Campus News · Feature

Lounge opens creating a place for gamers 

John Meyer

Lantern Staff

  An eSports and Gaming Lounge, located in the Student Union, opened right before the spring semester started on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Located in the Student Union, the site where the pool table used to reside is where the lounge can be found. 

   “There’s the huge presence of eSports and gaming everywhere,” Bill Young, vice president of Digital Transformation, said. “Colleges all over the place (are) putting together esports teams, and they recognized this as a way to keep students engaged on campus and also computer games, esports or gaming really–it transcends all the different cohorts and with the same interests.” 

   Inside the eSports and Gaming Lounge, gamers can find an assortment of features; among them are eight computers where students can game on.  

   “(There are computers) set up specifically stationed for them to sit down and game on,” Young said. “We also have a racing simulator setup over there, so you sit down the racing seat, steering wheels, gear shifters and pedals, and it vibrates and it’s back on the steering wheel.”  

Matt Jansen, director of Client Services, added. “When you hit a wall, it’ll jerk and then the seat will vibrate. The device is called a butt kicker, so there’s a butt kicker on it and so if you hit a wall, or if you go over rumble strips or go on the ground or something like that, it shakes the whole rig, the whole frame and everything.” 

   Initially, there was a lot of interest in bringing eSports to the Butler campus. The talks to bring eSports to the Butler campus began before Covid-19, and once the college community returned to campus, the eSports Club contacted Information Services (IS) to help with gaming events. From there, Information Services (IS) walked around the El Dorado campus looking for a potential spot. IS also collaborated with the eSports Club. They contacted Marcos Martinez, the president of the club, and he and others were able to discuss the site construction and demoed some of the products. 

   This is Martinez’s last semester, and initially, he and other club members were interested in starting an eSports team. 

   “I am not too sure whether a team will be created soon since I personally don’t know too much regarding the subject,” Martinez said. “This is also my last semester here, so it will probably be in full effect and in motion after I graduate. I can’t wait to see where it goes though!” 

   IS plans to add an eSports and Gaming Lounge to the Andover campus, and now, they are in the final phases of design. The plan is to have 10 PCS, two teams of five, one large TV and a racing simulator. In Andover and in El Dorado, IS understands that students may also want to play more traditional games, but the space presently does not accommodate for these types of games 

“The gaming club is not just about computer games, so we’re looking at finding spaces where we can set up a big table so they can sit around and play board games, do different types of other interactive games,” Young said.  

“They’ve asked for in our early conversations with them too,” Jansen added. “They want some space to play Dungeons and Dragons or Chutes and Ladders.” 

    IS has noticed with the Gaming Lounge that more and more people are making friends while being in that room. Ever since it opened, more and more people have been crowding around the lounge waiting to join. Almost every day, students make new friends while in the lounge mainly as they play the games available. 

“Seeing some of the new relationships that have been built over there has been awesome just between people who didn’t know each other on campus before they got in there,” Young said. 

   After IS finished the eSports and Gaming Lounge, they had let students use it before the grand opening to make sure to fix any bugs with the machines. On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Dr. Kim Krull, the college president, played a couple rounds of Fortnite with a few members of the eSports Club.  


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