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Games Room at UA steps up their game

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Aiden Vens | The Daily Wildcat

A collection of arcade games located in the Games Room under the Student Union Memorial Center, at the University of Arizona.

The Games Room at the Student Union Memorial Center is looking for players to enjoy its new consoles, computers and Virtual Reality events, including a VR game developed right here at UA.

“We have been trying to raise awareness for students to come in and play games,” said Christina Partica, sales coordinator and manager at the gaming center. “We receive no student funding at all for the Games Room, the money we generate comes from sales. We started doing Virtual Reality gaming in the room, Games Development had a fundraiser this semester and brought in about 50 members of their club.”

According to Partica, there is a big spectators piece to gaming. Last year alone, the popular game League of Legends accumulated approximately 60 million spectator hours online, and other gaming outlets aren’t too different.

The recently developed VR game made by UA students at Games Development, Operation Neon, has brought intrigued students to the Games Room.

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“It’s funny to see them with their head gear and just watch them rolling on the floor zapping things,” said Partica. “We do have TV’s set up, you get to see what they are seeing with all these bright neon colors.”

According to Virtual Reality Technician Jason Brestel, not enough people try VR and therefore don’t get to enjoy gaming at its newest level thus far, which to him and other students is an amazing experience.

“We are hoping to continue on the game [Operation Neon], it started just as a passion project, but then it just grew and we decided to have a VR night twice a month,” said Brestel. “All of the funding comes from the Games Room and then the equipment goes out-of-pocket.”

He said if you've never tried it and you’re skeptical to definitely try it. 

“Every single person who has tried Virtual Reality gets their minds completely blown, it’s like watching a great movie for the first time,” Brestel said.

Game Room Desk Manager Evan Brown agrees.

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“It was really cool, the first time I tried VR was with that game and it was really serial,” Brown said.“It was a really neat experience, you really feel completely immersed in space," he added. "It completely turns this room into a big space where you're fighting off enemies.”

According to Brown, although the Games Room does not host events like this every night, it also allows you to rent out gear for gaming with a CatCard. Not only the latest video games are available, there are also board game selections for rent like Cards Against Humanity, Connect 4, Monopoly and others.

The Games Room is open for all students to try their gaming equipment and VR nights on the first and third Thursday of every month.

“We have a lot of stuff, the biggest draw are the ping pong tables and pool tables, we also have console games that people love,” Brown said. “This is a great space to hang out and it’s a close place to the union where you can spend a lot of time, even if you’re not gaming.”


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