Gallagher’s basement-level student den converted into an e-sports lounge
During the summer, D’artagnan’s Den, a space that had previously housed several televisions and a pool table in the basement of Gallagher Student Center (GSC), was converted into an e-sport’s lounge.
GSC director Chris Marshall explains that this concept came into the picture in the fall of 2017, when he put together a group of students and staff called the GSC Ideation Team. According to Marshall, this group, which is also responsible for the Clock Tower Lounge renovation, was to “focus on spaces in the building and ways to enhance it and renovate it.”
During the Ideation Team’s discussions, the rise of competitive video gaming, known as e-sports, came into conversation. The team identified that there was no space on campus at the time where students could become involved in the growing world of e-sports, and wanted to make this an option available to students.
Marshall noted that several spaces in GSC were considered for the location of the lounge before finally deciding to place it in D’Artagnan’s Den. “Ultimately, that space on the lower level wasn’t being utilized the way we had hoped,” he said, “of all the spaces, that would be the perfect spot for it.”
Students praise the decision to create an e-sports lounge and consider this transformation of the space a major upgrade. First-year student Jeremy Lefton expressed his interest in the popular Call of Duty franchise of first-person shooter games, and enjoyed the ability to play with other students in the e-sports lounge. “I just came down here and saw it one day,” he said, while also commenting that “it’s pretty awesome here.”
While students are enjoying the lounge now, Marshall noted several obstacles to the process. According to Marshall, the project’s funds were in question at the beginning of the process, but “ultimately, the Student Government Association helped pass the initial funding for it.” He also faced the issue of designing the system so that he, the rest of the GSC staff, and the students could use the space with ease.
As of now, all a student needs to do is go to the GSC Welcome Desk and check out a controller with their ALL Card, then walk down to D’Artagnan’s Den, turn on the TV indicated by the number on the controller, turn on the console and select a game.
“Displays 1 through 4 house PlayStation 4’s on them … We also have an old retro console that has around 2000 games from Atari up through Nintendo 64,” Marshall adds.
Marshall also confirmed larger plans for the lounge, saying that there will be a competitive Rocket League team, intramural tournaments sponsored by the Recreational Sports department and that Xbox One systems will be installed by the end of the semester. He also plans to expand the catalogue of available games and is looking into ways to implement Nintendo Switches and PC gaming systems.
Lastly, Marshall encourages students to come to him with any suggestions or improvements that can be made. “We’re just getting started, so we’d love to hear back from students,” he said.
D’Artagnan’s Den is located in the basement of GSC and is currently open for use.
By David Ludwig | Guest Writer