Flashbacks at the Peer Support Centre

The SAITSA Peer Support Centre sends students back through time to the days of Saturday morning cartoons every Friday.

“The idea is to take [students] back to a time when [they were] younger with less stress,” said SAITSA Peer Support Centre Coordinator, Sarah Hogendorp.

“You [get to] disengage from homework for a bit and watch old-school TV shows.”

The SAITSA funded student-only support centre, is located in Senator Burns in NJ105, and hosts Flashback Fridays. The event frees students of the copious workload and stress factors from class for an afternoon.

Hogendorp said the retro aspect to Flashback Fridays has been effective in engaging students according to student surveys received in the past. The inclusive activities available in the support centre have helped students build friendships and kick-back.

Some old-school games students can play include Hungry Hungry Hippos, UNO, Connect Four, Jenga and Giant Jenga.

“If you don’t think Hungry Hungry Hippos is retro, you are wrong,” chuckled Hogendorp.

Though Flashback Friday’s are only Fridays, every Thursday there’s access to retro videogames such as Super Smash Bros. that Hogendorp said is displayed for the same purpose of childhood therapy.

Owner of Video Game Trader, a Calgary retro-videogame store, Jeff McNair said there is an easy explanation to why retro gaming is more soothing then playing regular video games.

“When you’re an adult it’s nice to go back to a time of less responsibility and back to playing with your friends.”

“In retro gaming, it’s a big focus in playing with friends,” said McNair who calls it ‘couch co-op’.

“Retro [games] you can just jump in and play and be engaged.”

He highlights his busy schedule being the reason if time arises to gaming; his top choice is old-school games with friends. Time being of the essence for many people, McNair thinks the constant downloading and updating of new games is overwhelming.

McNair said ever since having his first gaming console, that he felt most at peace when gaming.

“There will always be a desire for going back to what you used to play,” said McNair on the nostalgic nature of childhood happiness.

He said styles of games playable with friends were one of his own motivators to own a videogame store. He said with memorable connections to retro activities of TV shows and games, there would always be a market for out-of-date products.

McNair said new gaming systems arrive every year and those games will soon become the new ‘retro’ to those growing up.

The Student Support Centre is open to all students Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no fees for accessibility. Volunteers are welcome and asked to email the Peer Support Centre at saitsa.peersupport@edu.sait.ca.

Flashback Fridays take place all day, every Friday.

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