Lauren Haller plays pool at Frederick Community College's Game Room.

Game room gives students a community on campus

The game isn’t what builds a community but the community that builds the game.

Open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, the game room offers a space for students to take a break before, during, or after class. It is located adjacent to the Cougar Grille in the student center.

During this period, the game room is filled with several students who fill up the area playing with the college’s very own air hockey, foosball, Connect 4, and pool tables.

On Jan 26, the Student Center Game Room hosted a group invitational where students from all majors and all communities alike came together and celebrated the beginning of a new semester. Some of the special activities held at the game room’s invitational were a giveaway for free movie vouchers for Warehouse Cinemas, as well as complimentary pretzels and cheese, which were refilled as the event continued throughout the afternoon.

Students were eager to move from game to game and were very open to new members as multiple people came up to one another and switched players very frequently. This event also included student volunteers who brought in video game consoles such as the PlayStation 2, and a Nintendo Switch, where students would play fighting video games like “Super Smash Brothers: Ultimate” for hours even after the event was concluding.

Even after the event hours were over, students continued to stay until the end of hours of the game room, which end at 5 p.m. each school session, and with more information most students who were around at the time fo the event have been around and continue to stay around even when a targeted event had not been in place.

One of these students included William Houghton, a first-year but second-semester general studies major. The 18-year-old Houghton spends much of his free time playing video games in the Urbana/Ijamsville area. In particular, some of his favorites include “Little Nightmares,” which he said, “is my absolute favorite of all time, and ‘Dead by Daylight.'” Both are horror/suspense games and some include social and multiplayer capabilities.

He said he was “very excited about the event as he usually hangs around in the game room in his free time and is generally happy to meet new people”.

Another student, Jake Morris, a second-year but fourth-semester psychology major, was a part of a larger group of students who hung around in the game room after class.

During the event, he happened to have his trumpet and several students gathered around the area as he and others jammed out to his rendition of the “When Mama Isn’t Home” video/tune from 2014.

Originally from Queens, Morris has lived in Frederick for most of his life. He and his friends began hanging out in the game room right after it opened back up in 2021. Since then, Morris has found a belief that “what makes the game room successful is that everyone who is in there has a basic understanding of what is expected of them and that people who don’t follow the rules usually aren’t “well favored.”

“The best way of meeting people genuinely is to ask to play against them,” Morris said. “Different social, political, ethnic, class, and neurodivergent backgrounds inherit the space and are treated equally because none of that is relevant to the game itself.”

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