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FSCJ game rooms provide an area for students to relax and meet friends

By Zachary Gragg
On February 23, 2012

Feb. 6 was a bleak, rainy day, but the gloom and gray were pushed aside at the North Campus game room, where dozens of students gathered beneath the lights to relax in spite of the weather. 

Music could be heard from one of the corners of the game room as members of the Music Club gathered for an impromptu jam session. Heads bobbed as a piano played, and fingers tapped to the rhythm of raps and vocals, all of this occurring within a six foot radius. Current North Campus Music Club president Steven Chambers strummed his guitar while collaborating with Victoria Conley, a dual-enrolled Ribault student, who sang in accompaniment.

To the side of Chambers and Conley, other student members of the Music Club formed a casual music trio, harmonizing the sounds of piano from Vincent Richardson, while Jamal Blithe rapped along to the music and Blake Neil sang harmony.

Adjacent to the informal Music Club meeting, over a dozen people gathered around a single TV and PS3 console, where students battled each other in Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2. They looked straight ahead as flashes of varying bright graphics were displayed on the screen.

It's not uncommon for a sizable group of students to line the back walls of North Campus' game room, pounding buttons with intense stares at the room's three TV screens, talking trash, and occasionally bursting out with laughter.

Biology major and gamer, Jerry Croom said, "on a good day about fifteen to twenty people" are playing games on consoles like PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360.

Further around the corner, four game room regulars positioned a square of laptops to play each other in League of Legends online, splicing the distance of real-time online team-game interaction to a mere two foot radius of a circular game room table.

Lining the rest of the perimeter were students lounging, talking, shooting pool and playing ping-pong.

The mix of music, console and computer games, billiards, and table tennis shows the diverse interests of the Campus' students. Kerry Roth, student engagement coordinator at North Campus, said, "The activities that occur in our game rooms reflect the broad interests of our diverse student population."

In addition to fun and games, E-235 functions as a place for students to meet and talk. A significant number of students that participate in Student Life on campus also find leisure time in the game room; one such student is David Harmon, the North Campus SGA President.

"The game room just happened to be a commonplace area where I reconnected with a lot of friends from my past," said Harmon, who spent the day playing League of Legends. "It also gave me opportunities and gave me a place to relax and have fun."

"Studies have shown that students that get involved demonstrate higher graduation rates, higher retention rates, higher grade point averages and greater institutional satisfaction," Roth went on to say. "The Florida State College at Jacksonville game rooms are a great place to meet other students and learn how to get involved on campus through clubs, volunteerism, intramural sports and other co-curricular activities."

Not only do the game rooms offer a place of relaxation and recreation, they also serve as a meeting ground to get plugged in to college life.


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