches of
the popular game.
"I bought a 120-inch projector screen
and a projector and I get in there about an
hour early before the competition starts
and we log into the stream. Then I set up
the computer and press go and we just
Watch tile finals," Lietchy s,aid.
The game is a phenomenon in South
Korea, where matches have been televised
for years and top players enjoy a celebrity
similar to American professional sports
players. That same fervor is beginning
to catch on around the U,St, including
"It's that kind of culture that's beginning
to peak its head,'' Lietchy said. "And as
result it's become a social event. Theres a
nerd community that wants to watch this
with their friends:''
The first Denton Barcraft inspired
about 250 people to gather around a
projector screen and watch a computer
"I was Overwhelmed and not ready at
all. I was hoping there'd be like 20 people.
We have a solid following now, anywhere,
from40 to 80 people," Lietchy said.
fie said that anyone was welcome to take
part, and the same group that regularly
gal 11' 'is to watch Starcraft competes at
other video games.
"It's not just Starcraft. We set lip
other TVs and stuff around the area for
competitions like 'Mario Brothers,' 'Gears
of War' and 'Halo,5'* he said.
The somewhat more conventional JJOSlT
Gamers? Club meets during the fall and
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Bottoni, Paul. On The Record, Vol. 4, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, June 15, 2012, periodical, June 15, 2012; Denton, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth255944/m1/22/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .