dscf6033Photo: Olivia Irvin, City on a Hill Press

Have you ever been studying on campus for organic chemistry and wished that you could take a relaxing break that involved some Nintendo Wii Nunchucks? If so, the City on a Hill Press has found the perfect room for you. Just like Harry Potter’s “Room of Requirement” that had everything his heart desired, there is a room in the Science and Engineering Library that has video game systems as ancient as the original Nintendo and as modern as the PlayStation 3.

When it comes to the actual game selection you certainly won’t be disappointed, seeing as how you can attempt to beat Halo 3 on Xbox 360 or reminisce while playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on Nintendo 64. If you have a lot of steam to work off, you can even play some Wii Sports. Initially intended for Computer Game Design majors and those with similar interests, this quiet room located next to the computer lab on the main floor is open to all UCSC students.

At this point you’re probably wondering why this room doesn’t have a larger fan base than the Porter meadow on 4/20. That’s because like many of the library’s more intriguing projects, nobody knows about it.

Patsy Langan, a fourth-year Stevenson student who has worked in the S&E Library her whole time at UC Santa Cruz, looks back on how often the room is in use. “[On a] pretty regular basis but not as [often] as you would expect. I don’t think people know about it,” Langan said.

With roughly 575 video games for checkout and 8 major video game systems to choose from, you would think more people would. Nicholas Laskin, a third-year Porter student has only been to the video game room once but plans many future trips.

“I went to check it out last quarter and it was definitely dope,” Laskin said. “It had basically every system, a lot of games to choose from and since the room’s a little bit off by itself, you can be louder than you normally would in a library. I’m really gonna have to remember to check it out this quarter, next time I’m bored on campus.”

If you want to go crazy and play Grand Theft Auto IV on either PS3 or Xbox 360 or choose to relax with some good old Super Mario Bros, there are probably more video games at the S&E Library for checkout than your local Blockbuster.  All you need is a current student ID, and you can use the available games at the library for up to four hours — or check them out and take them home with you for up to two weeks.  It’s even possible to bring your own games and play them at the library as long as you have your ID.

Next time you’re studying hard on campus and dying for a nice break, remember that fun with Mario and Luigi is just a short walk away.