EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --
Airmen who enjoy competing in online games now have the opportunity to join a new, free league just for servicemembers.
Newtroop, a gaming circuit, was created by Senior Airman Ryan Williams, 381st Intelligence Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, and is specifically for military members from all branches of service to compete in and socialize.
"Newtroop provides ability for gamers in each service to put tournaments together and play," Airman Williams said. "It will stay competitive, but still be fun."
People who enjoy playing computer and video games affectionately refer to themselves as 'gamers.' Most gamers grew up alongside the development of the Nintendo consoles and currently divulge in countless hours of Xbox Live and PlayStation.
"Newtroop was created as way for adults who work full-time jobs, who are married and/or who have kids to be able to enjoy games," said Senior Airman Dominic Garcia, Eielson point of contact for Newtroop. "It was basically to create an environment more conducive to the military lifestyle."
Newtroop also encourages spouses to play.
"It's a place where military men and women can socialize, compete and have fun amongst their peers," said Airman Garcia. "There is no cost to join; we like to be competitive but mainly have fun."
Airman Garcia described some of the problems with playing communal games with people outside of the military.
"Most members of Newtroop are married and have children but still enjoy playing video games, so you won't run into anyone under the age of 18 or anyone who makes racist comments while playing with us," he said. "You wouldn't believe the things that these kids will say, but military members know not to act racist."
"We also highly discourage cheating, glitching and modding (manipulating a game) in any way," he said.
Newtroop members play on all video game consoles as well as computers, Airman Garcia said. Newtroop currently play together on XBox Live: Gears of War, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Battlefield 2, Halo 2, Madden07, and Saint's Row.
Airman Garcia said that in the near future Newtroop anticipates playing Halo 3, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 and Crackdown. On a personal computer Newtroop members play World of Warcraft, Battlefield and City of Heroes.
Newtroop has members at Eielson, Elmendorf, Mountain Home AFB, Id., service members deployed to Iraq and Airmen and Marines stationed in Hawaii, said Airman Garcia.
Newtroop eventually hopes to gather enough participation to have consistent base versus base, major command versus major command and branch versus branch tournaments.
"We are starting off small trying to get the ball rolling by hosting local tournaments at each base," said Airman Garcia. "Eventually we hope to create a circuit where we could have the best gamer at Eielson compete against the best of Elmendorf and later have the best of Air Force challenging the Army, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard."
"If a lot of people get into it, we can go really far--we just need the participation," said Airman Williams.
To join Newtroop get more information, or contact Airman Williams, Icemen can visit www.newtroop.com
, where members discuss all things about gaming as well as sports, technology and current events. Airman Garcia can be contacted through his Xbox Live gamertag: oO Garcia Oo.
A Gears of War (Four versus four) tournament is 6 p.m. March 9 at the North Star Café in the basement of building 2333. Bring your own controller, console and game. First place team will receive $100. This event is hosted by BASE 24/7 and Newtroop. For more information, contact Airman Garcia at 377-4997 or Tech. Sgt. Jack Hartman at 377-4156.