After a year of demolition and renovation, Plaster Student Union has opened a new space dedicated to competitive video games. The area is primarily intended to be the central campus headquarters for Missouri State University’s growing esports activity.
Located in the southeast corner of the Union’s second floor, the room contains two PCs and a Nintendo Switch provided by the PSU.
Plaster Student Union Director Terry Weber, Campus Recreation Director Ashleigh Lewellen and others met a few years ago to discuss creating a space for the university’s esports community.
“In the end, it was decided that the PSU made the most sense as the primary base for esports,” Weber said.
According to Weber and Lewellen, the space is primarily intended to be a designated on-campus location for the Missouri State E-Sports Club, but another key use of the hall is an additional recreation area available to all students.
“The space we currently offer is for everyone,” Weber said. “Whether you are an avid gamer, new to the game, an E-Sports club member, or someone looking to pass the time between lessons, we offer a variety of games and experiences for everyone. “
Lewellen said she has been considering expanding the presence of esports on campus for some time. Having a designated space like any other organization on campus, she says, is a key part of this expansion.
His desire to develop this particular group on campus came from a growing interest in esports among the younger generations. The game appears to have gained considerable attention on many other college campuses as well.
“We know it exists, we know more and more universities are embracing it and we know our students are interested in it,” said Lewellen. “So how do we implement this on our campus? “
Lewellen said factors such as esports career availability and the business’s potential as a recruiting and retention tool make it an important addition to MSU.
Roman Thomas, president of the Missouri State E-Sports Club, also expressed his enthusiasm and hopes for what the new space could do for the organization which he says has seen substantial growth, especially last year. .
“It’s a good springboard for what’s to come, to give a taste of who we all are,” said Thomas.
Thomas added that in addition to the power supply room helping to raise awareness of the organization in general, it has already been used for a number of game nights and other events so far this semester. , including several Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments.
“Another thing we’re doing is making the club a lot more socially friendly,” Thomas said. “We just organize a lot of community events. This stuff involves everyone at the club, not just the people who are on the teams, per se. “
Weber, Lewllen and Thomas noted that there is currently a plan to renovate a section of the Games Center on the first floor of the PSU, potentially providing a much larger space dedicated to esports on campus. This idea is currently under discussion with Planning, Design and Construction.
Follow Andrew Michael on Twitter, @OverAnder
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