Maurice Cates (2010-2012)
|My name is Maurice Cates I was 22 years old when I was a junior attending Metropolitan State College of Denver in pursuit of my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Hardware Repair. I am of, African American, Anglo, Mexican, and Native American decent. As far as cultural background goes I really don’t have much to be honest. But that is a reason why I was working with the JTOH department. I did not have many friends growing up, even now I still don’t have many (for different reason), but this position is slowly helping me to understand other cultures and for that I am extremely grateful.|
I have a job that most people would not consider a real job or “sport” but many in the world do, albeit just on a much smaller scale. I am what is known as a Professional Gamer, meaning I am paid for playing a certain video game thanks to being a sponsored player. I made my break into this particular area by going out to what is considered to be the fighting game genre’s biggest event, The Evolution World Championships in 2009. My chosen games of choice are Street Fighter 3 and Street Fighter 4, the former being what I attended this event for. I had gone to Evo 2 years before in 2007 and placed decently (32nd overall in an event with a minimum of 1200 participants) but not enough to get recognized. I did not become a “big name” until 2010, when I entered the world championships and placed 5th place over all in Super Street Fighter 4, which for being an unknown player from a part of the country where street fighter does not have much of a community is a large accomplishment. I am now considered to be one of the top players in the world (being ranked as the 4th overall player in the world), and I receive many perks. My first perk is being one of the few players in the world to be paid for playing and also to be sponsored. While there are many sponsored players in the world I’m one of the few that is considered talented enough to be paid. I am currently sponsored by DMG or Dominion Method Gaming, a company that seeks and signs various fighting game competitors to contracts for their ranks. I am paid a monthly salary as well as having any out of state and sometimes even the country trips paid for including Airfare both ways as well as having my hotel room and all expenses paid for by the company. My main reason for enjoying being a pro gamer so much though is not because of the money or the perks, it’s because I get to meet other people that share the same interests and passion for gaming that I do. Yes that may sound “nerdy” to people that don’t understand the whole thing but just like there are other types of communities and cultures out there this too can be considered a community and even a culture by some. This is where the uses of social networking as well as my experiences in the Journey Through Our Heritage program come into play.
While I may love being a pro Street Fighter player and having my name known all over the country and some parts of the world I would not be where I am today without a lot of hard work. However I realize that this is something I cannot do forever and at some point I will have to get a degree and become a “real member of society”. This is a part of the reason I work for the JTOH program as IT support in addition to my gaming career. I have always had an interest in computers and thanks to a couple of really great and talented teachers in addition to my own curiosity I consider myself to be a somewhat knowledgeable individual in the field of computers. I pretty much taught myself how to fix and even build computers and I don’t have what would be considered “real knowledge” among today’