The Michigan Daily-New Student Edition-University-Thursday, September 9, 1993 - Page 3
tPac Man' is here to stay
*|'U' students fill need for video games in many ways
by David Shepatdson week and the archive gets larger and dents free games for a few hours. Som
daily Staff Reporter larger. Students are also free to copy say this is comparable to giving awa
As the current decade opened, the
5 year-old video game craze was pro-
ndunced dead by most market experts.
tEchewing "Asteroids" and "Q-bert,"
kids aged eight to 14 stopped buying
Mnd playing as many video games, trad-
Ing in their joysticks for hockey sticks
snd other sporting equipment.
But college students never got the
Indeed, video games are a large part
bf the overall activities at theUniversity
pf Michigan, with students spending
large amounts of money. On any given
floorofaresidencehall, many Nintendo
of Sega Genesis video game systems
But that just scratches the surface.
There areabout half a dozen ar-
,6des in Ann Arbor, taking in millions
of dollars per year, much of it from
UTheUniversity operates an archive
pf hundreds of games for all students to
.use in computing centers.
Traditional computer games, es-
pecially "Tetris," on student computers
remain extremely popular.
* Students discuss video games on
computerconferences, including "Game
Guild," and play interactive Dungeons
and Dragons-esque fantasy games us-
ing pseudonyms on a computing net-
work with students from other schools.
. Gone are the "Pac Man" watches,
but in their place these more advanced
forms of computerized entertainment
serve to relax, enfertain, and allow stu-
dents to have fun.
-; But most of all, they're addictive.
Residential College junior Emmet
Wagle says he goes to Pinball Pete's
"once or twice a month" to play $2-
worth of games.
Among the games Wagle plays are
"Mortal Combat" and "T2: Judgment
,Day," a pinball game based onthe movie.
In recent years, pinball has seen a
.resurgence, with many more students
*playing pinball than ever before.
"It's harmless. It's fun and it takes
my mind off classes," Wagle said.
Last spring, a new video arcade
pened across from Middle Earth on
South University, with the added attrac-
tion of giving away free popcorn to lure
students away from Pinball Pete's.
There is an arcade in the Union, two
.on South University, one on Packard,
oneonWilliam andanotherin the works.
Ann Arbor's arcades are admittedly
grange places. In an atmosphere of
.thick cigarette smoke, gamers break off
into several categories says Michael
_Richards, an RC junior.
"Fifteen year-olds wearing black
leather outfits and roaming in packs, 40
year-old balding men with nothing bet-
ter to do and University students of all
shapes and sizes."
But why pay for games when the
University will give you them for free?
Under the file server on all Univer-
sitynetwork computers is MacArchives.
,These archives contain fonts, study
4flaterials, information, and video games
hundreds to be exact.
Card games, Desert Storm re-enact-
,ments, board games like Monopoly and
Risk, arcade-style games and fantasy
games. New games are added every
these games on to disks for personal
At the Angell Hall computing cen-
ter, many students play games as a way
of taking a study break, even when
under a deadline to finish a paper due
the next day.
In residence hall computing centers,
students are not allowed to play games
when others are waiting for computers.
But students don't have to go to the
computing center to play video games.
One Residence Advisor at Markley
speculated that at least 25 percent of the
1,100 residents regularly'played
Nintendo or Sega video games last year.
Chris Webber said in a Detroit Free
Press interview that he played Sega
free drugs. They argue that this gets
students hooked on the University's
It is not, for example, uncommon in
residence halls to see someone playing
"Guerrilla War" or other video games at
In East Quad, one pinball game is
somewhat"legendary" among residents
for consistent play. "Joker Poker" is a
pinball machine at least 25 years old.
Gainers can purchase three games for
50 cents and play for hours.
Many regulars said that, as kind of a
neo-coffee house, the "Joker Poker"
game allows students to get together,
smokecigarettes and, most importantly,
look for people to meet and flirt with.
But in the East Quad Halfway Inn
The campus recreation center weight rooms are popular places for those who want to become large.
Campus rec centers have many
cuso mers and differ in specialty
by Jaeson Rosenfeld
Daily Staff Reporter
It was such an innocent plan.
You were going tospendjustaminute
on the couch and then go to class.
But that minute turned into an hour.
And then that hour turned into a day.
The next thing you know, you have
absorbed a month's worth of Brady
Bunch reruns, are completely engulfed
in a mountain of Snickers wrappers and
can't remember your name. What's
worse is the thing you thought was a
pillow sitting on your stomach is actu-
ally your spare tire.
You are another hapless victim of
the "freshman fifteen."
But don't worry - there's help.
The University's recreation buildings
- the Central Campus Recreation
Building (CCRB), the Intramural
Sports Building (IM) and the North
Campus Recreation Building (NCRB)
-provide students with all the facili-
ties needed to avoid the "freshman
fifteen." More importantly, all you
need for admittance is your student
The CCRB is located on the corner
of Geddes and Washtenaw, in the Hill
area. It has three basketball courts, a
pair of volleyball courts, as well as
courts for racquetball, handball,
wallyball, paddleball and squash. Addi-
tionally, there are ping-pong tables lo-
cated in the basement and tennis courts
adjacent to the CCRB.
"All reservations are free, there is
only a small, nominal fee for (racquet-
ball) racquets checked out," Assistant
Director of the CCRB Debrah Webb
While some courts are earmarked
for reservation, Webb also noted that
courts are also available for walk-in
Perhaps one of the greatest strengths
of the CCRB is its fitness equipment. It
features an indoor running track,
Stairmasters, rowing and climbing ma-
chines, cross-country skiing machines,
several other types of fitness equipment
and a swimming pool.
