By Steve Harmic, Penn State DuBois
DUBOIS – The 18th Video Game Day event held in the DEF Building at Penn State DuBois on Saturday, Nov. 10, saw a record 163 gamers in attendance. This breaks the previous record of 156 attendees set in the fall of 2009.
Held twice each academic year, Video Game Day is organized and hosted by the campus Information Technology (IT) Club. It is open to anyone interested in playing computer games, and offers participants the opportunity to try the latest games and game systems available.
“The biggest reason we do this is to offer a fun, safe environment for students and gamers of all ages to get together and play some videogames and enjoy themselves,” said IT Club advisor and senior instructor in Information Science and Technology (IST) Jason Long.
Long said the other side of the coin, however, is the enormous learning opportunities that this event provides for his IST students and student members of the IT Club. He said, “The work they do for this event is a large scale, real life version of the laboratory exercises they do while getting their education here.”
Long explained that the students are responsible for the complete construction of a complex network of over 100 computers and 10 servers used to run the games during Video Game Day. Various gaming consoles and systems are also tied into the network, and it must be reliable enough to support the 160-plus gamers for the entire event. It’s a huge undertaking, but it is work that hits close to home for IST majors, whose degree will prepare them for careers in computer programing, networking, information system administration, and more.
“We built a complete network just for the gaming computers, separate from anything else on campus,” said IST major Jessica Noland. “We became network administrators and system administrators, while supporting the client computers, which in this case are the gaming computers. It gave us the whole experience of working in IT support within any business.”
In all, 25 members of the campus IT club worked as system administrators for Video Game Day.
For more information on Video Game Day, visit http://istlab.ds.psu.edu/