The UWO Student Recreation and Wellness Center held “Blaster Ball,” a free event on Friday that gave students the opportunity to physically destress.
Blaster Ball is a game similar to paintball. Face masks and chest guards are still required, but instead of paint balls to shoot at each other, students were given compressed air guns that shot nerf balls. The arena was set up with protective plastic to ensure viewers of the game would not get hit.
The game is played in two teams and the players have a set amount of time to hit their opponents as many times as they can with rounds lasting about 10 minutes each.
Reeve Union Student Leadership and Involvement hired the company Record a Hit! for the event, who provided the equipment, music and inflatable obstacles for students to hide behind.
The company also served as a referee for the game, using a megaphone to signal the beginning and ending of each round and fixing any malfunctioning air guns.
Emerging Programs and Special Events Advisor Carmen Hetzel explained how the game works once the first round got started.
“They run around and they pick up the balls and then they put them in their cannon,” Hetzel said. “And then the cannons have, like, CO2 tanks and then they try to get each other.”
Many UWO students who completed a round went back for another instantly, bringing more attention to the event as other students joined in.
Student Tyler Ferrer said there is only one real strategy to the game: stick together.
“You gotta travel in a group, like a pack of wolves,” Ferrer said.
Student Adam Mott said his strategy was a little bit different than Ferrer’s.
“It’s more like let’s go [rush] someone,” Mott said.
UWO student Sam Moore said the game was fun, but it would be better if it was scheduled for an earlier weekday instead of the end of the week in order to have more students attend.
“Not a lot of people are available on Fridays,” Moore said. “So I think a weekday would be better.”
UWO student Samantha Maravilla said the event was a great way to give students the opportunity to get involved in school programs.
“I thought this was a really good idea,” Maravilla said. “It was nice to just have something to do other than sit in my room and watch TV.”
Hetzel said the event was initially a one-time deal, but if students showed positive feedback, it could return.
“If students really like it we can look to bringing it back in the future,” Hetzel said.
Hetzel was glad to hear how positively the students took to the experience after they came out of the Blaster Ball arena.
“It is so great to know that all of the individuals who participated really enjoyed the experience,” Hetzel said.