By Audrey Barrett
Every Friday at 7 p.m., the Gaming Society members gather in the Trail Room to hang out and relax. They play all kinds of games, from Super Smash Bros to Cards Against Humanity and Mafia. Members see the club as an accessible, inclusive social space where people can enjoy their favorite games with friends. It’s also a great place to be introduced to new games and people.
Soren Peterson ’19 has been part of the Gaming Society since freshman year, and made some great friends through it.
“The big thing is the weekly gatherings to play board games, card games, whatever,” Peterson said.”That’s been one of the highlights of my college experience.”
Club president Jerome Regovich ’20 said the club doesn’t necessarily match the stereotypical image people might have of gamers.
“I know a lot of people hear the word ‘gamer’ and think of like, some sweaty guy just… (bent over his computer)… we are above all a social club,” Regovich said. “We just want to provide a chill social environment. We’re a welcoming crew, too. You can jump in right away, no questions asked.”
Chris Karagiannis ’20, a member of the Gaming Society, appreciates the laid-back atmosphere and welcoming group.
“I was looking for a club where it was clear they wanted me to be there, but it was no pressure to be there,” Karagiannis said. “That’s kind of what attracted me to Gaming Society. I know if I miss a week and then come back the next week, somebody’s gonna say ‘Hey, where were you last week? Are you doing all right?’ It feels like a little community.”
Sandy Grossman ’21, a transfer student new to Lewis & Clark this year, found the Gaming Society after talking to Regovich about their favorite board games during Spanish class. He said the Gaming Society here is more attuned to what he was looking for.
“I’m a big board game fan,” Grossman said. “But I feel like the gaming society at my last school was very sweaty-nerd, cliché, you know. It could be quite frustrating because people could be very aggressive and elitist about board games, which seems kind of ridiculous. But I feel like the gaming society here is a lot more welcoming and a lot less cliché-sweaty-nerd. So that is something I appreciate.”
Although budgetary restrictions prevent the club from purchasing many video games, members often share their personal games with the club. The club will sometimes go into the Council Chamber and have a group gaming session on the projection screen.
“It’s great to be in the audience and see a game on bigger and bigger screens,” Regovich said. “And with the big release of the new Smash Bros game in December, I have a big plan … We’re gonna call it Saturday Smash. People who don’t have access to the game can try it out, and also the people who do have access to it can actually play with their friends instead of being locked in their room grinding away.”
On Dec. 8 at 2 p.m., the Gaming Society will host a Super Smash Bros. tournament to celebrate the release of the new game, and all are welcome to join.
The tournament is just one example of how the club gives people access to games they might not otherwise be able to try. Isabel Anderson ’19 is an only child who never got to participate in multiplayer games.
“(The Gaming Society has) a ridiculous amount of games,” Anderson said. “It’s definitely nice to have such a big selection … And a lot of board games are really expensive. So you can just randomly try a board game that’s like 80 dollars and requires a lot of people and a lot of time, but people there are willing to play it. If you liked playing board games when you were a kid, don’t worry, it’s still fun. There’s some really cool ones out there.”
Peterson is one of those people who shares their personal games with the group. Because of their personal collection, the whole group can enjoy this expensive game.
“Scythe, the one that I love, I have probably spent about 200-300 dollars on just to have all the various expansions to that board game,” Peterson said. “You get the opportunity to play a lot of games that you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to.”
Regovich hopes the Gaming Society can provide an accessible space for people who want to get out and do something new. It conveniently doesn’t require too much transportation.
“I want to be something to do on campus,” Regovich said. “I just wanna say that our group is an open place. Because nobody wants to sit in their dorm.”
Members of the club agree with his statement.
“I feel like it’s just a good place to come if you want to experience something different,” Karagiannis said. “Board games have changed since Monopoly, obviously.”