Games engage young folk

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JACK.CONROY@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

A group of excited adolescents transformed the Balclutha Library last weekend with a four hour multi-player video-gaming event.

Your Corps, which involved kids of all ages coming together to duke it out in both competitive and collaborative games, returned for its second year in Balclutha.

Founder James Wards said the Saturday afternoon session was ‘‘fantastic’’.

‘‘We’ve got 20 kids piled out the back playing multi-player Fortnite and multi-player Minecraft,’’ Mr Wards said.

‘‘As you can imagine it can get pretty rowdy.’’

The first priority of the Your Corps events was simply to have some ‘‘good old fashioned fun’’, he said.

‘‘But the fundamental reason was to create an opportunity for these kids that would otherwise not have access to this kind of equipment and engage in similar interests.

‘‘There’s a lot of team-based games so they’re working together, problem solving, using teamwork . . . and there’s also a lot of competitive stuff too.’’

The parents of children attending previous events had given feedback that the $20 entry fee for the event was ‘‘extraordinarily good value’’, he said.

‘‘Which is nice to hear, but we want to obliterate that entry fee all together. . .try to rope in enough community support and involvement to do that.’’

He said the Clutha District Council had already been ‘‘very supportive’’ of the efforts to set up the gaming events.

Luke Wilson (13) was engrossed in a game of Minecraft, which he said he enjoyed the social aspect of.

‘‘Just playing Minecraft with a whole bunch of other people that I don’t normally get to do. It’s quite fun.’’

A veteran of the Your Corps experience, Luke had also taken part in a Fortnite tournament last year.

He said video games gave the opportunity to enjoy yourself, even on a rainy day.

‘‘You can still go on the computer and play games with your friends. . .still interact with them and still talk to them.’’

Clutha Corps member Toby Craig (11) had also found Your Corps to be a transformative experience.

‘‘One day my mum saw it on Facebook and asked me ‘do you want to start going to this?’ and I said ‘yes’ so she booked me in.

‘‘Then I came along and I loved it so I kept coming back.

‘‘Some of the people I’ve met here I’ve started to play online with as well, which is super fun.’’