Clark Griswald – Staff Writer
E-bowla is set to rock the Dordt College game room after Thanksgiving break. Using projection and holographic technology, the groundbreaking electronic bowling system will extend the four existing lanes an extra 20 feet, all the while taking up just as much physical space as an average sized slushy machine.
Students have been complaining about the inhibiting nature of the current truncated bowling lanes for years, but it took a grant from the Iowa Department of Education to bring the wished and hoped for dreams to virtual reality.
The E-bowla grant was applied for by the Dordt Alumni, a group of recent graduates who believe that the short lanes set up unreal expectations for their bowling skill upon entering the workforce.
“The emotional trauma upon entering the ‘real world’ can overcome the best of us,” dean of chapel Aaron Baart said. “And a skewed perception of the proper lane dimensions can drastically affect how we, as Christians, do bowling.”
This desire to instill a proper view of all aspects of the Reformed life resulted in E-Bowla.
Baart and dean of campus life, Robert Taylor, were kept informed throughout the planning and purchasing process.
The E-bowla package was procured online through Amazon.com.
“It really was a great deal,” Dordt president Erik Hoekstra said. “We weren’t sure that it was a stewardly use of our resources, but when they threw in the slushy machine, we couldn’t resist.”
As well as digitally adding 20 feet to the existing lanes, the E-Bowla system comes with a headset to allow bowlers to go into a completely virtual world, one in which the lanes are precisely standard.
“It’s kind of like a Wii system combined with Tony Stark’s Iron Man interface,” explained Taylor. “We tested it among a group of random Dutch people with only 17.5 percent of them passing out. That’s about as high as the current fainting rate from staring at that swirling mural at the back of the alley, so we aren’t concerned.”
E-bowla will be installed over Thanksgiving break by a combined team of computer service employees and the members of electrical engineering professor Douglas De Boer’s electronics I class.
Whether E-bowla will be well received by the broader Dordt community remains to be seen, but freshman Damon Hawes approves.
“You had me at slushy machine,” Hawes said.