RAHcade Night sparks nostalgia in Rowan students

Biology major Aleksandra Bitko attempts to win a prize from the claw machine. The claw machine was one of the several nostalgic games that were featured in RAHcade Night. - Staff Writer / Destiny Hall

Whoever came in from the bitter cold into the Chamberlain Student Center on Friday was welcomed by a warm atmosphere that felt almost like being transported into a different era.

The Student Center Pit was bathed in a light purple hue that contrasted with the fluorescent lights of the upstairs floor. Even with the duality of the Mario Kart competition on the lower floor clashing with the retro games on the second floor, everything seemed so balanced, yet every activity felt different from one another.

RAHcade night was a homage to old game culture, featuring claw machines, mechanical fortune tellers, joystick games and other retro fun.

Alex Jackson, RAH’s tech services coordinator and a junior electrical and computer engineering major, spoke a little bit about her experience planning the event.

“We wanted to work with The Game Room with an event. We did something similar to this last year and we really expanded with the arcade games so people aren’t just focused on the [Mario Kart] tournament going on,” Jackson said.

“This event gives different types of people the chance to enjoy RAH. It appeals to the gaming crowd of people, [but] we tried to appeal to as many people as possible,” Jackson continued as her eyes scanned the claw machine line.

The RAH crowd was especially diverse. People with obviously different interests were playing games side by side during an event that seemed to bring everyone together.

Was it because everyone grew up on arcade games? It was like everyone was collectively living in a gaming era that brought all walks of life together. 

“It’s very unique and strange that there’s so many retro games. I’m like, Oh wow! I get to live that arcade dream that I never got because I was too young to be a part of that arcade age. So I’m just really happy to be here,” Ashley Tribbett, a senior computing and informatics major, said. 

The strange nostalgia was not lost on other attendants of RAH. Throughout the night, other gamers gleefully fluttered from game to game. There was a tangible sense of carefree fun in the air, and there was always a generous line to the claw machine, as well as friendly (but heated!) competition within groups of friends. 

Groups of students also played together. In one particular instance, seniors Arlen LaRue (radio, television and film major) and Alexis Thompson (psychology major) were playing Connect 4. Although the score was still being argued, it was obvious they were having a good time.

The true treasure of the night was the fun that everyone was having. There was something enticing about watching people play games, hanging out with friends and forgetting the troubles of the world.

For a second, it was like everyone were children again at recess. As students played and laughed throughout the night, it was clear that this RAH event was a surefire success.

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