The CCRB's weight room is also
state-of-the-art, containing an assort-
ment of free weights and Nautilus and
Hammer machines. Because of its large
workout area, the CCRB has become.
the preferred exercise emporium for
"I go to the CCRB to work out and
the IM to play basketball," Engineering
senior Tom Voth said.
Because it has four courtscompared
to the CCRB's three, the IM Building
-located on Hoover St.-has become
the haven for many campus hoops afi-
Besides the number of courts, there
are differences in foul-calling traditions
between the buildings, giving the courts
a local flavor. At the CCRB, a made
basket on a foul does not count; at the
IM, fouled baskets count. Because of
this rule, fouls are more likely at the
CCRB, making its games a bit rougher
than the IM building.
In addition to basketball, the IM
features much of the same exercise
equipment as the CCRB, including an
improved weight and fitness area over
the last few years. One squash court is.
filled with fitness equipment, and
more equipment purchases are
"We will be adding on 10 to 12
pieces of new equipment for 1993-94,"
Assistant Director of the IM Building
Robert Fox said.
Among the purchases will be tread-
mills, as the IM building lacks an indoor
track. The focus on improvement of
fitness equipment over the last several
years has earned the IM an increase in
users, Webb said.
"I think the trend ischanging,"Webb
said. "The IM building has worked hard
the last couple of years to expand the
number of exercise machines."
In addition to the other facilities,
the IM features a swimming pool,
ping pong and courts for racquetball,
squash, paddleball, handball and
For those who spend their life (n
North Campus, the NCRB - located
directly behind Bursley Hall on the
corner of Hubbard and Murfin - has
many of the same facilities as its Central
The facility includes a basketball
court, a swimming pool, courts for in-
door racquet sports as well as tennis
courts and ping pong tables. The work-
out area features substantially less equip-
ment than the CCRB and the IM.
EVAN isRIb E/DiY
LSA senior Corbin Bell takes a study break with a game of pinball.
"constantly" with teammate Jalen Rose
in South Quad during his first year. He
is not alone.
Residence hall students congregate
in a room with Sega or Nintendo. No
one has any idea how many different
floors had "Techmo-Bowl" competi-
tions last year, but the figure is probably
Video games and pinball machines
are present in all residence halls. The
University's Housing Division collects
a percentage of revenue from vending
machines and video games.
Once, early in each semester, the
owners of the video games give stu-
that adjoins the room in which "Joker
Poker" is located, employees have
placed a sign that reads, "Quit leaving
cigarette butts and trash in the video
game room. Or we'll quit feeding your
But at a University where compe-
tition is intense and students enter
many classes knowing that because
of a curve some of them will fail,
video games provide an essential re-
lease. An escape to another world to
defeat problems and win the game.
An escape many students feel they
can get no other way than through
D gilient students find blow-offs at 'U'
Curriculum has a few holes and there are certain places to look for them
by Rachel Bachman
aily Staff Reporter
Got a few months to kill? Would you
like to start studying for finals on the bus
ride from North Campus? If so, get ready
to join the ranks of countless students
hunting for "blow-off' classes.
Despite the University'snationalrepu-
tation, come registration time, the call is
heard from Angell Hall to the bowels of
the Union: "I need three credits. What can
,J take for an easy class?"
The word at local coffee houses
and other places of congregation has
it that almostall easy classes are found
within the school of Literature, Sci-
ence and the Arts.
Courses in Communications, one-
credit "mini-courses" in the natural
sciences and introductory courses in
Psychology and Anthropology are
often dubbed "sliders."
Because of the stereotype of the dumb
jock, the school of Kinesiology (which
;lias a high percentage of athletes) is also
notorious for hosting such courses.
The article read, "Taking its rightful
place in the university's catalog, be-
neath 'Survey of British History From
1688' and 'Modern China,' this class
showcases the school's equally promi-
nent role in world history.
"Term paper required on any subject
remotely connected to the university,
including but not limited to reviews of
'The Big Chill,' which features fic-
In reality, when it comes to finding
classes that are perennial breezers, there
is no easy answer. Blow-off courses at
Michigan are as elusive as the national
title (in football, basketball or hockey,
take your pick).
"I've heard a lot of people talk about
they took were still a lot of work because
you still have todo the workin orderto get
an 'A,"' senior Jon Rowley said.
"Because it's only one credit, people
think 'Coral Reefs' is going to be an
easy class," Academic Advisor Toni
Morales said, "but I've seen somanyFs
professor. Since many classes (espe-
cially larger, introductory courses) do
not have the same professor in con-
secutive semesters, it is difficult to
count on even the topics covered,
much less the amount of work you'll
have to do.
Frank said it was possible to land
an easy course "if you get one of those
cheesy profs," but stressed that there
is no guarantee what a professor will
be like until you step into the class-
Morales's advice for students seek-
ing blow-offs was to "do some research
on a class" before enrolling in it. In the
University's competitive climate, how-
ever, sometimes prior knowledge still
"No class is a blow-off because of
the kids you're competing against,"
"Half the university doesn't want to
just pass," Rowley said. "This is Michi-
gan - they want to do well."
If you're in the half thatlooks forjust
Climbing aboard the old Stairmaster a few times per week is a sure-fire way
to avoid the "freshman fifteen."
Look for it in
3116 MICHIGAN UNION
riAX*" IF r r A
(akrxp' ae ,8ct Bau 9
Perms, Colours, & Brow waxing
Open Monday thru Saturday
$11.00 & up
ROTC specials available
Corner of William and Maynard 741-0869
1 I i - 1
Michigan Student Assembly
Your Central Student Government
tv s r- r 1 I l s ti 1-1