When Victor Gosnell was asked to design a state-of-the-art video game arena for the renovated Student Center, he wanted students to play a major role. “We wanted to make sure that it wasn’t just a group of administrators sitting around and deciding what they would play,” said Gosnell, Randolph’s chief technology officer.
He offered a group of students who were active in the College’s video gaming club the opportunity to choose what games and game systems to include. He also asked two students, Tim Fowler ’13 and Crispen Stanbach ’13, to build some of the computer systems in the gaming center. The result was an electronic entertainment center designed entirely for students, by students.
“I was really excited that we got to have a say in the design,” Fowler said. “We all came up with the idea of putting in a gaming center with computers and console games, where everybody could come at the end of the day, play games, and relax.”
The gaming area has a variety of options designed to appeal to students of all skill levels and game preferences. It has Xbox Kinect consoles, which provide an interactive gaming experience allowing players to use body movements to control the game, a Nintendo Wii, and the six computer systems that Fowler and Stanbach built. Each computer comes with several games installed, including League of Legends and StarCraft II, games in which the Gaming Club competes against other colleges.
Building the computers was not just fun and games; it provided professional experience. Stanbach, who works with computers as part of his job with Randolph’s Information Technology’s Help Desk, said he had built a gaming computer before, but he was still rather new to the process. Creating the complicated systems required planning and construction time, but it provided the students with experience building dependable, custom computers.
“By allowing the students who are directly involved in online gaming to design and build the gaming computers, we are assuring that the computers meet the needs of the Randolph College competitive gaming team, while providing students with the opportunity to gain experience in working together as a team to construct each unit,” Gosnell said. “Such involvement looks good on a resume and can potentially give a job-seeking student an edge over the competition.”
Stanbach and Fowler were proud to see their hard work evolve into a space students could enjoy. “It will be a place where people can use great computers and great hardware to play video games that they couldn’t otherwise play,” said Stanbach. “It’s an honor to know that this is going to help students who will be here long after I graduate.”