All posts by Leiliana Igartua, Correspondent

Gaming: The other side of the spectrum

Although gaming is for everyone, there are often difficulties that are faced in the games themselves as well as the different perspectives that other people have.

It is well known amongst the gaming community that most of the consumers are predominantly male. Yet there is an increase in the number of females who are now picking up the hobby. With this brings a whole new experience to the games and lobbies that are being played in. Not all of it is good sadly, as more people join in the gaming community and as we see more females and more female streamers emerge there is a bit of controversy amongst everyone on female gamers.

Sophia Gioldasis announces what it is like for her when she plays video games. “ When I play video games I just mainly do it for the fun. I love joining in games with my boyfriend and playing with his friends. We always get extremely competitive and he always states that there are not enough gamer girls that are willing to play intense games. I remember this one time in particular where I was in a game lobby and was the only female and this guy started cursing me out because he got beat by me saying things like, go to the kitchen and cook me food as well as saying I should just stay home. I definitely think it is weird how people sexualize the girls and also how they oversexualize the aesthetic that we are “supposed” to have. Not all girls simply play little kid games and not all of us are all cutesy. Another thing is the fact that they almost always believe they are the superior gamer, and they also think that it is to impress a boy, but I just really enjoy playing the game.”

Georgia McMahon, another female gamer who is active in the community  says “when I game with the boys they are often surprised at how I can keep up with them. Most of the time the boys are pretty nice depending on the game and how intense it is. A lot of guys I have played with say that they go easier when there is a woman in the game because they don’t want to make us feel bad, but that defeats the purpose of challenging us. Another thing is the fact that boys in the games are just very toxic and seem to always say things about our gender. Or even try to hit on me while I game. They ask about my body as well as what they think I’m actually like, and try to trick me into making noises on the mics. I have a very feminine voice and when I stream I try to hide my body as much as I can because I always get sexual comments about my body and what is in the frame. However every once in a while I will meet a group of guys who are open and willing to play with me regardless of how good I am. That to me is a great feeling because it challenges me and makes me feel like an equal.”

Gaming has not only opened up a world for both genders to prove themselves, but also a place where we see the sexist part of the community.

ow that more female gamers are coming into view, there has been a decrease in the way that women are viewed in the gaming industry.

Thankfully more and more people are becoming open-minded to the idea that girls are just as good as everyone else who is a gamer.


Competitive gaming gains in popularity

Many people see playing video games as simply something to pass the time, however for many others it is a source of entertainment, yet for a select few it is even a career and is just as intense as football. All around the world tournaments are hosted by high paying marketers as people battle in what is known as Esports!

Issael Reynoso, a streamer since 2018 talks about his time playing in the atmosphere.

“There are many different types of gaming, as a streamer you have to know what types of games are in and what games to be good at, you want to make sure that you are catching the attention of the right people in order to get a sponsor in an intense tournament. It is not easy because you are going up against people who do this for a living and who have more experience than you. It can be difficult at times and overwhelming because of how intense the atmosphere can get.”

Leafy_Senpai who wishes not to disclose his real name, assures us that competitive gaming is still on the rise.

“ I remember when I would stream hundreds of sponsors would be pouring in, when I would stream and go to the tournaments the atmosphere there was incredible. You had all types of different people with one thing in common, the goal to win the  game and be the best. Often times there were prizes for those who came out on top. I remember winning one time and actually earned 1,700 dollars in one tournament. The tournaments took up to 4 hours at times and you would be in the zone just going at it against players who also knew the tricks of the games. You never knew who you were going up against and never knew what they had up their sleeve, the games were all just to see who was the better gamer. It was really fun although everyone there was trying to constantly outdo the person next to them. Even today I still see sponsors looking for suitable candidates to help improve and advertise for their games, many tournaments and the companies that sponsor them have grown so much from when I would go to them. More and more people are competing everyday in video games.”

With competitive gaming on the rise many more people are continuously pouring in from all parts of the world. Whether it is to watch their favorite streamers compete or to join in on the intensity of the tournaments. Esports has engulfed the world in such a way that it not only brings people together but also has made an environment where people can actually profit off of their talents. Helping people make full time careers and friendships along the way!


