Yesterday was the celebration of the 10th anniversary of SEE (Society for Electronic Entertainment), a.k.a. the gaming club at Melbourne uni. They had an event during the day at Melbourne Uni, which I unfortunately couldn’t attend, as I had work. Fortunately, they had an after-work / uni event, which was a trivia night! Trivia: The original name for the club was going to be Nintendo Enthusiasts Society (NES), but clubs and societies didn’t want there to be all these other splinter gaming clubs for other platforms, so the name was changed.
The trivia night was fun. The first round was about games from 2007 (when the club was formed) and 2017 (this year), and we really struggled on the current games – showing our age. But we managed to not come last, and I think we did well – I even managed to answer some non-Dota related questions! The only bad thing about it was that I don’t think they expected as many people as they got, as we didn’t all fit in the room they had (and I don’t think the venue’s claim that it would fit 100-people was accurate. 100 standing people, maybe, but definitely not seated people). Eggmond and Autofix helped out by repeating the questions, and for the music and visual rounds, we all stood closer to the screen.
Our team was called “Happy Birthday, Autofix”, and it was really nice that everyone sang Happy Birthday to him when they called out the final scores, thanks to Eggmond’s encouragement. Note: It wasn’t actually his birthday.
The best part of the night was the speeches at the end. Autofix opened, speaking about the earlier days of the club, and how people thought we were stealing TVs, because we were always carrying them around to club meetings. It was really heart-wrenching when he spoke about the affect the club has had on him, and the friendships he has made – most of which have endured well after we left university.
Eggmond and some other guy spoke next, and I’m too old to remember them, but they also said similar things – that the club was a place where they felt like they belonged, and they made some great friends.
The same definitely applies to me. While I managed to find solace in the second floor clubs when I first joined, I was not as into sci-fi / fantasy, roleplaying games, board games as most of the other people. There were a lot of people who were into computer games, and it was those with whom I bonded with the most. When a dedicated computer / video game club started, I found it a lot easier to participate in club activities, even if the games weren’t necessarily games that I played.
I don’t know if it’s because, as Eggmond mentioned, a lot of people in the club shared an “outcast” background, but I’ve always felt like the friends I made in the club were the kind of friends who are fiercely loyal, and once you’ve formed a bond, they’ll stay friends with you, even if you don’t see each other very regularly. Gamers may have a reputation for being socially awkward, or abrasive, but the people I met were welcoming to others, and mostly just happy to find other people to share their hobby with.
That doesn’t mean there wasn’t any drama – there definitely was. I heard about the attempts to diversify the membership base, with a “girl’s night” and an attempt to make the committee 50% women – but I don’t want to get sucked into the diversity argument today. I just like that at the end of the day, the club is about getting people together to play games, and as far as I can tell, it’s still doing that. There are other gaming clubs at the other universities now, and it makes me really happy to see inter-university eSports!
I can’t really talk about what I’ve gotten out of the club without mentioning MrFodder. I definitely don’t think we would have gotten together without the club, and it is something that has definitely changed my life for the better.
My experience being part of the committee also gave me a bit more confidence. Anyone who has asked me will know that I prefer being a follower to a leader, but I always seem to find myself in leadership-type positions. Being part of a group of leaders was nice, as I did have people looking up to me, but being able to share the leadership meant that I was never at the forefront of anything – and I’m really glad I was never the president.
For the most part, I would have to echo the sentiment of the others and say that it was the people I’ve met through the club which made it the great experience that it was, and I hope that it will do the same for future members.