University Union’s Games Room set to reopen this semester

Renovations to design and new consoles coming


Milan Cabebe - The State Hornet

The glass walls of the Games Room looking into into the building from the walkway just outside on Feb. 6. The Games Room was one of the projects under construction during the University Union renovations.

Sacramento State’s new and improved Games Room will be back and open for business later this semester, according to University Union officials.

This popular spot has been under construction and hidden behind walls since the end of 2016. The time has come for those walls to finally be torn down.

The Union’s Public Information and Leisure Services Manager Kizzy Whitfield has managed the Games Room since taking her position in 1997. Before it was scheduled to join the Union expansion project, she recalls the Games Room experiencing connectivity issues and an old-fashioned interior.

“It was getting a little outdated with some of the services that we were providing,” Whitfield said.  “Just connection issues and things like that, so I think it was much needed and the popularity of it is definitely growing.”

Photo Courtesy of Zenia LaPorte
Games Room overview of the billiard section prior to closure and Union construction. Games Room was part of the Union’s renovations project.

But that was nearly two years ago. Say goodbye to that ‘70s look and rusty bar vibe.

Whitfield said to expect more openness and a brighter interior. Even though it remains the same square footage, the new glass window walls lining one side of the room’s perimeter and the fresh LED light fixtures hanging from the ceiling give off a modernized feel.

“With the lighting, I think the colors that they chose for the interior of it makes a difference with just the overall feel of the room itself,” Whitfield said. “It’s much more updated.”

However, it wasn’t the appearance of the Games Room that kept students coming back, but the gaming and entertainment found within.

The 2019 Games Room will include eleven billiard tables, two table tennis tables, one foosball table and possibly even shuffleboard in the future. For big groups of friends or a small social event, these might be the games for you.

If you’re interested in the video gaming side of fun, then the black lounge seating area is where you’ll want to be. This section of the Games Room includes eight wall-mounted monitors along the perimeter where students are able to play games on Xbox One X consoles or Sony PlayStation 4 Pro consoles. Nintendo Switches may also be added in the future.

Photo Courtesy of Zenia LaPorte
Games Room overview of the black lounge seating area where students played video games prior to closure and Union construction. New Games Room set to reopen this spring.

A smaller separate room is available where groups of friends can play on a Wii U console.

“We’re trying to look into possibly changing that over to a virtual reality room, but we just didn’t have the technology at this time to get it done in time for the opening,” Whitfield said.

University Union Director Dean Sorensen confirmed that they’re looking to change the Wii U room into a virtual reality one. Planning for that won’t start until the summer.

The cost to play in the Games Room is a prorated amount of $5 per hour, according to Whitfield. That way, if a student doesn’t stay long enough to use their full hour, they would only pay for what they actually use.

A Sac State student can also bring in their friends to play a game of billiards, even if they aren’t students, as long as the student is checking out the equipment.

The student will present their OneCard to an attendant behind the front desk and in exchange receive the rack of billiard balls. After choosing their table, the timed charging begins.

Whitfield described the Games Room as a good break from classes.

“It’s a nice place to getaway in between classes, before or after, just to have a good time socializing with people with like interests and an opportunity for people on campus to come by and kind of hang out,” Whitfield said.

The Games Room celebrates anyone who takes gaming seriously by holding gaming  tournaments. All tournaments are free and open to Sac State Students only. They are typically scheduled on Fridays and upcoming dates can be found on the University Union Games Room website.

Due to the Games Room’s current closure, tournaments are held in the Valley Suite on the third floor of the Union.

The first tournament of the semester kicked off Friday with an NBA 2K19 tournament. Participants played on Xbox One X’s where they had the opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift certificate.

Freshman Lorenzo Jackson participated in the Games Room’s first NBA 2K19 tournament this semester last Friday. The Games Room has been closed since he became a student, so he didn’t know something like it existed on campus before.

Jackson said he is intrigued with this new upcoming campus offering even though he has his own Playstation 4 Pro in his dorm.

“I’d come check it out to meet other gamers when it opens or play games I don’t already have,” Jackson said.

According to Whitfield, once the Games Room does reopen, billiard tournaments and table tennis tournaments will be hosted as well.

The Games Room will be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.