Colleges To Engage In ‘Risk’

Ivy League students are about to convert their schools’ hallowed halls into barracks and bunkers and engage in open hostilities against one another—in cyberspace.

Starting next Monday, GoCross-Campus, an on-line social gaming platform built by a few Yale and Columbia students, will launch the GXC Ivy League Championship, which pits the eight schools against one another for domination across the Northeast.

The game will closely resemble the Harvard “Risk” game sponsored by the College Events Board (CEB) last spring. And Harvard students are likely to be active participants this time around too, according to Benjamin S. Decker ’08, the president of the Harvard Interactive Media Group, an umbrella organization that oversees the group responsible for managing the Harvard side of the tournament.

“We’ve had a late start marketing, but given the overwhelming popularity last year, we’re very confident it’ll be successful and popular,” Decker said.
Estimating of the number of Harvard students that would participate, Decker said, “We’re shooting for 2,000. It’s definitely a possible number.”

He also added that he sees a lot of excitement in people when promoting the event in dining halls and elsewhere on campus.

“There are two types of reactions,” he said. “One is, ‘I’m really excited, you rock!’ The other is, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this. I’m going to fail my midterms because of you.’”

According to the GoCrossCampus press release, several prominent campus government organizations have helped publicize the game. But neither Harvard’s Undergraduate Council nor the CEB is offi cially involved this time  around.

CEB President S. Adam Goldenberg ’08 said organizing the tournament reaches beyond the board’s purview.

“It’s not really a Harvard event,” said Goldenberg, who is also a Crimson editorial columnist. “Our participation is not vital to its success.”

But Goldenberg added, “I’m really excited that [the Harvard Interactive Media Group is] taking the initiative. This is right up their alley.”

Between 3,000 and 4,000 undergraduates, House Masters, and tutors participated in the CEB’s Risk tournament earlier this year, Goldenberg said, and the board plans to hold a similar event next spring.

Meanwhile, in New Haven, the Elis are revving up for next week.

“Students are eager,” said Yale junior Matthew O. Brimer, the marketing director and cofounder of GoCross-Campus. “Lots of marketing efforts have been put in across the Ivy League campuses.”

GoCrossCampus will also run small, intramural tournaments at six other colleges such as MIT, Brimer added.