Gaming is its own therapy

Gaming has become a way people can unwind after a long day’s work. According to the students of NECC campus, and even people who are district managers in our everyday community, gaming is not only a way to escape reality, it also provides a sense of control and release that they cannot have in their normal everyday lives.

Shain Thompson, a district manager claims  that “gaming helps me relax after a hard day of work because I can just relax and enjoy another world where my worries and stress don’t exist. I’m the character in that game and I am living an entirely different life which is not only fun but also refreshing.”

As someone who is seemingly always stressed, gaming has helped him in many ways that he feels is therapeutic. “Gaming has helped me find a way out during tough times in my life as well, I have always been able to turn on the game and just get into the groove no matter what was going on in my life. Gaming has given me a way of release that I have found nothing else can really compare to. After turning off the game for the night I can really just completely feel at peace and just feel less tense.”

Following this interview Quinn Alvarez states “ When I game, All my emotions and thoughts become placed into the game. I can create a world in which everything I want can happen and anything I need will be. It helps me release anxiety and the stress I have built up, for example when I play Minecraft and am angry or hurt I simply go into survival and kill all the mobs. However when I just need to shut off my mind I go into creative and just build until I’m content. By the time I have completed whatever I’m building I can see how much I have accomplished. It’s very calming and nice.”

Lastly, Jake Rodrigez  a graphic design major claims “Gaming lets me create my own world where I am unstoppable and can accomplish anything I want. It also allows me to connect with others and have a good laugh with my friends whenever we all get on, usually the customers at my job tend to upset me and when I get on the game it gives me an outlet to release all the pent up anger I felt throughout the day.”

According to Rose Igartua, a 67 year old grandmother talks about how gaming not only occupies her, but also gives her a sense of relief “when I play mobile games on my phone I can do things I no longer am able to do. I can make a restaurant, build castles and even chat with other people like me which I can’t really do anymore. When the grandkids are not home and all the stuff I normally do is done, I can always play a game to pass the time. Which helps me feel less alone and keeps my mind busy until I want to do something else!”

Gaming has helped many people find a way out of their stressful and busy days, not only can it help you unwind and relax but it also again, brings people together and can be considered, to some, a form of therapy!



Gaming and how it connects

Gaming is a common hobby in which many people enjoy to have as a pastime.

However gaming can be done wherever you are and whoever you are with.

Gaming has opened up a world where we are all connected and can create bonds that normally would not be able to work in modern times.

In an interview with fellow student, Jacob Robles he talks about the ways in which gaming does not only strengthen the friendships he already had but how it also helps him get through tough times.

“I feel like gaming helps bring you into a social environment with other people, and even though they may be strangers you have something in common with them.” explains Robles, “ When talking in the game chat you have to use the social skills you use everyday in order for all of you to complete the common goal of completing the game mission. It really creates an environment in which you can just laugh and let go in an environment that is safe to do so.”

Robles also shares some of his favorite things about gaming that he feels helps strengthen the bond he has with his friends.

“During winter break I recall me and my friends hopping on the game after not seeing each other in a bit of time. Although we were playfully fighting through most of the game, I feel like it made our friendship bond a lot stronger.”

Robles also continues on to say how when he is in the game it feels as if they are all together. “When gaming with my friends it feels like even though we are apart, we are always together no matter what we can laugh and joke around like old times.”

In a separate interview with Ryan DelleChiaie he also talks about how gaming has impacted him socially.

According to DelleChiaie “I have met some great people over the years from just playing video games.” he says “When I game with my friends I remember playing Garden Warfare in 2016 and I remember camping on the ledges sniping people. It was always funny hearing people talk about it on the mic, especially when they were getting competitive.”
DelleChiaie also says “gaming usually makes me feel really good about myself especially if it is a good game, other times when I play alone it can be pretty boring.”

In my last interview with fellow student John Quigley he explains all the ways in which gaming has helped him not only grow his friendship circle but also how it has helped him come out of his shell more.

Quigley claims that “through gaming I have met many new friends who I can just be myself with and just laugh and have a good time. We can always bond over stuff like memes and just poking fun at each other. I enjoy shooting the targets and fighting about who is better at the game.”

Quigley then goes on to say “I always feel good when me and my friends hop on the game, when I have a bad day I can always get a good laugh out of the game when my friends are on. I feel as though it helps me unwind as well after a stressful day.”

