Chelsea Langevin – Senior reporter. After more than a decade at the college, the Linfield Gaming Council has gained a foothold in club membership with nearly 15 new freshman members this year, junior council president Stephen Guttridge said.
Because the gaming council’s publicity was dependent on the Activities Fair and word-of-mouth suggestions, Guttridge said he was amazed at the number of people who attended.
“We had a huge bunch of people show up to our first meeting,” Guttridge said.
On a typical night, roughly 10-15 people show up to escape the ails of homework and play their favorite games, junior member Garrett Garceau said. With the increased numbers Sept. 19, the club had to spend time introducing new and old members.
“I was impressed: We actually had to stop gaming to have formal introductions,” Garceau said.
In its history at Linfield, the gaming council hasn’t always been receptive to playing different types of games, such as board and classic games, Guttridge said.
He said he believes the club’s more welcoming atmosphere has contributed to its growing popularity.
Formerly known as “The Linfield Role Playing Club,” the gaming council used to regularly organize role-playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, or other computer games in which the main player is the hero. However, Guttridge realized that not everyone enjoyed games of that nature and decided that, as president, he would open the club to any type of game.
“The basic idea of the club is, if you have a game you want to play, we’ll play it,” he said.
There are two types of games: classic and board games, Guttridge said. Classics include Sorry!, Uno, Trouble and Monopoly, whereas board games include Settlers of Catan and Axis and Allies.
Not only is it a place to relax and play your favorite games, the club is also a communal space to meet new people.
“The social aspect is really big,” Guttridge said. “Sometimes we’ll just stop playing and start talking for hours.”
For others, the club is an escape from the studying doldrums.
“[The club] gives me a set two-hour block where I can have fun the way I want to,” Garceau said.
The gaming council is also active beyond school borders, attending tournaments each semester in Portland, Garceau said. One primary tournament was an anime convention called Kumoricon, which took place at the beginning of September.
Next month, the club plans to attend a magic draft for the game “Magic the Gathering,” Garceau said.
The club meets at 7 p.m. every Wednesday in the Riley Student Center, room 216.
“The club is dictated by what the members want to play,” he said. “If you want to learn a game, just let us know,” he said.