TeXtreme: a break from late semester stress

Photo courtesy of SCPC

Inflatable plastic bubbles, laser tag and a lonely mechanical surf board each made an appearance alongside last week’s Farmer’s Market.

On Thursday, Oct.16, the Student Center Programs Council hosted TeXtreme on the Tech Green from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Although other portions of Tech Green and Skiles Walkway were taken by the Farmer’s Market, automotive advertisers and people tabling for Zipcar and Zimride, SCPC dedicated the northern portion to revelry and stress-relief, a generally welcomed diversion this far into a typical Georgia Tech semester.

Though it had a slow start, with several of the attractions not being operational until closer to noon than eleven, once TeXtreme got fully underway, it lived up to its advertisements.

When students attempted to use the sidewalk near SCPC’s event, they were greeted by overly enthusiastic volunteers, one wielding a bullhorn, attempting to give out candy while encouraging people to stop and participate.

As TeXtreme drew to a close, these heralds became even more verbose. If the walkers were unsuccessful in their endeavors to pass by, they were invited to sign a waiver before enjoying the event and what it had to offer.

The shortest line was the non-existent one for the Bungee Run, which SCPC touted as a major draw on their posters.

Apparently, not a lot of Tech students find it enjoyable to run on an inflatable while strapped to a wall; perhaps it just seems futile or perhaps the other events were merely more interesting. Either way, this particular inflatable saw few event-goers.

The other attraction of TeXtreme that failed to be particularly attracting was advertised as a “Robo Surfer.” It was the ocean version of a mechanical bull. A few adventuresome students tried their balance here, gathering quite the crowd of onlookers.

Though it was far more analogous to bull riding than surfing due to the machine’s jerky motion, those who tested their balance seemed to enjoy the experience. It is worth noting, however, that few went back for a second round.

The rest of TeXtreme was better received by the attendees. One of SCPC’s staples was present in the form of a large grey rectangular box.

Even with short matches and letting in as many people as there were vests, laser tag managed to keep a line waiting.

The longest line at this event was for a novel attraction that failed to make an appearance on the advertisements and posters ahead of time.

Giant inflatable hamster balls are not exactly a normal form of fun, but they were indisputably captivating for those in attendance last Thursday. In a coned-off section of Tech Green were two such curiosities.

Whoever was in the spherical inflatable would run around, race the other hamster ball across the cordoned area or simply take advantage of the springy material to harmlessly ram into their partner at full speed, only to bounce apart again and possibly fall down inside their protective bubble.

One of the more intriguing properties of the hamster balls was that they had two holes for entering and exiting.

While there were people to assist in this endeavor, some found getting into or back out of the spheres to be a chore while others dove right in, literally.

The final attraction was separated a little from the rest. Bubble soccer is soccer with a single, simple change taken to a ridiculous, yet entertaining extreme.

Many who played were more focused on the fact that they were in their own personal man-powered bumper car than on the fact that they were playing a soccer game.

On top of this, the claustrophobia-inducing protective bubbles make it nigh impossible to regain one’s feet after being knocked down. This made for interesting games that might be called soccer if someone felt like being generous.

Right at two o’clock, TeXtreme ended, and the crowd dissipated, leaving SCPC to clean up after a decidedly successful event.