Gaming not only keeps us connected in a world where there is so much difference, it helps create everlasting bonds and keeps a smile on everyone’s faces.

It not only brings people who play the same game into the same space and makes people feel welcome, it truly does unite the world in ways you could never imagine.


How Will the New Omicron Variant Affect You?

Welcome back signs can be found all around campus. | NECC Observer

The novel coronavirus has brought many ups and downs this year, keeping the entire world on its toes as it rained havoc all throughout the globe. This past month we have seen cases on the rise. Why is this? 

This is because of the new strand of COVID-19. COVID came back for yet another round. In this article, we take a peek into how the students of NECC feel about this. 

“I think it’s pretty stupid at this point, all this variant is, is making it much easier to spread. It’s not any more deadly than before. I feel as if we’ve overreacted for the most part. We will have the vaccine mandate and things should be fine.” said a student. “I’ve already had covid and I’m fine. So I will be returning to campus next semester. I don’t believe we will go back into lockdown, but there’s a good chance it will happen anyways during the new year.” He added. 

Another student, Jacob Robles, shares a more cautious approach. 

“To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about it. Hopefully the masks will be lifted and it will be normal. I will be returning to campus again next semester, but will be continuing to wear a mask or maybe double up on it. I think if the cases get higher we may have to go back into lockdown.” 

With this new Omicron Variant it is almost a guaranteed extra history assignment in the future. However, NECC has been taking the proper precautions to keep everyone safe. Including vaccine mandates, allowing students on campus if they are fully vaccinated, wearing masks indoors, and providing masks in every building for those who don’t have any.  

With the work of students and staff following the proper restrictions, NECC is a safe place to be this semester. Yet we still don’t know much about this virus, we know one thing for sure: we won’t stop living and enjoying our time in college because of it. 

How is COVID-19 affecting your college experience?

Covid-19 has plagued the world. And it may even feel as if you’re the only one experiencing troubles, whether it’s in the classroom, on campus, or in your everyday lives. One thing for certain is we are all struggling through these troubling times.

In an interview with a select few students and teachers at Northern Essex Community College, We hear what they had to say about this change. Fellow student Shaun Hood made this statement about how he is dealing with college and the pandemic.

“The pandemic has definitely made college a lot more difficult. I did not enjoy having two semesters of completely online classes, and I am very happy to be spending much more time on campus this Fall, now that both of my two classes meet in person!”

For other students like Aliyah Quevillon, they face a more social problem.

“I think this virus has made things harder on all of us. I miss being able to see my friends faces.” Quevillon then goes on to say “I miss being able to hug my friends and be able to see them laugh and smile when I tell jokes.”

Quevillon also faces a learning curve,  “Learning with the mask itself is a problem, I usually find that it’s really hard to hear what they are saying because the mask makes everyone muffled.”

The school itself has taken precautions to try and make dealing with covid-19 easier. These include a covid vaccine mandate starting in January 2022, vaccine clinic on campus pop ups, FIT training seminars which are run by certified individuals teaching how to properly wear a N95 mask and 70 air scrubbers with the highest level MERV filters and HEPA filtration systems been placed in high traffic areas on campus. As well as wearing a mask on campus, and contact tracing sheets.

When talking to an all online student, Tara Duggan, she mentions that she “can’t wait to actually be able to come onto campus, but I am still waiting to feel safe enough with covid still going around.”

In another interview with Kimberly Small Lyng, an interpersonal communications director she claims that covid has had some effect in her classroom. “In some ways, yes and  some ways no. I’m teaching Interpersonal Communication in person with masks, which obviously has its challenges, but interestingly, it’s added another dimension to the course as we contemplate how masks have impacted the non-verbal messages we give to one another,” she said.

Lyng goes on to say that “The students are doing a great job through this. I’m really proud of them.”

Lyng states that she is looking forward to “continuing to work toward normalcy again. It’s been so nice to see and work with people. It’s wonderful that we have technology and it’s helped us through all of this, but nothing beats connecting with people in the real world.”

Through this entire pandemic we have seen many scares, many changes and a diverse community coming together. We are all working towards a common goal, the future, and towards normalcy. We are all in this together and will get through this.