Arkansas Tech opens new gaming lab in residence hall

Education

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Members of the Arkansas Tech University Esports Club and students who reside in ATU’s living and learning community (LLC) for gamers have a new space to call their own.

The ATU Esports lab opened on the first floor of Paine Residence Hall in late January. It is available for ATU Esports Club members and residents of the gaming LLC to utilize during team practices and matches.

Face covering, cleaning and social distancing protocols are in effect at the lab for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Instead of being in separate rooms or separate houses, we’re together and can react when someone does something good,” said ATU student Ryan Kramer. “We can lean over and give our teammates a pat on the back and tell them good play. It gives us a chance to communicate and really get to know each other more so than if we were just playing online. That has been a major benefit.”

Arkansas Tech students represent the ATU Esports Club on 11 teams that compete against gamers from other universities and colleges.

It was different for Kramer. He is from Blue Springs, Mo., and knew no one at Arkansas Tech when he began his studies there in fall 2019.

“The Esports Club and the friends I’ve made there were my way of getting out there when I came to college,” said Kramer. “The shared interest of gaming allowed me to make some friends immediately. The Esports Club is a great way to meet people if you are new to Arkansas Tech.”

Now, Kramer is a sophomore majoring in cybersecurity and provides leadership for the gaming LLC in Paine Residence Hall.

The LLC and the ATU Esports Club lab were made possible through collaborative efforts by the ATU Department of Campus Life, the ATU Department of Residence Life and the ATU Office of Information Systems.

It is the latest boost to gaming culture at Arkansas Tech that includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in game and interactive media design, which debuted in 2016.

Learn more about the Arkansas Tech Esports Club at https://atu.presence.io/organization/arkansas-tech-esports.

Learn more about the ATU gaming LLC at www.atu.edu/reslife/llcs/llc-gaming.php.

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