Game room gets complaints

If you have visited to the new gaming room in the Student Union, it may seem like a video gamers’ virtual paradise. But if paradise has its price, the price for playing video games in the new Student Union is causing some friction for students.

Electronically speaking, the game room houses 17 gaming stations for your pleasure. It contains 10 Xbox 360s, four Nintendo Wiis, two Playstation II’s and one Playstation III. The game selection for each console usually consists of between 25 and 30 of the most popular titles and is updated monthly by Savage Gecko, a company that helps schools create gaming centers and satisfies students’ demand for high-tech entertainment.

The university has incorporated a flat rate system for using these games: $4 per hour for the use of the gaming consoles, one controller and one game. But the flat rate pricing in order to play them is being questioned by some of the students on campus. “I only have a 30 minute break; you mean I have to pay the entire $4 for just half the time? That is stupid, why can’t I pay $2,” sophomore business major Robby Alcorn said. It makes perfect sense: Half the time, half the usage, half the price, right?

Chris Tambling, associate director of the University Center and Student Union, said he is completely open to suggestions, modifications and changes. “We hate to turn anyone away, we just want to try to please the most people we can and welcome any kind of new ideas,” he said. They have started to toy with the idea of half-hour rates due to some complaints made by student gamers. The idea of having a reduced $2.50 half-hour fee has been tossed around, along with other time and pricing strategies. By next year he also hopes to have online gaming available for students as well. “It’s a work in progress, we just have to see how this first year goes in order to make any informed decisions,” Tambling said.

The question of bringing your own games and controllers has been brought to light as well.

“If I bring my own game, my own controller and I’m just using the console and TV, why do I pay as much as someone who doesn’t have anything?” junior physical education major Matt Wingrove said. This also would enable students who have hard drives and memory cards to use their saved data to continue where they left off, instead of starting a game from the beginning.

However, though they bring their own games, controllers, hard-drives or memory cards, they are still using the university’s television, electricity and room.

“We have to see how this first year goes and check the wear and tear on the consoles, controllers and see what we need to do to improve in the future,” said Tambling. “Thumbs up for bringing your own games, controllers or hard-drives though.”

Since the game room is still in its infancy, changes are inevitable. The game room is hoped to have a fully functioning snack bar in the room to provide packaged snacks and cold beverages as sustenance for the gaming masses, within a few weeks.