2018 Barracuda Bowl Winner: James Bittner

James Interview Graphic-03.png

Q&A with James Bittner

Get to know the winner of Barracuda Bowl Season 3.

How did you end up at Virginia Tech?

"I came to Virginia Tech actually because I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to do with my life. Through my research of different Virginia schools, VT offered the best variety of different skills and trades so I came to the conclusion that whatever I wanted to do, VT would find a place for me. I also have a brother that goes to VT so I knew that VT had a wonderful campus and a great community."

What is your major and why did you pick that?

"I am a marketing management major with minors in communications and digital media marketing. I chose marketing because I want to help people by showing them what they never knew existed before.

For example, I'm the Marketing Director for the American Collegiate Esports League. As the Marketing Director, I involve and engage students from across the country in our gaming communities and give gamers a national community to feel safe, welcome, and make friends they never would have otherwise. I am a strong believer in building and strengthening communities to make those who are left out feel connected to the world around them."

What organizations are you involved with on campus?

"On campus, I am a Rank Captain for the trombone section in the Marching Virginians as well as a member of the Virginia Tech pep band. I couldn't imagine my life without the friends I've made and the fulfilling work that both of these bands do. Hokies for the Hungry, playing for fans, and being apart of the Blacksburg community has made my time at VT feel meaningful.

I'm also a member of the the all-male a cappella group, Naturally Sharp. I've always loved singing and adding the sense of brotherhood and camaraderie that 'Natty' gives me makes having no social life worth it. We also just recorded our third album, 'Relapse,' set to drop in the fall. As of recent, I am more involved in Tech's gaming groups like VT Smash 4 and VESPA."

What led you to participate in the Barracuda Bowl?

"I saw the promotion on one of the TVs in Pamplin and thought that if there was a competition that dealt with gaming, I had the strongest chance to win it as I am a gamer. I also saw it as an opportunity to promote the gaming organizations on campus and give them a boost in popularity."

How did you come up with the idea for your winning pitch?

"The idea for my winning pitch came from my love of community building through the formula of co-creation of content. When I was younger, I always felt like video games connected me to my older brothers and became a large part of how we entertained ourselves as kids. As I got older, the same applied to my friends and other gamers who I've met along the way.

Gamers from all walks of life love to either share the experience with multiplayer games or share that they are the best though leaderboards and competitive games. My idea was centered around bring people together, whether its online or in person, to achieve a strong sense of community where community is lacking."

What are you most looking forward to about seeing your campaign executed?

"In terms of what I'm looking forward to, it's not very substantial or statistics based. What I'm looking forward to the most is seeing different people from different walks of life who have never met before discover a new group of people who they can call friends. Not everyone has a plethora of friends, and this event could change that. Unless they play Super Smash Bros, then even the strongest friendships may end."