By Brooklyn Brown
Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library will offer more tabletop and virtual reality game nights this fall.
Josh Rakower, the undergraduate experience librarian for Hunter Library, hosted two tabletop game nights this year, one in the fall and one in the spring. He is hoping that with more student interest and support from faculty and staff, the game nights can become more frequent.
“We’ve hosted two Dungeons & Dragons game nights with a little over 40 people,” Rakower said. “It’s an intensive game with a limit on players, so we really want to put the word out to any faculty and staff that play D&D and want to help run some games.”
Though both of the game nights have been D&D, Hunter Library offers a wide selection of other tabletop and board games, including more jovial games like Cards Against Humanity. The games are also available for rent.
“I hope students can make friends,” Rakower said. “I hope we can get to know our students and I hope that students can learn about the resources we have here in the library. We’ve had students who have shown up to the game night and now use our study rooms to play D&D and other board games. It's a good way for students to make friends and forge connections that way, and it's useful for faculty and staff to get to know their students at a gaming table.”
Kerri Arbuthnot, access services manager for Hunter Library, is heading up the virtual reality game nights. There has been one game night so far, but Arbuthnot wants to get the word out about the VR room.
“We have tons of games. Our most popular game is Beat Saber. We just want to create space and time once a month on Thursday nights for open play,” she said. “It can be useful for academics and also just for fun. A lot of the faculty will send their students to play the VR medical anatomy games. We also have Google Earth, which is a great academic resource.”
The VR room also has gaming PCs for Esports. “It’s a really great space for recreational opportunities for our students,” Arbuthnot said. “Students can do their work, take a break and play a game, and then go back to studying.”
“These game nights are for all skill levels – for people new to gaming and people that have been playing for a long time. It’s for everyone,” Rakower said.
Follow Hunter Library on Instagram @hunterlibrary to keep an eye out for game nights in the fall.