Formerly a common destination for the losers of the housing lottery, Edens might now be the most technologically-advanced Quadrangle on campus.
Edens’ new game room—located on the second floor of a glass addition to Edens 1C—features 10 computer gaming desktops and eight screens for Playstation, Wii and Xbox games, including four that are combined into one larger display. The gaming suite, officially called The Bolt, contains four XBox 1s, four Playstation 4s and a Wii U. Rick Johnson, associate vice president for student affairs for Housing, Dining and Residence Life, noted that the game room in a residence hall is one of a kind, both on campus and nationwide. The room’s grand opening will be held Friday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
“The game room was an idea that came up in the very beginning of planning of the Edens renovation,” Johnson said. “When we go into a renovation, we look at each community and set some goals. Some of the features that we added were added to meet those objectives.”
Even though the game room was in initial plans for the Edens renovations, Johnson said that its inclusion in the project was questioned as the budget increased from $9 million reported at the beginning of the Summer to a final budget of $11 million.
“There were people who said, ‘Let’s give up the game-room,’ but we said, ‘No, it’s so unique and so cool, we need to keep it for the Edens residents,’” Johnson said.
The new gaming facility will be open to all students. Johnson said that some games will be provided for students on both the computers and game consoles, but students will also be able to bring their own games into the suite.
“This space will be good to meet other people who like gaming,” sophomore Harry Guo said. “Also since I’ll pass it by every day on my walk back to the dorm, it’ll be pretty relaxing to just stop by for half an hour or so just to chill and play some games.”
Despite the excitement for the grand opening, some students note potential drawbacks.
“It almost seems like a double-edged sword because it’ll be a great social hub but at the same time a danger to our grades,” sophomore Youlei Li said.
Senior Eric Lam noted that most students who are gamers have their own console in their rooms, but the social aspect may attract organizations or individuals to meet in the space.
In addition to the gaming suite, a first-floor study area with two conference rooms, a range of seating and an e-print station was opened in Edens 1C before Fall Break.
The study rooms—with their mix of seating and study spaces—have already elicited praise from students for their setup and convenience.
“It’s easy to focus here,” Lam said. “There are different distinctions, so it can fit different needs depending on what kind of projects you need to do.”
Both the game room and study rooms are part of glass additions to Edens intended to integrate Edens residents into the community on West Campus by allowing transparency.
“Now residents can look out into the community,” Johnson said. “We believe that transparency helps community.”
Sophomore Orode Moju added that she likes the glass boxes because they provide natural light and provide a more open feel. To create more privacy, blinds can also be lowered.
Johnson attributed the project’s earlier completion date to the hard work of Shelco, the construction company that was responsible for the project.
Despite being open for only a week, students noted that the study rooms have already become a popular space to work.
“I’ll study there if the rooms are ever open,” sophomore Ksenia Sokolova said.