Housed on the ground level of Craige Residence Hall is the Carolina Gaming Arena, a space where students can compete and play video games with each other.
The arena first opened in August 2021 and operated under a mask mandate with limited capacity due to the pandemic. The arena now has a higher frequency of events with different organizations and has become a place where people can play games with friends or solo.
Director of Residential Networking, Education and Technology (ResNET) Phil Young said the arena occasionally partners with Carolina Housing, UNC Athletics and other organizations to hold events.
ResNET is the on-campus technology support for all residential students and professional staff and also manages the Gaming Area. Young said the arena has held several events, including an event with UNC Wellness discussing healthy habits for gaming.
“That can be everything from posture to getting sleep and how sleep affects everything: your hand-eye coordination, your response time, critical thinking skills, all those things and how that relates not only to gaming, but also the rest of your life,” Young said. “So, Wellness does a really good job of tying those things together.”
One of the biggest partners of the arena is the Esports club.
The arena’s public hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. However, the Esports club is allowed to use the space beyond regular hours.
“The most common reason why people are joining the club as a whole is because they want to interact with other people that play video games,” UNC Esports Club President Ryan MacLaughlin said.
MacLaughlin also said some members are among the “upper echelon” of people who join the club with a higher understanding or skill level of the games.