Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
A spirit that is not afraid

Game room opens in Melton Student Center

Electronic renditions of the Pokémon video game series theme music filled the first floor of the Melton Student Center on Wednesday afternoon, as Auburn University officially reopened the Game Room.

Previously closed because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Game Room features state-of-the-art equipment, lounges for spectators to relax and access to hundreds of games. The room is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily and offers 40 gaming computers and the full spectrum of major gaming consoles.

However, the University expects more from the room than recreation.

Taylor Dyleski, Assistant Director of Facilities and Operations for Student Affairs, wants to unite students in their love of gaming.

“We have a lot of students who love gaming, and they can be isolated in their dorm rooms playing games,” Dyleski said. “Now, we’ve given them a place where they can do the same competitive thing they were doing in their dorm room, in a place where they can have a sense of community.”

The custom kiosks that house top-of-the-line gaming computers and Xbox consoles are engineered for community building.

“It’s all made to be accessible. The domes overhead make sure the sound is isolated on the student sitting,” Dyleski said. “We didn’t need 70 students with headphones in here because then we’re not building community. We’re not building friendships.”

At an estimated cost of $791,000 split between SGA, the Melton Student Center and the office of the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, the Game Room is one of the SEC’s premier E-sport facilities.

“We did a lot of research and found out what a lot of other universities were doing,” Dyleski said. “A lot of other universities have competitive E-sport places, but the majority of them are just computer labs. We wanted to make sure we could give as much as we could.”

While looking over the shoulder of a fellow gamer, Tramarius Blackmon, junior in electrical engineering, echoed the University's sentiment.

“I’ve been a gamer for my whole life. My dad introduced it to me when I was 3 or 4 years old,” Blackmon said. “Gaming has always been a part of me, and I’m excited to see so many students who are like me, who are into gaming, to be a part of this gaming room, where we can all experience something we like together.”

To start playing, students must make an account on one of the Game Room's computers with their Auburn credentials. The account logs them into the university game account of their choice to play one of the many downloaded games. Additionally, students can log into their personal accounts and continue adventures they've already started.

By offering additional amenities to help tip future students toward The Plains, SGA President J.D. Jones thinks the Game Room impacts Auburn's future as much as its present.

“It means a lot to a lot of different students, but I think it also means a lot to our prospective students,” Jones said. “I know of many people that have already come by on student tours, and they’ve made a decision to come to Auburn based on this space.”

Spanning eight months and two SGA administrations, the university opened the Game Room faster than a typical SGA initiative.

“What people don’t get to see is that SGA projects take 3-5 years to complete, but in this example, you get to see an executive team that gets to experience their work,” Jones said. “It goes to show how much an executive team can have an impact on the student experience.”

Students Luis Escribano, Noah Todd, and Riley Tallent were in the “Couch Co-op,” a section designed to mimic playing in a friend’s living room and watching others play classics like the Halo series and Mario Kart.

Escribano said he plans on being there as often as possible.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Auburn Plainsman delivered to your inbox

Ethan Flynn | Campus News Editor

Ethan Flynn, sophomore in journalism and finance, is the campus editor at The Auburn Plainsman. He has been with The Plainsman since Fall, 2022.

Share and discuss “Game room opens in Melton Student Center” on social media.