From Madden NFL and NBA 2K lining the televisions on the walls to over 300 games in the arcade machines around the room, games from the newly minted Tate Gameroom feature both the retro arcade games of the 1980s and modern-day video games.

On Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 1:15 p.m., the Tate Student Center unveiled a new gaming center, located in the space previously occupied by Dawg Snacks across from the Tate Theater. Students and employees gathered in the gameroom, reminiscing on carefree memories of their childhood.

The Tate Student Center teased the opening of the gaming center the day before on Twitter.

Jamison Johnson, a freshman computer science major, has been an avid video game player since receiving his first video game console at the age of 3. After hearing about the unveiling of the game center on Facebook, Johnson attended the opening and saw the gameroom as an opportunity to connect with others through his hobby.

“I think it’s good for the student life because personally, in my opinion, Tate was kind of dry,” Johnson said. “This is better because it’s something else to do, something that’s available during the weekdays, and a lot of people like to play video games.”

Plans for the new gaming center were announced back in September 2018, with a schedule to open in fall 2018 and an estimated cost of $48,470, said Stan Jackson, director of student affairs communications and marketing initiatives for the University of Georgia.

However, scheduling conflicts and furniture delays postponed the opening, and due to unexpected infrastructure elements behind the walls during construction, Jackson said the final cost of construction, equipment, games and furniture was $67,738. The funds for the room come from student activity fees, and only fee-paying students will be able to access the gameroom.

Jan Barham, the director of the Tate Student Center, said the initiative was a collective effort between two gaming student organizations, who provided feedback, and the Tate Student Center Facilities and Operations team, which led the project by responding to students’ input and evaluating data from other universities.

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Jan Barham, associate dean of students and director of Tate Student Center, opens the Tate Gameroom for the first time on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. The goal of the new gaming space is to create additional opportunities for community amongst UGA students. (Photo/Jason Born)

While the Tate Gameroom is new for current students, its history dates back to 1983 when the Tate Student Center first opened. The gameroom of the initial building was closed after renovations in 2009 opened a new part of the building; however, in 2013 on the 30th anniversary of the building, the Tate Student Center revived some elements of the original building, including pool tables and various gaming systems.

After seeing students from all across campus connect through these activities, plans for a gaming center were proposed in fall 2017 to encourage students to interact with each other.

“We’re excited about how it’s going to create opportunities for students who otherwise wouldn’t connect to be able to connect and engage,” Barham said.

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