Meet Matthew Penn, a junior at Rowan who majors in Advertising and says video games have played an important role in his life since he was very young.
By the time I was in third grade, I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a form of autism that primarily affects an individual’s social skills, from poor eye contact to social isolation.
Since I was very young I have always had an interest in video games and they’ve always been my comfort. For the longest time I never really wanted to leave my house until I started to meet friends who shared similar interests in video games just like me. Since coming to Rowan University I’ve never felt more comfortable. The Game Room in the Student Center is such an amazing place for me to go, where I can be myself or play video games with so many people.
When I’m at the Game Room, I forget that I even have Asperger syndrome and I believe that the Game Room is perfect for anyone looking to make some new friends.
The Game Room offers all students many great games to play — not just video games, but plenty of regular games as well, including billiards, shuffleboard, ping pong, foosball, darts and plenty of board games. There are approximately six video game consoles: two Nintendo Switches, two Xbox Ones and two Playstation 4s. There are plenty of choices for video games to play and plenty of people to talk to and possibly play a couple games with.
The overall design of the Game Room is very inviting. When a you first enter, you see a great mural on the wall signifying this is the room for anyone looking to play some games and have some fun. The first section of the room is comprised of billiards tables and a mini shuffleboard table. After that you will be greeted with a large selection of video games. You’re more than likely to see a group of students playing a video game, and any student is more than welcome to ask any group of students if they can join in. However, if video games aren’t quite your thing, there are plenty of board games and tabletop games such as foosball, ping pong and air hockey.
Things are very upbeat and exciting here with plenty of events and tournaments. Tournaments range from multiple genres of video games, including fighting games, first-person shooters and sports games. However, it’s not limited to just video game tournaments. The Game Room offers a few distinctive and simplistic tournaments as well such as Jenga tournaments and even classic arcade game tournaments such as Dig Dug.
The Game Room has a very symmetrical worldview when it comes to how it runs things. The staff here are very open to the idea of bringing in new features events to keep the Game Room exciting. At the front desk there’s a jar where students can write down their ideas to what they would like to see added, whether it be different events or even offering additional classic video game consoles.
The Game Room is very open to looking into any and every student opinion to see what can be done to keep people happy who walk through those doors and come back every day.
If you don’t really know where to start to meet other gamer students, this is the perfect place to start. If you have any kind of social anxiety, asking to join in a group of people playing a video game is a perfect starting point. With tons of games to play and a large quantity of people to talk to, social interaction is impossible to avoid.
There’s no doubt about it, college can be very stressful with all the assignments and the pressure of tests and finals. The Game Room is the perfect place for students to reduce stress. Here you can forget about your busy life for an hour or two and enjoy some games for a while. Having a place where you can go to take some time off is great, whether it be playing any of the games or just sitting down and taking some time to spend with your thoughts.
In the time that I’ve been at Rowan University, the Game Room has been my go-to place to hang out, to take some time away from all the work I have or just a nice spot for when I’m just having a really bad day. I hope other students will have similar experiences as mine and I hope that it can help them get over their social anxiety and help relieve their stress from school as much as it did for me.
Matthew Penn, junior advertising major
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