Most colleges encourage students to study hard and to avoid most time-consuming distractions in order to focus on their studies while on the path to a degree. The president of Columbia College in Columbia, Mo., however, is using a popular distraction to drum up school spirit and encourage camaraderie on campus.
For his inaugural year, President Scott Dalrymple, PhD, is challenging students to go up against him in a battle of wits, aggression, and video game prowess. Dalrymple is obsessed with acclaimed football-themed video game Madden NFL ‘15 and has decided to take on the best of the best among his students. The grand prize? Free textbooks, paid for by Dalrymple. On average, textbooks for the year can cost more than $1,000. The gamer president said that he wants to encourage camaraderie among students and uplift the school spirit at the start of his tenure.
The Columbia College Madden NFL video game challenge will take place on Oct. 17 at the college campus, with a big screen for all to see. It's open to all registered students, including those who take courses online.
Gamers beware. Don't be fooled by Dalrymple's scholarly title. Like any aggressive player, the prez has been talking trash — in epic proportion. With the help of students, Dalrymple shot and posted a 2-minute video that's received more than 25,000 views on YouTube. Despite his duties and busy schedule, he's been training on his Sony PlayStation 4 for two hours a day to ensure that he's sharp for gameday. He even has a thumb relaxation regimen to avoid any pain from hours of "thumb controller" contact.
Some people may say that Dalrymple's idea is crazy, but he just might be on the money to get a good turnout and pump up the students. In a 2013 report by the Entertainment Software Association, 58% of Americans play video games, with 45% being women and 55% being men. Looks like Dalrymple won't be short of contenders. Hopefully, someone will give this trash-taking president a run for his money.