02/05/12 — Video gamers gather for summit at college

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Video gamers gather for summit at college

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on February 5, 2012 1:50 AM

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Brandon Blake, left, and Erik Stroud dance Saturday at the Carolina Games Summit while playing Dance Central at Wayne Community College.

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Katy Duke, left, and Shaft Heath play "Marvel versus Capcom 3" Saturday at the Carolina Games Summit at Wayne Community College.

John Martinez didn't seem to mind the onlookers.

He saw no need to save face.

Dancing with your mom can be cool.

Especially when it's competitive -- and you're winning.

"Woo, that wore me out," the boy's mother, Pattina said, after losing a virtual dance-off to her 11-year-old.

The boy smiled -- sliding his feet as if the battle hadn't quite ended.

"Yeah, I won," he said. "That's what I do."

Some came in costume.

Others wore their favorite T-shirt.

But everyone who attended the Carolina Games Summit at Wayne Community College Saturday seemed to have one thing in common: a desire to show off their respective skills.

Adam Nolan showed up to put his "perfect" record on the line against other "Madden NFL 2012" experts.

"I've never lost a game. Believe that. It's the truth," the 20-year-old said, as he waited for his turn. "I've been playing since I was a kid."

And Molly Hamilton hoped to shake up the "Halo" room.

"Guys always think they can beat me because I'm a girl and they feel like shooting games don't suit us," the 18-year-old said. "Then we start playing and let's just say it doesn't end well for them. So it's gonna be fun to see their faces when we're through."

But not everyone came with a chip on their shoulder.

Travis Wright wanted to convince his roommate that Xbox Kinect was a worthy replacement for the Nintendo Wii they currently co-own.

"I'm trying to talk him into going in on one with me," Travis said, looking over at lifelong friend Jeremy Watts. "He's still not convinced, but I think it's pretty sweet. I mean, the technology has really come a long way."

Jeremey shook his head.

"I mean, it's awesome for the dance game. I'll give you that," he said. "But that doesn't mean it's any better than the Wii."

And Amy Whitfield drove all the way from Camp Lejeune to be a hero for her two sons, Marcus and Kyle.

"I always get on them to do something more productive with their time, but it's what they love," she said. "So I figured making the effort today to support them would earn me a few cool points."

Others had no interest in gaming at all.

Some paid the cover charge just to check out the crowd -- and the merchandise, everything from cards and T-shirts to jewelry and comic books, on sale.

"It's nice to peruse the selection. Shopping is a decent way to spend a Saturday," said Jamie Saunders. "But I'm really here to people-watch. There's something really interesting about the people who show up at things like this."