By Lorna Hartman
Four teams of three people each swung, waited in suspense and cheered their way through the first successful Wii bowling tournament in the library on Feb. 22.
“I bring students through on tours of the library, and I kept joking that I should have some sort of Wii boxing or something because we’ve got these screens to use. I thought we would try bowling because apparently they don’t like it when we want to punch people,” said Rayette Sterling, outreach and inclusion librarian. “So they wanted a game with no punching. No punching in the library.”
Student library liaison Nicole Sestrap said, “I wasn’t here when the original idea came up, but the Wii is really popular and people seem to like it. And it’s not a loud game at all, so we don’t disturb people down here. It’s a fun social time.”
Two 30-inch Visio screens mounted side by side on the wall displayed simultaneous games. In the first round, the Grab ‘n’ Groove team played Harry and the Potters while The Axis Powers took on The Bookkeepers. Team members downed pizza and soft drinks provided by the library between turns.
Alex Quam, who works at the library, put his own team together comprised of himself and his roommates. “I’m not doing very well,” said Quam. “My teammates are. They’re carrying me so far.” He said that events like this are good for campus morale.
Marshall Peone is a fifth-year senior double majoring in earth and space science and education. “I work in the same office with someone who told us about it,” said Peone, a member of the Harry and the Potters team. “We’d been talking about doing a Wii bowling tournament but at our house, so this was great.”
Sterling tried Wii bowling last year but did not get much response. Since the library already had the Wiis, she decided to try again this year. Three student teams signed up.
“There are three teams that signed up, and then we made our own team with staff,” said Sestrap. “We have the graphic designer, my boss and myself.”
Bryn McAllister came just to watch and cheer for friends. She asked a friend about her weekend plans, and the friend said, “I’m going to [Wii bowling] on Friday.” McAllister decided to come too.
After watching a couple of games, she said she would probably participate in the next competition. “Depends on the sport, but yeah,” she said. “Any game on Wii Sports, pretty much.”
Sterling said, “Nicole, this year’s student liaison, has just been really good about getting publicity out and making sure people know that we’re doing stuff.”
Wii bowling does not have a left-handed bowler, so while some students bowled left-handed, the image on the screen still bowled right-handed. A spare tire rolled across the screen after each spare, and a bowling ball knocked over a scowling egg-headed pin after each strike.
Sterling said that if there were interest and students wanted to come out for other Wii competitions, she would certainly get more games and hold more events.
“It’s really important to me that students feel comfortable about coming into the library and engaging in kind of a fun way as well as an intellectual way,” said Sterling. “School is so stressful. So it’s nice to come in every once in a while and play games.”