Barrett, The Honors College at ASU Downtown campus brings community together for first-ever game tournament

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February 4, 2020

Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus was filled with friendly competition as students came together for a game tournament on January 30. 


Super Smash Bros, chicken wings and comradery were the order of the day as students enjoyed the gaming equipment in the Barrett Downtown suite’s new game room.

Students getting food at event

Students enjoying the food in their brand new space.


The game room is one feature of Barrett Downtown’s 12,000-square-foot suite that officially opened in mid-January. The game room is partially equipped and when fully set up will house a Nintendo Switch, an Oculus virtual reality headset, a 65-inch television and a seating area.


The game tournament, the first event of its kind at Barrett Downtown, was aimed at bringing the downtown community together through gaming. RG Esquer, Barrett Downtown project coordinator, and Rachel Howard, a Barrett peer mentor and sophomore studying journalism, organized the event.


Howard, whose minor is computer game design, said she wanted to host a gaming event since she heard the new downtown suite would have a game room. 


 “We've been kind of hoping to do this kind of an event for a while and this was the month when it kind of finally became a possibility,” she said. 


Howard said working on the event is her way of giving back to the Barrett community and strengthening her ties to the honors college.


“It's neat I guess being able to be on this side of it and trying to make things your fellow students are going to love, and cater to them and give back to them,” Howard said. 


“So in that sense it's really cool and makes me feel like a part of Barrett… because I have a lot of friends who aren't Barrett students so sometimes I kind of don't feel as much in that community, and then when I get to do things like this that kind of re-solidifies that.”


The tournament featured twelve competitors who played each other in successive rounds until there was a winner. The winner received a Barrett swag bag and Barrett Bucks to spend in the Barrett Store. 


Whitney Whitlock, a freshman studying journalism, won the tournament. 

Whitney Whitlock

Whitney Whitlock, champion of the tournament, with her first-place prize


“I think it's really fun. Everyone's really nice and welcoming, just this whole space in general is really neat,” said Whitlock, who had not been to the new Barrett suite before.


For Whitlock, who found out about the tournament through flyers posted in Taylor Place, the best part of the event was making new friends while doing something she likes.


“My favorite part is probably just getting into a space of like-minded people, people who enjoy the same thing I do,” Whitlock said. “It's nice to be in that space where a whole bunch of people are having fun doing the same thing that I like to do, and it's a great way to meet new friends.”


Mario Hernandez, a freshman kinesiology major, also played in the tournament and took third place. Like Whitlock, he said the best part of going to the event was making new friends.


“In the university setting, everybody's always busy doing their own things and they don't really have time to meet new people. So small events like these, you can actually make friends and everything. And they’re just little fun times and everything,” Hernandez said.


To those who were not at the event, Hernandez said, “You missed out.”


According to Howard, the first-ever video game tournament at the new Barrett suite likely won’t be the last. She would like to see the community come together to use the game equipment at the suite more in the future. 

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