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Stout offers retro gaming lounge

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by UW-Stout News

Ain't no party like a PlayStation (1) party.
Ain't no party like a PlayStation (1) party.

With classic consoles such as the 1977 Atari 2600 and 1988 Sega Genesis and 250 games, it might be difficult to envision UW-Stout's new Gaming and Digital Innovation Lab as more than a place to hang out.

The first-floor room in the Robert S. Swanson Library and Learning Center is expected to be a popular place for students to relax. Whenever the library is open, the lab will be open for video game play on one of four retro-style TV sets.*

Playing video games, however, will be just Level One. The lab also has an Expert Level because it’s been designed as an applied learning and creative space where students and professors can do research on and teach about all things video-game related.

“This is a space designed to do more than play,” said Andrew Williams, assistant professor in the School of Art and Design, one of three people who created the lab. “We want to encourage students to better understand the medium and its potential for new, innovative applications.”

A grand opening was held on Wednesday, March 12. The lab is in room 106 of the library.

Along with TVs, games and game consoles, some dating to the dawn of the video game industry 40 years ago, the lab has four high-end computers with 27-inch LED monitors. The computers have special productivity software that gives students the capability of creating more complex projects than they could on their university-issued laptop computers.

“It’s a high-end immersive digital media space. It’s all interactive,” Williams said. “The possibilities are almost unlimited. Most of our students were born in 1993 or 1994. They’ve been living in the gaming world. In the lab you can look at it, take it apart and study it in its original context.”

*They're huge.

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