What’s new in the Gameroom?

Nathan Turoff, Features Editor

The University of North Florida (UNF) Game Room in the Student Union is one of the best places for friends to gather, have fun, and be loud, all while remaining indoors. While Freshmen are experiencing the Game Room for the first time, returning UNF students may find some things different this semester.

According to Student Union Director Jennifer Nutt and Student Affairs Specialist Hunter West, a few changes have been made to the Gameroom since most students last set foot in it last Spring.

The most overtly visible difference is the addition of a beautiful pixel art mural along the wall that controversially split the game room in half a few years ago to make room for Lend-A-Wing. 

Grassland Pixel Art Mural
The Grassland portion of the mural contains many flowers clearly taking inspiration from similar flowers in the popular game Minecraft. Photo by Nathan Turoff

This mural depicts 3 different environments: A flowery grassland, a barren desert, and an otherworldly lunar surface. According to West and Nutt, this mural was created by the Student Union Marketing team.

Mural above the Hub
The lunar portion of the wall mural primarily lies over the entrance to “The Hub”, the section of the Game Room dedicated to quiet PC gaming. Photo by Nathan Turoff

The other notable but not clearly visible change is the addition of two new Playstation 5 (PS5)’s. Nutt explained how these were purchased over the Summer with their allotted budget provided by the Student Government’s Activity and Service Fee, around $9,000 for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

This budget “is used to support the HUB Mythlogic subscription, the purchase and replacement of indoor and outdoor table tennis tables and equipment, the purchase and replacement of gaming consoles and video games, etc.” said Nutt in a later statement.

Nutt explained how they “typically try to add things throughout the year”, but a focus is often to have major things added earlier in the semester for more student access throughout the year. 

Game Room PS5
The first of two brand-new PS5’s in the Gameroom’s possession. Photo by Nathan Turoff

As for future additions, she mentioned how they “try to add a game or two every month” with their budget. These new games are often purchased when they are major launches. 

“Right now we’re trying to figure out what students want the most of,” said Nutt regarding how and what games are purchased for the Gameroom in the future. She further elaborated saying how student feedback is primarily obtained via two ways. The first is through conversations between the Game Room staff and their patrons. Their other way of getting feedback is through a comment card box on the front desk that she strongly encourages students to use for additional feedback.

“This semester will be a real litmus test for the Game Room” remarked Nutt on the future of the Game Room itself. Between the full return of all students after years of COVID and the aforementioned halving of the Game Room, this year will be a challenge of whether or not the Game Room can keep up. It’s a challenge the Student Union staff are excited to undertake.


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