Friday night in the TSU, students could stretch beyond themselves and for a few hours, delve into some tabletop gaming and explore past the boundaries established by older board games like Monopoly and Scrabble.
On one side of the room, Titans communed with the spirit of a deceased man in order to solve a mystery while playing Betrayal at House on Haunted Hill.
On the other side, a group of young people determined who was a “fascist” and who was a “liberal,” tossing around allegations based on their prior, seemingly meaningless actions, while playing Secret Hitler.
Games ran the gamut from edgy and contemporary like Secret Hitler, silly nonsense card games like Superfight (where players debate who would win in a fight based on random draws) to light adventure romps such as Munchkin The Nightmare Before Christmas (a Disney twist on the traditional Munchkin formula).
“One of the personal appeals of the game club for me is that if I get a game, I can bring it here and play it with people,” said Lauren Lloyd, president of the Game Night Club. “It is a way to try games before you buy them.”
When bringing games to the event, Lloyd’s strategy is to provide a wide variety from what she described as “filler” card games such as Love Letter, to big group games like Betrayal At House on Haunted Hill.
It is also an opportunity for students to teach each other a variety of games. A Chinese-themed tile game called Lanterns was explained to new players by club member Alex Dominguez.
“The harvest festival has come along and the emperor has brought whoever is playing to come decorate his pond. So we all play these tiles and each tile after being played awards each player with a certain number of cards,” Dominguez said.
The themes of each game were as diverse as the people playing them. While playing a card game called Lords of Scotland, two players sat directly on one of the tables offered.
For around an hour, Nicholas Bentz and Christina Lily Su were one of many islands that formed around different games. Some large in scale with group objectives while others were smaller and more intimate.
Bentz was wearing a jacket depicting murder weapons with a lapel pin featuring the stop-motion character Coraline, while Su donned a silver jacket with a sci-fi themed badge which read “Space Babe.”
James Novak, member of the Funny People Society on campus, said that it is uncommon to see games that require a larger commitment such as Dungeons and Dragons until later in the semester.
Novak greatly enjoys diving into a deep role-playing game.
“I have dedicated a lot of time to it. Almost a little too much time,” Novak said.
The motley crew of interesting players and their characters welcome any gamers who want the tactile feel of the tabletop and face-to-face social interaction.