Esports has arrived at Central Connecticut State University. The school has unveiled its new gaming center on campus.
It’s a new big thing of colleges, and this facility is the first of its kind in the state.
Game controller in hand, CCSU’s president took on the men’s basketball coach in a video game to open the new center.
“It’s a $1.1 billion industry,” said George Claffey, chief information officer at CCSU. “It’s big, it’s growing, and it’s part of the life of the millennial student. They’re not watching traditional TV like they used to. They’re watching YouTube, watching other people play games. They’re watching narrators, people who are shout-casting which goes on in that room right next-door.”
The room is specially equipped with comfy chairs and superfast computers and Internet. There’s even a spectator area so students can watch others play.
“For game players speed is really important. This is one of the fastest rooms in Connecticut right now,” Claffey said.
The space will be used for education and play. Much like soccer, or football, CCSU has an esports team, and they compete on the collegiate level.
“We’re practicing for hours a week and practice tournaments a few times a week,” said sophomore Linus Westcott. “I play for hours when I’m not in class. I like to spend all my free time playing this— playing games.”
“This is not your traditional students that were here 20 or 30 years ago,” said Claffey. “They are very much connected students. They are watching a tablet while playing a game while watching something else. They are consuming three streams of content and interacting with one simultaneously.”