UNCG has a new Gaming Lab.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to see the new Gaming Lab at 3 p.m. Feb. 7 in the Digital Media Commons (DMC) in Jackson Library.

The lab, which opened Dec. 3, features four stations. To use it, members of the UNCG community must make reservations online (for time slots up to 2 hours). The reservation scheduler is found on the UNCG Library’s home page http://library.uncg.edu/ – see the “reserve a room” blue box.

Lab hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m Sundays and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays. The lab is closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

Patrons can check out controllers and select games at the DMC desk – or they can bring their own games.

The Gaming Lab project was spearheaded by Dr. Gregory Grieve, associate professor of Religious Studies, and coordinated by Beth Filar Williams, interim head of the Digital Media Commons. The lab was realized with support from Lindsay Sabatino, director of the Digital ACT Studio housed in the DMC, along with the financial support from the UNCG College of Arts and Sciences, Lloyd International Honors College, Undergraduate Studies and University Libraries.

With the opening of the gaming lab, UNCG is following scholarship and a general curriculum trend around the country. As outlined in The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Games are now used in English classes studying interactive narratives, media-studies classes looking at the cultural impact of violent games, as well as courses in game design offered at about 300 colleges.”

As Williams said, “We are not just building the lab because it is trendy. The Gaming Lab follows the core mission of the University Libraries, to provide and support innovative, interdisciplinary learning environments needed for faculty and student success.”

Often video games are viewed as little more than niche entertainment. But unlike other types of popular culture, such as films and television, Grieve notes that “games require that players interact with them, that they have the controllers in their hands. If you want students to study something, you have to have it in front of them.”

Story by Mike Harris, University Relations