By Owen Cupp
As he mashes the A button, he controls Peyton Manning and passes the football to Marvin Harrison, eventually leading to a touchdown with three seconds left in the fourth quarter. He knows that he has beaten his opponent and happily sets down his controller for a break.
Health and physical education teacher Mr. Jacob VanPelt is one of the few teachers at Delta who plays video games.
He started playing video games in elementary school, with his first console being the Gameboy Advance.
“[I had] Madden 07 on the Gameboy, and I also had Super Mario Brothers on the Gameboy,” Mr. VanPelt said.
He currently plays video games such as Madden, PGA Golf, and Call of Duty, but Mr. VanPelt doesn’t usually have the time to play video games during the week.
“In the fall I was coaching football, and now we’re starting baseball three times a week,” Mr. VanPelt said. “It’s not really anything I schedule my day [around] like, ‘Hey, 8 o’clock tonight I want to play video games.’ I schedule my day like ‘Today I want to work out.’ I think that helps me mentally more than playing video games.”
Mr. VanPelt believes that students should manage their time (especially if they are athletes).
“You go to school, practice, and when you get home you have to eat, and then get your homework done and those are your priorities,” Mr. VanPelt said. “I would honestly say spend time with your parents and family before playing video games because lots of people say, ‘Oh I’m going up to my room and playing video games.’”
Mr. VanPelt also believes that students should spend more time with their parents.
“There’s always going to be time to play video games and I think you need to spend more time with your parents, as much as you can,” Mr. VanPelt said.
Science and math teacher Mr. Rob Summer is another teacher who plays video games.
His first console was a Nintendo 64 that he won in a raffle, but he had a Gameboy before that.
“The first game I got with the Gameboy was Donkey Kong [Country],” Mr. Summer said. “He’s got a smaller monkey companion named Diddy Kong, and they are on their quest to get their bananas back from King K Rool.”
Mr. Summer mostly plays solo games, such as The Talos Principle and Portal, but he has played a lot of multiplayer games as well, such as Apex Legends and Rocket League.
“During the Pandemic, I played Rocket League pretty much weekly with a group of friends,” Mr. Summer said. “We would coordinate, and that kind of kept me sane because that would be something to look forward to.”
He recently played a video game called Ori and the Blind Forest, which is a game where the main character (Ori) must explore to discover elements and confront the antagonist (Kuro) to restore the forest of Nibel.
“It’s absolutely beautiful, and it is heartbreaking in the first five minutes, kind of for no reason, it sucker punches you with emotion,” Mr. Summer said. “Video games can truly capture emotion just as well as some books and as some movies, simply because you are the conduit, you are part of it.”