The campus guide to gaming
Fall term brings plenty of newcomers to the campus, and if you’re anything like me and you like games, I was really looking for people to connect and game with. Now with a few years under my belt, here’s some advice for the newest students wanting to game on campus.
The more obvious place to find fellow gamers are the UW clubs. While the Feds Club listing is currently out (take note, Feds), I can mention some highlights off the top of my head.
The obvious start would be UW Gamers, specializing in the video gaming scene, particularly PC gaming and also console gaming. In my experience, the games featured tend to be ones such as Defence of the Ancients-style games (League of Legends, DOTA2, etc), massive multi-player online games, shooters, and fighting games. Although if there’s a game you want to play, you can usually find a way to have it featured. If you’re up for a good console game night, LAN Party or Tournament, look them up.
Lovers of Dance Dance Revolution in particular would be remiss to not check out the DDR club, specializing in meetups for the fast paced rhythm game.
For the more animé inclined, CTRL-A holds its own games night. Looking at their website, you can expect more anime-based or Japanese games, but the club is certainly not limited to those.
Of note is an apparent “revival” of their collectable card game scene, particularly an import game known as Weiss Schwarz, which features various anime franchises.
Those who are lovers of fantasy might want to give Waterloo Science Fiction Club a chance. They offer all manner of fantasy gaming, from Magic: The Gathering, to Dungeons & Dragons, and even to Live Action Role Playing (LARP). Don’t let any stigma fool you, a good game of D&D or Magic with the right people can be fun.
Want to make your own games? This is UW after all, so we have all manner of programming inclined people. Why not give the UW Game Development Club a try?
Having tested several of their sample games online, there are some cool idea rolling around. It might just be a fun way to exercise those video game making skills.
Getting into the more board game related clubs and events offers even more opportunities to meet people and play!
If you can name a place on campus, there’s probably a game night planned there, from various residences to non-gaming clubs holding events. MathSoc in particular frequently plans a games night.
Check in with your residence to see if there’s anything going on and keep an eye out for posters about events.
That’s also not going into the numerous game-specific clubs for Chess, Go, and more than I can mention in one article.
My best advice for anyone interested is simply to take a look, there may well be a club for the game you want to play, or at least someone with an interest in it.
I would also give the same advice in regards to any other club, gaming or no: be active! Want a certain game to be played?
So participate in a related club, or even start your own. Your student experience will be all the better for what you put in.
Outside of clubs, as insular and introverted as we gamers can be, it honestly can be great just to talk to people.
There’s all manner of people playing games on campus, be it someone playing with a Nintendo 3DS or Playstation Vita in the halls, or playing a mobile game at the bus station.
In my experience, just mentioning a game like Super Smash Bros or commenting on someone’s gaming shirt is enough to broach the idea of gaming to people, and make some friends.
It’s easier than you think to find a group of people to play your game of choice with, just look around your campus and you’ll find it.