For today’s generation, it is common to associate the term “gamer” with those who absorb themselves in video or computer games.
But this is not the case for sophomore Celine Yip and senior Colin Kanewske, members of Pacific’s own Tabletop Gaming Guild.
Kanewske serves as not only the founder but also co-President, alongside junior Bryan Stander, who will resume the role of president next year. Self-described as “passionate about board games,” Kanewske boasts a collection of more than 90 board and tabletop games, the majority of which he brought to the club and organization fair at the beginning of the year to promote the new club.
From that point, the club designated its regular meeting times and had to decide on a proper name.
“We decided to go with the name, ‘The Tabletop Gaming Guild,’” explained Kanewske. “We realized that a lot of the games aren’t necessarily board games. We have a lot of people that play Magic and gather here, we have a lot of people that do role-playing, like Dungeons and Dragons. So, we wanted to be able to incorporate a lot of different types of games.”
Yip, who serves as the guild’s secretary, and Kanewske agreed that although the regular group of gamers—which they estimated to be 15 people—is usually quite diverse, they disagreed on whether they felt that group was overall more reserved or more outgoing.
“I would say that outside of the club they are more reserved,” said Kanewske. “But once they come in here, they realize that they are with peers. And being able to talk about really nerdy things, like Dungeons and Dragons or the latest nerdy movie, whatever it may be, they feel more comfortable in this environment, with peers who will understand it.”
“There are times when I can feel that people feel awkward,” added Yip. “They come into the club, they see people playing games, and I can see that some people have trouble approaching and asking, ‘can I join this game?’”
Regardless of these personality differences, there are certain games that will always get grabbed by a group. Each week, Kanewske brings several games to the meeting and even though people will have their favorites, he tries to encourage the gamers to try new things.
“I think part of it is that people know the rules to certain games, so they feel comfortable in being able to play it,” explained Kanewske. “Learning a new game, especially a lot more modern games, it can be a challenge.”
“I try as best as I can to introduce people to new games so that way, the next time they come they think, ‘I can play this one that I know really well and I have a lot of fun with,’ or ‘I could play this one that I do not know as well and try to get some other people into it.’”
Getting larger groups to play one game is always exciting as well, according to Yip.
The two agreed that one of their current favorites is a game called The Resistance. Kanewske explained that it is a nice change of pace to have games every once in a while that do not have pieces or boards. This is the case with The Resistance in that bluffing is the primary tool.
“It is a social game and it gets people out there,” said Yip.
This camaraderie that both Yip and Kanewske referred to is a key element of playing group games, and therefore part of the Tabletop Gaming Guild.
This is why Kanewske made the executive decision to not include video games in the group’s curriculum.
“We had a lot of people that were interested in video games but for the most part, video games are a one-on-one experience or just the person and the system,” said Kanewske.
“That’s the exciting thing about board games,” he elaborated. “It’s an opportunity to get together with people and be able to have a collaborative experience. Whether it’s competitive or cooperative, it’s about being able to have that experience.”
Yip added to Kanewske’s thought that with board games, social interaction occurs through the activity rather than the initial struggle to converse.
“If you’re someone that doesn’t like to keep a conversation going, you don’t necessarily have to force yourself to keep talking the entire time,” said Yip.
Any and all who are passionate board and tabletop game lovers of the Pacific community are encouraged to attend a meeting of the Tabletop Gaming Guild on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. in The Pulse.