An online war game called GoCrossCampus is storming through America’s colleges and universities. The rules are similar to the board game Risk…Students bring glory to their schools by battling for virtual territory.
Thousands of armed Yale students vanquish Brown’s pitiful forces… the commander orders troops to gather quickly on the Massachusetts border. Now Yale’s militia invades Cambridge – humiliating Harvard in a bloody slaughter…
"Its mad. Its pure madness. I’m hoping he attacks. Ooh You see? " 19-year old Yale freshman Emmanuel Quartey studies the computer screen, feverishly attacking and seizing virtual school campuses. Students plot out strategy during internet chats, but Quartey says they’re so serious about it that they also meet in real life. The web just isn’t safe. "Because of spies. You have people who say they support Team Yale, but have, for whatever reason, an affection for Harvard for example. And so when plans are discussed in the secret Yale team chat, they copy and paste this in an e-mail and send it to Harvard commanders."
More than 70,000 students have played the game. 5,000 participated in the last Ivy League Tournament - billed as “The largest competitive event in the history of the Ivy League – Prepare for Awesomeness”. GoCrossCampus is the brainchild of one Columbia student and a handful of Yalies including Brad Hargreaves. "Online gaming has gotten a really bad rap. People conjure up images of the guy sitting in his mother’s basement eating a bag of Cheetos playing World of Warcraft. And that’s sad"
Most video games are pretty solitary. Players compete against the computer or one other person. GoCrossCampus is played on teams, so its a collaborative, social experience says co-founder Matt Brimer. "We like to think e’re pioneering this kind of team-based social-gaming space. Bringing the spirit I would say of team sports to the online world of gaming".
Inc Magazine has named GoCrossCampus one of America’s top 10 coolest college startups. Back at his laptop in New Haven, Emmanuel Cortey’s moved from mere campus battles, to conquering.. the world! "I have very little opposition currently so I’m just going to sweep as many territories as I can."
And after a quick jolt of global domination, it’s back to the books.