The Appalachian State Gaming Club hosted their fourth Gamefest of the semester on April 9-10 in the Grandfather Mountain Ballroom.
Primarily a way for people to meet friends and play games together, Gamefests spans over a weekend with competitions and prize giveaways.
President of the club and junior accouting major John Bolton is responsible for the organization and logistics of the events, of which there are around six per semester.
“We try to shoot for about one a month,” Bolton said. “This gives people time to make it fit in their schedule.”
There are many kinds of games available for people to participate in, Bolton said. From tabletop games like “Dungeons and Dragons” to more modern computer games like “League of Legends,” students can find something they are interested in.
“We welcome anyone that’s into games,” Bolton said. “The point is to give the community more chances to play together.”
Bolton stressed the importance of building community through gaming. He said that Gamefests offer students a chance to meet people with similar interests and communicate with them in a very real way. Bolton said that students who would otherwise play alone have an opportunity to meet others who have the same interests.
Michael Miller is a graduate student studying engineering physics and he is an officer in the club. Miller agreed with Bolton that Gamefest provides a sense of community through gaming together.
“These events aren’t about winning and competition, they’re about hanging out and having fun,” Miller said.
Miller also pointed out that a lot of the interaction between Gaming Club members takes place online. Between “Counter Strike,” “League of Legends” and a “Minecraft” server, Miller said that there are many ways for members to stay connected outside of the in person meetings.
In addition to Gamefest, the club also holds weekly meetings where people can get together and play as well. Miller said that most meetings consist of groups of people breaking out into their favorite games, but that they sometimes play a big group game together. Overall, Miller said the goal is to build community between members.
“We like to try and get people playing,” Miller said. “Everyone has a favorite thing that other people are into too.”
Getting people interested in the event sometimes presents a challenge to Bolton and Miller. Both Bolton and Miller said that less people than predicted attended this past Gamefest. The weekend nature of the events make them somewhat inaccessible to most students, which Bolton said the club struggles with.
Katelyn Hogan, sophomore psychology major and the advertising officer of the club, said she has taken measures to get more people to attend the events.
“I do everything from making flyers to writing chalk notes around campus to making Facebook events,” Hogan said.
Although the in-person events and meetings are successful by club standards, Hogan said that she would like to see more people come out.
If students, especially freshmen, feel like they’re alone in college and are interested in games of any kind or just geek culture in general, the Gaming Club is the place to be, Hogan said.
Any student that wants to build friendships and community during their time at ASU while playing video games can go to the club’s meetings on Thursdays at 6:45 p.m. in Linville Falls Room 226.
Story by: Mike Hebert, A&E Reporter