Gaming events prove popular

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Making a difference . . . Your Corps founder James Wards and Gore Corps members Joshua Fotheringham (15), Jaydan Peope (14), Murphy Callahan (15) and Braeden Guthrie (14) enjoy the gaming event held at the Gore RSA on Saturday. PHOTO:KAYLA HODGE

Your Corps founder James Wards is just trying to make a difference in the lives of the community’s youth.

His multiplayer video game events throughout Otago and Southland are packed with adolescents making friends and playing games together.

About 32 players aged from 8 to 17 attended two Gore Corps sessions at the Gore RSA on Saturday.

Players came from Mataura, Invercargill, Wyndham and Gore for the event, which offered 80 different games.

The idea was to get children involved in multiplayer competitive and collaborative games, while connecting with new people.

“This is a really vulnerable age with drugs and alcohol,” Mr Wards said.

“It’s good to get [them] involved in something constructive and not everyone’s into rugby … we’ve got people with varying degrees of mental and physical disabilities, too.

“Three hours a month can have such an impact on their lives.

“I’m blessed to be able to do that.”

Gore Corps member Josh Fotheringham assisted Mr Wards with the Gore events and loved playing games.

“It’s the atmosphere and meeting people from other schools … it’s the nature of it,” Josh said.

Anthony Ferguson (16) helped Mr Wards set up his events in Gore and Balclutha.

Helping Mr Wards was allowing him to build a foundation for his career when he left school, he said.

“I help setting up and with the younger ones … it’s helping out with the career I want in youth work,” Anthony said.

The events had become so popular Mr Wards created Gore Corps memberships for players to secure spots.

“It’s like a gym membership.”

He provided the 20 computers he designed with screens and hard drives on one system for the players to use.

The events took place in Gore, Invercargill, Balclutha and Dunedin, once a month each.

More than 100 events had taken place through the four areas in the past three years.