Video games find backing in Cadet Corps

Video games are viewed positively by the Norwich University Corps of Cadets (NUCC) and are being played by cadets from all classes, despite some restrictions put on freshmen and sophomores.

Juniors and seniors in the NUCC are permitted to have video game consoles in their rooms as part of class privileges, according to Cadet Col. Regan Steen. Video games are a part of college culture and removing them would lower morale, Steen said.
“It’s a nondestructive way to relieve stress,” Steen said, “It’s actually a benefit.”
Cadet Nolan Fergusson, 19, a sophomore electrical and computer engineering major from Albany, N.Y., has a video game console in his room and agrees with Steen’s view.
“It’s a good way to take some stress out,” Fergusson said.
Norwich University Commandant Russell Holden also agrees with Steen’s view. “I don’t see any problems with cadets playing video games on campus,” Holden said, “but if video games interfere with academics, then it’s not a good thing.”
Playing video games, so long as a cadet manages his or her academics and extracurricular activities well, Holden said, is not a problem. But he notes that video games can be an issue if academic performance suffers as a result of cadets playing video games. “Academics are the main reason you’re here,” Holden said.
“It’s not hurting you unless you put video games before academics,” Fergusson agreed. “I always put my school work first.”
Fergusson admitted that balancing academics and video games is challenging, but notes that video games still act as positive stress relievers while also stating that he manages his academics and extracurricular activities in the corps well.
“ I still do all the things I’m signed up to do and on top of all that I still have some time in between (to play video games),” Fergusson said.
But video games can be distracting, according to Shane Haughey, 19, a sophomore political science major from North Attleboro, Mass., who plays video games on campus.
“A few times, you’re so far into the games (that) a few hours pass, (and you realize that you ) should have done work,” Haughey said. “But there is always another time you can redo work or just make up work.” The only challenges to playing video games are paying for them, Haughey said.
The main issue with video games at the moment is that sophomore cadets are playing video games in their rooms, according to Steen. Video game consoles are class privileges allowed only to for junior and senior cadets, according to NUCC Rules and Regulations. Sophomores who possess video game consoles in their room are violating class privileges.
Violating a class privilege is considered a failure to follow orders and punishments are issued at a company commander’s discretion, according to Steen.
Determining if the class privilege to own video game consoles is being enforced is difficult, Steen said. Video game consoles are easy to conceal during room inspections, which make it difficult to determine if sophomores have video game consoles in their room, according to Steen.
“The person who checks should be the squad leader because they should be seeing cadets’ room the most,” Steen said.
Other than class privileges, the only rules about cadets playing video games in their room are maintaining respectful noise levels that do not distract others and the size of the monitor, according to Steen and Holden.
It is tradition that only juniors and senior cadets have had the privilege to possess video game consoles in their room. Rooks are not permitted to possess video games as it distracts Rooks from the strict environment that keeps them focused on Rook training, according to Steen. Rooks and sophomore cadets are still developing their time management skills, and video games would distract them, according to Steen.
Cadets who become juniors or seniors would have already developed their time management skills, Steen said.
Despite the class restrictions, some sophomore cadets are playing video games, and disagree with not being allowed to have video game consoles. “We’re adults now,” Fergusson said,” if you’re struggling with academics because of gameplay, then that’s nobody’s fault but your own. “Why shouldn’t (recognized freshmen and sophomore cadets) be able to enjoy video games and take their mind off of stress?” Haughey said.
Junior cadets had the video game privilege removed last year, allowing only senior cadets to possess video game consoles in their rooms, frustrating some junior cadets, according to Steen. The removal of the video game privilege for juniors was done by now-graduated students who were in the corps to improve the military appearance of NUCC rooms, according to Steen. The privilege for junior cadets to possess video games in their rooms was restored to benefit cadet leaders, Steen said, who added that she is not opposed to the idea of sophomores receiving the privilege to own video game consoles in their rooms.
“I honestly don’t care if the administration agrees (with cadets playing video games), it’s not (the administration’s) call if we’re maintaining academic success (while playing video games),” Fergusson said, “We’re adults now, if we can’t handle one, that’s up to us, not them.”

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