The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

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Clash Royale: The Game Taking the Whitney Young Community by Storm

Caught+in+the+Clash%3A+Junior+Oren+Epstein%2C+pictured+above%2C+swaps+schoolwork+for+the+thrill+of+mobile+games+like+Clash+Royale.
Caught in the Clash: Junior Oren Epstein, pictured above, swaps schoolwork for the thrill of mobile games like Clash Royale.

Immersed in a new digital arena, Whitney Young students have found themselves captivated by a new mobile game: Clash Royale. Developed by the gaming titan Supercell (who you may know for their other works, such as Clash of Clans and Hay Day), Clash Royale is a seemingly simple game that has piqued the interest of students across our school community. Disguised by its animated graphics and silly characters, it is a complex game filled with strategy and competition that has embedded itself into students’ daily lives, much to the subtle dismay of teachers and parents.

The popularity of Clash Royale stems from its widespread availability and convenience. The game is free to download and offers in-app purchases, meaning you only have to spend money if you want to. This feature makes the game an option for people from any financial background. Ben Smith, a Whitney Young senior and Clash Royale extraordinaire, brings up an interesting point: “Games are extremely quick, which gives Clash Royale an edge over other popular games that are much more drawn-out, like Fortnite or Call of Duty.” With each match lasting only about three minutes, students can easily fit Clash Royale into their busy schedules. Look around the next time you’re in Advisory, at Lunch, or wherever students go when they have downtime. I guarantee you’ll see at least one or two Clash Royale players.

However, all this may come at a cost, as many parents and teachers reported an uptick in distraction in school and extracurricular activities due to the increased popularity of games like Clash Royale. Stephen Hinz, a father of three high school students, reports, “Mobile gaming is getting out of hand. Whenever I look over at my kids, they are playing games on their phones.” Recent studies also back these growing concerns, showing a strong correlation between decreased academic motivation and performance and online gaming. Teachers can also speak to this relationship as Ms. Ha, a veteran Spanish teacher at Whitney Young, notes “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to capture students’ attention in class. They’re constantly checking their phones.”

All this is to say that the rise of Clash Royale and other mobile games comes with pros and cons. Giving students a fun gateway into the world of strategy and competition is great but it can also come at the cost of other pursuits. Maxwell Kudlov, freshly minted adult and self-proclaimed Clash Royale stud, put it best, “Striking a balance between recreation and other responsibilities is essential for ensuring the holistic development of our youth.”

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