Gaming provides common ground for dorm room life

Mario Cutout-front FTWBy Henry Eckels

For freshman guys living on campus, dorm life is all fun and games, especially the gaming part.

Men in their first year at Baylor are thrust into the sometimes quiet, lonely or silly dorm life. Knowing only a few other residents, if any, upon move-in day, scores of men stumble upon new friends and a sense of community through a popular common interest: video games.

Some of the more popular games provide a ripe atmosphere for the new men of Baylor to make friends and have fun in a digital and competitive way. “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” tournaments are frequently staged in the dorms’ public areas, said Jeremy Feghali, a Martin Residence Hall community leader.

“Students like to gather by the TV in the Martin lobby and hold ‘Super Smash Bros. Brawl’ tournaments almost weekly,” said Feghali. “They’re loads of fun.”

Just across the street from Martin Hall, the same event takes place. Penland Hall community leader Eli Maletz said his dorm stages its own tournament of the popular Nintendo Wii game frequently.

But the gaming trend does not halt at one popular title alone. Maletz said that both of the men’s dorms eat and breathe video games as a primary form of entertainment.

“On the fourth floor especially, there is a lot of gaming going on,” Maletz said. “I think gaming is one of the most popular forms of social entertainment in the dorm.”

Several Martin Hall residents testified to the number of men who play video games regularly in their dormitory.
“The entire third floor of Martin is full of gamers,” Seoul, South Korea, freshman Jay Park said. “A really popular computer game on that floor is ‘League of Legends.’”

Despite the present number of gamers residing in the dormitories, one student says he has had little experience playing video games with his fellow residents so far this semester. Flower Mound freshman and Martin Hall resident Jay Carlile, who identifies himself as a casual gamer, said the majority of residents in his dorm, both gamers and non-gamers, spend most of their time behind locked doors.

“It seems like most of the people on my floor just keep to themselves,” Carlile said. “I haven’t yet met with a bunch of people who game.”

One Alexander Residence Hall student has an answer as to why students are allegedly keeping to their dorm rooms. Little Rock, Ark., freshman Everett Mansur insists that some dorm residents keep to themselves because early in their first semester, they haven’t met many people with similar interests.

“I think that when there is a common interest—especially gaming—people will find ways and places to gather together,” Mansur said.

Maletz said most of the students in Penland Hall are social and would find other ways to mingle with each other even if video games were not a factor or a shared interest.

“Penland residents are social and multifaceted,” Maletz said. “Some students don’t mingle with each other as much as others, but that’s mostly their choice rather than because of a stigma against gamers.”