Bassett Basement Has Been ‘Hacked’

Gaming Room has grand opening.

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Lindsey M. Foster, Editor

Bassett Hall introduced a new attraction to campus Feb. 15 with an opening of the gaming room in the dorm’s basement.

The room is filled with gaming PCs, and students are allowed to bring their own consoles to hook up to the systems. There are also games pre-downloaded on the PCs, including “Minecraft”, “Call of Duty”, and “Warfare”.

“It’s dope to have,” said Luke Morgan, junior. “It gives people on campus something to do, so it’s pretty nice.”

This room has gone through many uses over the years, beginning with the space always being called Confetti’s.

“I remember it as a dance studio, once upon a time, with tall mirrors and a low stage and there would be classes held there,” said Eugene Hacker, Director of Network Services and Security. “In another life, it was transformed into a place to hold student events, with large TVs and plenty of seating.”

At some point, the Ferrum College Gaming Club (FCGC) pushed to increase the activity on campus.

“They would reserve labs during some nights and weekends to hold club activities and tournaments,” Hacker said. “A subset of them were competitive and had introduced the idea of having an official eSports team.”

This continued in 2018 when they received traction. During this, Hacker did a presentation to the campus’s Administrative Council (at the time), who decided to make the gaming lab a priority and possibly create an eSports team.

“The area known as Confetti’s was chosen to take a new role, and by the Fall of 2019, it had undergone significant design changes and was finally ready for its first debut,” Hacker said.

This, however, did not become a reality as the college was not ready to release an eSports program, but people still wanted the space to be used for student enjoyment.

“Open hours were established, and clubs and organizations could use it to sponsor gaming events and tournaments,” Hacker said. “Our campus gamers really liked the space, as it was optimized especially for gaming.”

During this time, users of the room would mistreat equipment. Overall, the room required extra TLC to keep up with it. Damages were done to the room in the process. This included food and drink spills, wires being left unplugged, and overall not treating the space well.

“Kids destroyed it and did not respect what was there,” said David Wright, Academic IT Support Specialist. “They would steal parts out of the computer, roll around in the chairs, unhooking stuff, that kind of thing.”

Ultimately, this room was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. After three years, it is open and back and business after finding ways to avoid previous complications.

“IT met with Student Life and Engagement, who were very much eager as well as better equipped to help in these areas,” Hacker said. “It was agreed upon that they would oversee usage moving forward, while IT would continue to maintain the facility.”

After discussing this with Student Life and Engagement, Wright got to work preparing the room, which took about a month to complete.
“I was doing this in between running around campus and doing stuff, too,” Wright said.

At the moment, the hours of when the game room will be open are still to be determined.

“We are going to base it off of student demand right now,” said Jill Adams, Dean of Campus Life. “We will hopefully have set hours after spring break and see if weekends or weekdays work better for students.”
Some hours may also move to weekends as well. When the game room is open, two of Adams’ work-study students will be there to monitor everything.

“It has been a long time coming that Ferrum could open the gaming lab once more to deliver the much-anticipated gaming experience that we have all been wanting for our students,” Hacker said. “I hope that it is loved and enjoyed as much now as it was when we were watching it take shape for the first time.”