Recreational Center brings childhood games to life


Graduate student Priscilla Gaona uses the slingshot during Life Size Board Game Night in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, March 11, 2016.

Eric Conway & Jacob Ruffo

Kent State students had a chance to unleash their inner child this past weekend when the Student Recreation and Wellness Center hosted Life Size Board Game Night on Friday. Nostalgia and gamesmanship ruled the night as participants played five different games from an alternative perspective.

These games included Hungry, Hungry Hippos, Jenga, Battleship, Candy Land and Angry Birds.

Iconic 90s songs played over the speakers as students reminisced about their childhoods playing classic board games. In the lounge, food and refreshments – including Uncrustables sandwiches and Little Hugs juice drinks – were offered.

“This is the first time we’ve put on Life Sized Board Game Night,” said Abby Millsaps, marketing coordinator for Recreational Services. “We put on one late night event every semester and we try to mix it up.”

According to Millsaps, every team that participated in all five games at the end of the night would be entered into a drawing for prizes ranging from T-shirts to a 38” inch flat screen TV.

The last evening event the recreational center hosted was The Reaping, which also drew a large crowd. This time, however, there were even more participants.  

“We typically get at least 400 students at these events,” Millsaps said. “There were a few differences, such as the pre-registration and registration, and the opportunity to create teams.”

Students were able to sign up as a team or as a free agent and be picked up by a team that was a few players short.

The life-sized event caught the attention of over 500 students, with a line leading outside of the recreational center. Participants had the option of heading to the basketball courts to play Candy Land and Angry Birds. The event created a way for groups to create teams, which was a popular trend with campus organizations.

“We made it a fellowship for our fraternity (Alpha Phi Omega),” said Mitchell Bosse, a sophomore recreation park and tourism management major. “We made three teams: Alpha, Phi, and Omega.”

Though the games varied in difficulty, students found all of them to be fun. 

“The Battleship was way different from what I remember the board game being,” said Chazz Ware, a freshman political science major. “This was a much more physically intense Battleship. You don’t just pick numbers and letters to sink their ships; you actually have to go out and sink their ships.”

Battleship was played in the pool and was slow to attract students, but once word spread, students quickly changed into their swimsuits to play.

“I can’t hear out of my one ear right now,” said Lilo Nguyen, a freshman exploratory major. “Being tipped over was awesome and we were obviously the coolest. We kept losing our bucket and the water from the hose was so cold.”

Teams of two were seated in a canoe and given two buckets and a foam paddle board. Players used the buckets to toss water in their opponents’ canoe to sink their battleship. Paddles boards acted as oars and were used for splashing to dump more water.

With the success of the Life Size event, the recreational center is open to ideas from students and “rec-goers” alike.

“I commute,” said Jennifer Smilan, a sophomore integrated science major, “so it was cool to actually do something fun on campus instead of just going to class and rushing back home.”

Eric Conway is a sports reporter and Jacob Ruffo is a columnist For The Kent Stater. Contact them at [email protected] and [email protected].