You are here

Video Game Craze Helps Student Properties Score Points

January 2019

Forget about the teen smartphone addiction crisis, it’s gaming that has many young adults hooked. Hours spent playing online video games such as Fortnite—and whatever the next hot game is—have made connections with friends and competitors a priority.

Does this get in the way of studying? Check their report cards, I guess. Meanwhile, some student housing operators are scoring points with these players through purpose-built student housing marketing.

At Campus Advantage, communities are encouraged to implement innovative events that align with the needs and interests of residents. Dan Oltersdorf, Campus Advantage’s Chief Learning Officer and Senior Vice President, says that communities around the country continue to explore different avenues for including gaming in resident experiences. Site staff are provided autonomy around planning events, and successful events are then incorporated into national marketing and resident retention strategies.

At Axis 360 in Buffalo, NY, Oltersdorf says the community is working on implementing a dedicated gaming lounge in a phase II development.

“This will include multiple TVs and consoles secured to the wall, comfortable gaming-style furniture, and to round things out, a couple of arcade-style retro gaming consoles.”

Oltersdorf says that current and upcoming marketing initiatives include use of gaming console and game giveaways. 

Campus Advantage’s The Armstrong in Baton Rouge, La., recently held two Fortnite tournaments.

“Both received really great social media attention,” Oltersdorf says. “We are continuing to utilize surveys and resident outreach to determine what approaches resonate best and garner the best attendance.”

Oltersdorf says that while the games of choice have changed, the concept has not. “Bringing people together around shared activities and interests is at the core of what it means to create a vibrant sense of community where residents can connect with one another. The key is to constantly listen to what residents are doing, responding, and then making it consistent.”

JJ Smith, President of CA Student Living, says his firm is bringing the gaming action outdoors.

At CA Student Living’s recently opened 15-story RISE at Riverfront Crossings in Iowa City, Iowa, students can play Fortnite on the Jumbotron screen located on the courtyard deck, complete with a pool, fire pits and grilling stations. CA also periodically programs online tournaments within its student housing communities.