Game on: HHS transforms gym into game zone

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The Helena High School gymnasium had a different look on Friday, April 7, as the entire gym floor was covered with multiple rows of chairs, tables, TVs and gaming consoles.

The basketball court was transformed into a video gamers’ paradise as Real Deal Gaming and Helena High School teamed up for a fun and unique fundraiser with proceeds going toward the HHS football program.

The event, which was dubbed “Game On Huskies,” featured up to 100 gaming stations and games for all participants to enjoy in a fun and safe event for children of all ages.

The gaming stations included games on a number of new and retro gaming consoles including Playstation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Playstation 2, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo (NES), Super Nintendo, Nintendo Game Cube, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Sega Saturn, Sega Dream Cast and Atari.

Gamers were also able to take on Mike Tyson on Nintendo’s Mike Tyson Punch Out game, play Guitar Hero, drive in a Mario Cart game or participate in the Madden Challenge tournament or Super Smash Brothers double-elimination tournament.

Real Deal Gaming, which is based out of Pelham, was formed in 2011 after owner Darryl Hughley started Real Deal Gaming as a tournament-only company because of his passion for video games. Now, the business has grown to new heights.

“I was really good at NCAA college football on Playstation 2 and no one could ever beat me,” Hughley said. “I went from college campus to college campus competing against people from California who would say ‘I’m the best,’ and ‘you can’t beat me,’ and I would win. But, I didn’t have anything to show that I was good so that’s when I got into gaming and at first we started as a tournament-only company. Then it evolved into providing services for people and then we just rolled out the fundraising concept last spring.”

The fundraising concept is simple. Those wishing to play video games will pay a one-time fee for a wristband and that will allow participants to play a variety of games for hours until the event closes. Hughley and Real Deal Gaming employees set up everything including the TVs, games, controllers and plug everything up. The organization will then get a portion of the proceeds from the wristband sales.

Friends and classmates had a ball jumping from gaming station to gaming station competing against each other in both new and retro games and gaming consoles and for Hughley, that’s what it’s all about.

“I just thank God for the opportunity that he blessed me with and it wasn’t my idea, God blessed me with the idea,” Hughley said. “The most refreshing part is just helping organizations meet their financial goals and just seeing kids’ faces and them having fun.”

For more information on Real Deal Gaming, visit Realdealgaming.com.