Bluefield High School Student Wins Nintendo Gaming Award | News

BLUEFIELD — In August, Braden Farley was on band training when an unexpected email landed on his cellphone.

The unexpected news had unexpectedly good news. Farley learned he was going to play Nintendo’s latest game at a major gaming convention in Seattle, Washington.

A freshman at Bluefield High School, Farley, 14, began his journey to the PAX West gaming convention last July when he was part of an online team playing Platoon 2, a Nintendo fighting game.

“There were some competitive players,” he recalls. “They (Nintendo) organized a game and we won the game.”

Farley played in Mercer County while his three teammates played the game in other parts of the country. They had to stay online while testing their playing skills against other teams.

“I think it was the first week of July,” Farley said. “It was a two-day event. I would say we had a total of six hours on the game.”

Although Farley and his teammates knew they had won, they were not told that their victory would bring a special reward.

“We didn’t really know about it,” he said. “There was no fixed price for it. They didn’t tell us until three weeks later.”

Farley was in the middle of band practice when the surprise email reached his cellphone. Surprised, he showed his friend Bryce Patton.

“And we just started screaming,” Farley said. “I saw an email pop up on the phone. It kind of came out of nowhere. My band teacher said, what is it, and I couldn’t put it into words. My friend had to say it for me.”

Farley left for Seattle on September 1 and returned to Bluefield. At PAX West, he was one of the gamers who got to try Nintendo’s new game Platoon 3, which went on sale Friday. People attending the convention were able to watch the match on big screens, while other enthusiasts could watch the premiere of Platoon 3 as it was played online.

“It’s honestly not like anything I’ve ever played,” Farley said. “Everyone said it’s really different. I thought it was really fun. I came home and ordered it right away. Dad thought they should have given me a free copy.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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