My first session at the NIRSA show was titled: "Forecasting the Future: Recreation with Technology." Although I sat in on only the last half of the session, what I saw and heard was pretty interesting.
In a poll of the attendees at the session, 46 percent said they "strongly agree" that their recreation centers should explore new forms of active entertainment to attract students. The words "exertainment" and "exergaming" were tossed around. One of the presenters referenced the XRtainment Zone in California, which I mentioned in my "Game Time" story in our April issue.
One cool thing that the presenters from WTW Architects introduced was the opportunity for the intramural championship basketball game to be streamed on the Internet. This saves Mom and Dad back home a trip to see the game in person. Another interesting concept is that some student rec centers can help students keep a personal running log by using a Nike and iPod sport kit.
A total of 72 percent of the attendees either were undecided or disagreed with the question: "Overall, we are prepared for the next evolution of rec centers." One man in the audience questioned that some students might come to the student rec center and simply play Madden football all day long. Another attendee asked how universities were going to pay for all these changes and upgrades to student rec centers. There really wasn't much of an answer given.