Computer gamers need place to play in Ames

Sean Flack

I can hardly do homework at home anymore. There are just too many distractions. So when I have a lot of stuff due, I usually find a nice spot at a computer lab somewhere. I know there are great labs in the various buildings on campus, but I tend to favor the library because if I’m done doing computer things, I can go to a table or comfy chair and study.

But my little study paradise has been disrupted these past weeks by a horrible plague: high school-aged computer gamers.

I sit down, trying to work on my online class, and there’s a group of them yelling and cursing and acting childish. I have no problem if you’re going to play “World of Warcraft” in the computer lab, but at least be quiet about it. At one point the other day, someone actually threw a bottle cap at me.

Something needs to be done about this. And what I’m proposing is something that Ames needs immensely anyway: Ames needs a computer-gaming venue.

With all the ISU graduates these days coming back to Ames to start up businesses, it’s kind of a shocker that no one has attempted to tackle the gamer market yet.

What I mean by a computer-gaming venue is a place where there are a bunch of computers that offer LAN gaming with computer games to play and a fast Internet connection. One could also sell typical gamer staples like Bawls, Mountain Dew and various other snacks. Ideally, there would also be a TV with a couple game systems set up for console gamers.

I think this would be a very popular place in Ames for the gamer community. How many times has your roommate given you crap for playing computer games? How many times have you lamented over the fact that you can’t play “Starcraft 2” because your computer can’t handle it? And how many times have you wished you could get back to your geeky roots with other “Counter-Strike” lovers?

Sure we have Mayhem Comics, but not all of us are comic book readers or card game players. And this isn’t the movies, so it’s not like the video game stores in Ames offer a place to hang out and share witty banter about Sonic versus Knuckles.

Prices wouldn’t be expensive or anything. It could be $5 an hour, with cheaper prices with the more hours you purchase. There’s a place called Gamerz Arena in Davenport that is a perfect example of all this. It’s a great place to hang out, have fun, and, at the risk of sounding completely lame, do something that doesn’t involve alcohol.

If there’s anyone passionate about computer games and business, then I strongly urge you to look more into this. Yeah, there’s Iowa State’s gaming club, but there’s really no other place or club in Ames that taps into that gamer market. And gaming is a hobby that reaches across all ages. If you’re worried about a slow night because of a college event — don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll have some high schoolers lining up to play the new “Call Of Duty.”

This can work. This needs to happen. Someone please pony up the cash, so us poor souls with four-year-old laptops can play new computer games in peace.

And it would be nice to get those brats out of the computer lab, too.