SEMO creating $100,000 video gaming space for students

The spirit of collegiate competition now includes video games.

Megan Lynch
April 29, 2019 - 7:00 am
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Cape Girardeau, MO (KMOX) - A Missouri school is joining the growing trend of adding organized video gaming to its campus.

Don't worry parents, it's not an arcade. Southeast Missouri State University is adding an eSports lab with two banks of computers and a big screen TV for watching real-time gaming competition.  But why is a university encouraging students to play video games? 

Related: Mizzou is Ramping Up Esports Gaming Program

"What I've said to parents and others that raised that question is we're not showing something to students that they're not currently doing," explains Southeast Associate Vice President for Student Life, Dr. Bruce Skinner.  "They're already gaming in their rooms and their apartments.  What they have approached the campus with and what we've seen at other campuses is the ability to do that on a competitive level against peers, whether they be at other schools or in some cases in other parts of the globe."

Skinner says there's a benefit in pulling students out of their dorm rooms and connecting them with a community.

Skinner says some schools are using eSports as a recruiting tool.  He says there's a possibility for students to use team gaming to explore statistics and mathematics, game development, or get practical experience preparing live stream broadcasts of competitions.

The eSports venue will cost $100,000.  Half the cost is being paid by Student Government with the rest coming from the activity budget for Campus Life and Recreation Services. 

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