VITA Party (and two giant gorillas find homes)

In the winter quarter, the students at The Ohio State University had the opportunity to participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinic. By and large, the majority of the volunteers were accounting students (both undergraduate and graduate) although the law school also operated their own VITA site. I personally had the opportunity to manage one of the sites and it was well worth the commitment. But that’s besides the point; I want to talk about how we celebrated: Dave & Buster’s!

While I had never been to a Dave & Buster’s before, I had been to similar establishments. Depending on where you live, you may be more familiar with GameWorks or perhaps the ESPN Zone. If neither of those ring a bell, then think of a grown up version of Chuck E. Cheese’s or Peter Piper Pizza. Hopefully you’ll have experienced one of these entertainment-restaurant combos. Leading up to the event, several of my friends admit they were feeling less than anxious. Most had envisioned a night of brief dining and a quick game or two in hopes of showing participation by going through the motions. To most people’s surprise, the night was a total blast.

I think it was really interesting to see how the night developed. Arriving, we sat around a few different pool tables that had been converted to large dining tables (leg room was in short supply). The meal was served buffet-style and there was plenty of party food to go around. Afterward, everyone migrated towards the game floor where the fun began. What started out as curiosity and a little bit of competition quickly turned into a goal-oriented cooperative. We found that certain games rewarded more tickets than others and the MAcc students quickly learned to allocate their resources (tokens) in an efficient way by playing those that had the highest returns. This was in effort to accumulate enough tickets to purchase a giant gorilla.

The results were impressive. Not only had we enough tickets to purchase TWO giant gorillas, but we also had enough to reward everyone a smaller gift (shot glasses) and even then had some left over. Most interesting was how quickly everyone caught the vision of collectively working towards a goal. I think its a testament to the friendship and bonds that have developed over the past several months. The best part is that our gorillas will be at future parties to remind us of our success and friendship.