Ashley Kronebusch, Staff Writer
Academia is rigorous, and that’s a well-known fact for anyone on a college campus; you work, you do homework, you study, you research, and so on, leaving little time to recover. For millions, the solace found at the end of a long day is gaming, which allows many to blow off steam and revive themselves. However, this can be an isolating hobby, and even playing online games can contribute to a sense of loneliness that comes with being a busy student. This is where Gamers United, an Augsburg student organization, steps in.
“It’s a place where I can come and game and not have to worry about what people are going to think of me and just be able to socialize with other people who are into the things I’m into,” said Isabelle Natrop, president of the club. The big pull of Gamers United is the creation of this kind of space, and being welcoming to a traditionally antisocial group.
Although many would consider gaming to be a niche interest group, it can attract a lot of people from all walks of life. Gamers United runs several different kinds of gaming events, from Pokéfest to tabletop role-playing game nights to Smash Brothers tournaments. There are many types of gaming that are included under Gaming United’s umbrella, and the club works hard to be inclusive for all.
“It’s hard to accommodate for every type of gamer there is, because some of them are focused on teamwork while others are [focused] on solo gaming,” said Natrop. “Sometimes you need people outside that to help you play that actual game, while other times it’s fun to talk about [the game].”
The fact that gaming can encompass so many different activities, from card games to video games to role-playing games, causes some difficulties for organizing in the club. “You’re not going to find one person who is specialized in all of it, and we try our best to cover what we can,” said Natrop. Organizing events can also be difficult because of the question of “how big is the popularity [of a game], and do people actually want to do it enough to be an event, and even so, would they come out because of how much would they want to, or would they rather stay in and game by themselves?”
Despite these roadblocks, Gamers United is dedicated to creating an environment for all types of gamers to socialize and become closer to one another. In gaming, it can be especially difficult to make those connections, Natrop reminds us. “It’s not talked about on a broader scale in the community, and I just want to help people make those connections so that they might make a worthwhile friend.”
Gamers United meets every other Thursday night from 6-8 in OGC 113 and holds many other events throughout the semester.
This article was originally published in the October 4, 2019 issue.