After months of hard work, Miami University is slated to unveil its new game room in the basement of King Library in upcoming weeks.
The room, however, is not a place for the regular video gamer to kick back and receive his or her Halo 3 fix-it’s an innovative educational facility created for interactive media studies (IMS) students to maximize their learning.
Lisa Santucci, head of instruction and applied technologies in King Library, has been working on the project since it began in September and said she believes the game room will be an extremely useful educational resource.
“We wrote a proposal in support of the curriculum to buy some computers and software to augment the program,” Santucci said. “A library’s job is to support the university and what they teach. A game room set up for this function is knowledge, experimentation and development.”
According to Satucci, the gaming console systems featured in the room will be one X-box 360, one Nintendo Wii and one Alienware computer system, designed for high-performance gaming.
Santucci said the price of the gaming consoles, as well as modifications to the room have been made possible by the technology fee included in every Miami student’s tuition bill. The cost of the fee varies from $102 each semester to $8.50 per credit hour, based on which campus students are enrolled in, if they are a full-time or part-time student and if they live in a residence hall.
“If we didn’t have the tech fee, we wouldn’t be able to do this,” Santucci said.
Other universities-such as the University of Illinois, Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of Michigan-have found success by instituting a gaming program within their university, according to Santucci.
Glenn Platt, director of the interactive media studies (IMS) program, worked with Santucci in developing the project. He said he thinks the game room will not only better Miami students’ knowledge on gaming, but allow Miami to continue competing with top universities around the nation.
“All the major universities today have some form of game curriculum,” Platt said. “The game room was a necessary step for Miami to remain relevant and prestigious.”
Students do not have to be in IMS to use the game room, though, according to Platt.
“There are at least five or six different courses that have some element of gaming education,” Platt said. “There are courses in CSA, English and engineering.”
Despite the buzz, there are some skeptics. Sophomore Rob Halpin said he was puzzled about why Miami would place a game room in a library-a place where students go to avoid loud sounds and distractions that the games might produce.
“I don’t mind the idea of implementing a game room to benefit education, but I’m confused about why they would put it in the library,” Halpin said. “People are going to be distracted and get pretty angry.”
Regardless of the placement of the game room, Santucci said the room would not detract from student study space.
“We’re not removing one speck of student study space to create this extra educational facility,” Santucci said.