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First ever Ohio State Honor Games hopes to sway hunger awareness

For students aiming to get a scholarship for textbooks, may the odds be ever in your favor.
The first annual Honor Games at Ohio State, a competition based on “The Hunger Games” novels by Suzanne Collins, is set for March 2, but activities surrounding the $10,000 budgeted games, hosted though OSU Honors and Scholars, have already begun.
The goal of the Honor Games is to unify the campus community and raise awareness of hunger, said Brett Baughman, the head gamemaker for the Honor Games and a third-year in environment, economy, development and sustainability.
“What we were dealing with here was to get the whole campus community involved in something, a competition, that brings us all together in an effort, not only to get to know each other and build that community, but also to better ourselves, both like, mentally, physically, academically and really push yourself to pursue the best version of you,” Baughman said.
However, unity doesn’t come without a price. The Honor Games has about a $10,000 budget from “support from (University Residences and Dining Services) and various donations,” said Leslie Robinson, adviser of the Honor Games and hall director for the Bradley-Paterson Hall Complex in an email.
The game starts with two tributes — a female and a male game participant — from each housing complex on campus randomly selected to compete in the games, Baughman said. Among other prizes, the winner will receive a $500 scholarship to Barnes & Noble to help cover the cost of textbooks.
But the games aren’t all about individual competition. A major part of the Honor Games is a food drive which will help support the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Baughman said.
Residence hall councils around campus are also hosting programs to educate students on hungar-related issues as part of the Honor Games.
“It’s really just educating people about what is being done and how they can be a part of it,” Baughman said.  
While many of these programs are catered for students living on campus, off-campus students will not be left out of these programs or the Honor Games, said Robinson.
The OSU Honors and Scholars program is a co-sponsor of the Honor Fames, along with Residence Halls Advisory Councils and Barnes & Noble.
“Honors and Scholars has been great, their activity board is acting like a hall council for the off-campus students so they have the same opportunity that residential students have,” Robinson said.  
Students who donate canned goods and attend hall council programs will earn points for their housing complex. The points can then be spent to give the tributes from that complex an edge in the competition, Baughman said.  
“The more points you get, the more cans you turn in, the more programs you go to, the more advantages you can gain,” Baughman said.  
How the points are spent to aid the tribute will be left up to a “mentor” who will be elected from each complex.   
“It really depends on how the mentors decide to use these points. The smarter the mentors are, the more strategic they are, it could absolutely give one tribute a huge advantage over another,” Baughman said.  
Aside from the book scholarship, the winning residence hall complex will receive a carnival and a large trophy, Robinson said.  
The Honor Games competition will be filmed and turned into an hour to an hour-and-a-half long movie which will be premiered at either the Gateway Film Center or the Ohio Union on March 23. Which one of the venues will host the premier will be announced later, Robinson said.
Many of the details of the Honor Games are still under wraps to ensure there are plenty of surprises for the audience and tributes, Baughman said.  
Eric Clemens, a third-year in computer and information science, said he supports the effort to raise hunger awareness.  
“It sounds entertaining, it sounds like something that I would be OK with taking a part in, donating stuff for and it would be fun to watch,” he said.
Michael Curtis, a first-year in mechanical engineering, said he would potentially like to volunteer to be a tribute in the Honor Games.   
“I would definitely consider doing that,” Curtis said.  
However, he said he has not heard much about it aside from seeing a few fliers.   
Baughman said the Honor Games are a “living, breathing thing” because of everyone who will participate in them as a tribute or by donating canned goods.  
“We as the Buckeye community have this opportunity to do something great, as one, and so it will be really exciting to watch that come alive,” Baughman said. 

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