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Pforzheimer Den Opens With Pac-Man, Pinball, and Neon

Pforzheimer House recently opened a new game room featuring retro arcade games including Galaga, Pac-Man, and Centipede.
Pforzheimer House recently opened a new game room featuring retro arcade games including Galaga, Pac-Man, and Centipede. By Iulianna C. Taritsa
By Haemaru Chung and Jessica Lee, Contributing Writers

A new game room featuring retro arcade machines with games like Galaga, Pac-Man, and Centipede opened in Pforzheimer House on Oct. 13.

“The Den” — brightened by neon lights, painted walls, and multicolored floor tiles — also houses a pinball machine and an air hockey table. House staff and students worked throughout the summer to renovate a bike room in the basement of Comstock Hall and convert it into a social space that fits several dozen people.

Pforzheimer’s House Committee coordinated with house faculty deans and the building manager to develop plans for the Den over the spring semester. Two HoCo members, Connor C. Sakmar ’20 and Francisco Matos Jr. ’20, stayed on campus throughout the summer and worked for more than 150 hours to assist with the renovation and design.

In an emailed statement, HoCo members called the project a “team effort” and wrote that the Pforzheimer House staff and faculty deans were supportive in constructing the space.

“The Den was created with the intention of fostering community within Pforzheimer House and providing an additional inclusive and safe social and recreational space for students here,” Matos wrote.

After constructing the space, HoCo members tasked fellow students with testing the game equipment and decorating the Den.

Though many Pforzheimer residents have not yet had a chance to visit the Den, some students say they look forward to socializing there.

Calvin M. Stewart ’20 wrote in an email that he plans to visit the space to “destress and just have a little fun.”

“Whenever I get the urge to play some retro games, or I want to show my roommates who’s the best at Street Fighter II, I’ll be there,” Stewart wrote. “People tend to get competitive with the high scores. Hopefully, I’ll get my initials to the top of one of the scoreboards.”

Maximilian J. Wang ’20 said he especially likes the ambiance of the Den.

“I really like the vibe in there,” he said. “It’s got all the lights, the neon.”

Pforzheimer HoCo members wrote that they are pleased with the number of students who visited the Den over its first few days open and hope it will become a popular spot.

“The best part of The Den has been the strengthened House Community that it has fostered,” they wrote.

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