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Texas A&M-Kingsville creates gaming lounge for students

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Jacob Reyes, a Range and Wildlife student  at Texas A&M-Kingsville, plays a computer game in the new Javelina Gaming Lounge Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.

Jacob Reyes, a Range and Wildlife student at Texas A&M-Kingsville, plays a computer game in the new Javelina Gaming Lounge Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.

KINGSVILLE —Students at Texas A&M University-Kingsville now have a place where gamers can gather to play Esports competitively.


Esports is a form of organized, competitive video gaming usually consisting of multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players, individually or as teams.


The Javelina Gaming Lounge is a state-of-the-art gaming center featuring 10 of the latest gaming PCs and related peripherals, four 43-inch televisions with the latest available consoles and two 75-inch televisions with Nintendo Switches.


The lounge, located on the first floor of the James C. Jernigan Library, was put together by efforts between the departments of Recreational Sports and Student Activities.  The lounge was opened to the campus with a ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24 in the campus library just outside the Javelina Gaming Lounge, Room 123.


“Collegiate Esports is becoming widely popular, but this gaming lounge is still one of the first in South Texas on a college campus. Our hope is to tap into this market and attract prospective students,” said Ian Brown, Director of Recreational Sports. “Esports is a multi-billion dollar industry now, and not just a fad or a trend. Millions of viewers tune in to watch competitive gaming play and tournament streams. By having this lounge and living learning community in the residence halls, we hope to support our existing Esports community on-campus and add another recruitment tool to our institution.”


The gaming lounge will be open from 3 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.


It can be accessed by currently enrolled students only and students will be required to swipe their student identification card to enter. Computers may only be used for approved gaming activities.


Students can reserve in-person gaming time online while a portion of the systems will be marked as first-come, first-served with 90-minute playtime if there is a wait.


Stephen Cardenas, president of the Javelina Gaming and Esports Club, said opening the lounge is a step in the right direction.


“This opens the opportunity for people who don’t have the finances to get a new system,” Cardenas said. “Esports is very popular right now and seeing Kingsville taking it seriously is cool because the few schools that do take it serious have benefited.”


“Before I started this club and everything, I was just a gamer and I met a lot of friends through gaming. I found job networking through gaming because everyone does it, especially after COVID. It’s a great pastime when you’re locked in your room," he said.


Brown said the goal of the gaming lounge is to build a community of students that support each other not only in game play but also in their academic pursuits.


“We hope that by introducing them to other programs from Student Activities and Recreational Sports, we are cross-pollinating our students and exposing them to different activities of campus life they would not normally participate in.”


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Category: General Univ , Athletics

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