The University of Auckland has moved more arcade game machines onto campus.
The driving-style machines have been placed around the central campus; some in the Humanities Building were initially placed barely a few meters from the lecture theater’s door. Craccum has been made aware that significant noise disruption was made to at least one lecture in that building. These two machines have now been moved due to a lecturer’s request; however, they haven’t been removed altogether.
The machines are run as part of an orientation initiative every year at the beginning of each semester. They’re organised by AUSA and run by Campus Life. AUSA Marketing Manager Aaron Haugh, says that the machines have been met with great reception, and departments will often have competitions.
With many students using gaming in general as a relaxation outlet, there are positive reasons for this; faster decision making, problem solving skills, and improving cognitive function. However, as an on-campus machine, is it really there for relaxation? Using the machines can also be a way of avoiding social interaction, a controversial topic after coming back to campus after an eight-month hiatus. Some studies suggest that gaming can also decrease mental and physical health. Although one game round won’t impact you too negatively in the long-run, replacing a quick walk around Albert Park with a virtual track may shift your mindset for the day.
Alexandra, an Undegraduate Arts student, says, “To be blunt, they’re stupid. I get why people like them, but what purpose does it really serve at a university? I came to campus to have a nice place to study, and it’s sad to see my fees being spent on a game”.
Paul, an Undergraduate Science student, has a different view, stating “we’ve had random little machines pop up around the Science Building for a while, so it’s not new, there’s just more of them. It gives students a nice break, if people are respectful I don’t really see the issue”.
Then begs the question, is this an issue of the machines itself? Or, do UoA students just not know how to be quiet?