Plugging into video games


Illustrator: Nicole Kanaras

Students plug into video games to relieve stress, have fun with friends, and immerse themselves in another world.

With tension rising and adrenaline pumping, junior Robbie Baranoski stays focused and determined as he strives to keep his team in the game for another round while playing his favorite first-person shooter game, Rainbow Six Siege. As the last member left on his team, Baranoski refuses to give up and attempts to play out a strategy hopefully leading him to victory.

Baranoski comes home each day from track practice, finishes homework, and relieves his stress from the day by connecting with friends on his Xbox One and playing first-person shooter games.

While Baranoski enjoys playing games by himself, he finds connecting with friends gives him more of a challenge. “I want to get better, so just competing with friends to see who is the best [is fun],” he said.

Baranoski favors first-person shooter games, similar to many students. According to results from a survey sent out by The Patriot, 66 percent of students play shooting games in addition to several other genres.

Baranoski not only plays video games after school at home, but he also plays nearly every day after track practice as a member of the Games Club. He finds this to be an enjoyable after school activity where he can share his hobby with fellow students.

“I showed up at the beginning of indoor track season,” he said. “I just saw what they were doing, and they invited me to come play.” The Games Club meets most days after school and is a place where students can come together and share the common interest of gaming, according to moderator Shane Lawler.

The club plays a variety of games from video and computer generated games to card and board games. “I just kind of let the kids come in [and] have fun. They use the projector and play video games if they want to,” Lawler said. Lawler believes that playing games provides “camaraderie as well as certain competition to be the best.”

He also believes that coming together to play games is relaxing. “I think even sometimes with me, I’m looking forward to the kids having a lot of fun,” he said. The Games Club uses different consoles including a Wii and a Wii U. Similarly, the student body uses different devices.

According to the survey, a majority of students play video games on their cell phones. However, some students like freshman Madison Kozera prefers to play on a console such as an Xbox or Playstation.

Students use different consoles and games for numerous reasons. According to Kozera, she plays video games because she enjoys becoming part of a story. “I like to see the different ways the characters connect and how that all plays out especially in Kingdom Hearts,” she said.

Freshman Brian Thompson agrees that part of the fun of playing video games comes from feeling as though you are a part of its world. “I like to build up to know where you are in the game,” he said. “I prefer getting a little more in-depth and kind of learning everything behind all the characters.”

In addition to players feeling as though they get to be part of the story, Kozara believes, “[Video games] are kind of a stress reliever because kind of like books and movies, they take you into a whole new world that you can kind of just forget about your problems for a while.”

Taylor Bynion is a Copy Editor and Anna Sullivan is a Entertainment Editor for The Patriot and