Dave Miller will be the first to tell you he isn’t a gamer.
The irony of the statement is palpable: Miller was in the middle of running a 20 plus console video game tournament at the time. The former accountant is the owner of We Got Game!, a Toronto-based company that hosts competitive and casual tournaments across Ontario.
Miller says colleges and universities are a big portion of his market but he also does corporate team-building activities and demos for recently released games.
“We work closely with Microsoft for game releases,” he said, explaining that his company hosts tournaments in all seven of Microsoft’s Canadian stores when the newest Halo or FIFA games come out.
The effectiveness of his business model is apparent, as dozens of students crowded the rows of monitors set up in the Student Commons on Sept. 22. The latest NHL and FIFA titles drew a good crowd but the biggest group of students gathered around the two consoles running the cartoonish Super Smash Bros.
Players choose characters that are borrowed from numerous other Nintendo games, and battle it out in a free-for-all on a floating platform.
“It’s a very nostalgic series,” said Magellan Dufour, a first-year Museum Studies student. He explained that it is a very old title that has been synonymous with Nintendo since the days of the N64.
When he chooses the games, Miller says he keeps accessibility and inclusiveness in mind. He said dance games are usually popular, because they draw in people who don’t normally play video games.
Judging by the lightning-quick moves and intense focus, the students competing in the Smash Bros. tournament had played their fair share.
First-year pre-animation and illustration student Angelica Lazo Calvo made it through several rounds of the tournament before being eliminated.
“I like to stay off to the side and fight one on one,” she explains.