Students ‘experience Asia’ through games

It was all fun and games last Friday at “Fantasia,” the Asian American Association’s (AAA) annual late-nighter, held in Decker Hall.

“Fantasia” was the first of many events in the works for AAA’s “Experience Asia Month,” which began with a preview last Wednesday. “My goal for tonight is for everyone to have a good time . play some games . and learn a little bit about Asian culture,” Adrien Ong, president of AAA and senior nursing major, said.

AAA provided an array of different games for students to play. Some were household names, like Taboo, Pictionary and Cranium. Others were popular games in Asia like Sudoku and Mah Jongg.

Sudoku is a logic-centered puzzle game that first became popular in 1986, but it has recently become an international sensation. Mah Jongg, very similar to poker, is a game based on a mix of strategy and pure luck.

However, it was the highly popular video games Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) and Guitar Hero that drew the most players and spectators at the event.

Julius Reyes, freshman computer science major, competed against a friend in a game of Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero is a new music video game in which “guitar-shaped peripherals” serve as the primary controllers for players to mimic the playing of an electric guitar.

While some students thrived as players competing against their friends during the night, others were happy to be spectators only. “It’s good to get out and meet a lot of people and have a good time,” Lauren Fischer, sophomore elementary education/English major, said.

Stephanie Snyder, junior nursing major, also said she enjoyed the event and decided to come to support a friend. “I came to see my friend Lejanie Malong perform a ribbon dance, and get some pizza and socialize,” she said. Snyder’s friend was one of six women who performed a traditional Chinese ribbon dance later that night.

Each year, members of AAA decide on what games to feature at “Fantasia.” “It depends on who has what (game) and what is popular at the time,” Ong said.

For instance, Ong said that a couple of members got Chinese yo-yos when they visited Taiwan, which students were encouraged to play with throughout the night.

Ong also gave a demonstration about the Chinese yo-yo to teach people how to use it.

The Chinese yo-yos were each made of two plastic wheels attached to each side of a steel rod tied to strings. Ong performed a number of different tricks with the yo-yo, which the audience responded to with much applause.

Another popular activity at the late-nighter was origami, which attracted many students. Origami is a Japanese art form in which people fold paper to make intricate and colorful designs.

Students also got Henna tattoos. Ong described them as having originated in India, where brides usually had them painted on their hands and feet before their weddings.

As the night continued, three members of the Martial Arts Club led a demonstration on the self-defense technique Aikido. Aikido is a martial art that relies more on positioning the body to escape from or divert an attacker, rather than physically harming the attacker.