By Guest Blogger: Spencer Albin
One of the best benefits of attending a college larger than the high school system that you attended is that there are a lot more people with interests that are similar to your own as well as a lot of people that are experienced with things that you are a novice to. This allows you to both reinforce existing interests and branch out to learn about and explore new interests!
There are many organizations at DePaul to help facilitate this process. This is also a great way to meet new people and potential friends, which is the primary objective for many people during their first year at college, including me. Already well into the winter quarter, I am happy with the friends I’ve managed to make so far. I was fortunate enough to become friends with my roommate, Cole. Through him I was able to meet several other people including another one of my good friends, Scott. I also met many people through my classes, which is nice because it allows me to say hi to them in passing. I’ve also made friends through my classes, though almost exclusively through classes for my major, Computer Game Development.
There must be something about the people in these courses that separates them from the majority of people in the other classes. It doesn’t take long to figure that out; we all have a passion for games and everything to do with them. Games are something that multiple people can experience separately and instantly relate with each other. They provide a lot of content to talk about with other people. Even sharing the games you like and dislike allows a glimpse at your personality. Gaming is an inherently social activity, therefore I believe they are the best method through which to get to know people and become friends with people (and also have a lot of fun by doing so).
I think that there are a lot of people that still characterize the ‘gamer’ as belonging to the societal fringe; a person that has no friends and sits alone in a room…most of the time. I would like to say that even among the hardcore section of gamers, there is an incredible variety of people that are as social as they are diverse. Everyone can be a gamer in their own right. You just have to play games! Speaking of, there is tremendous variety when it comes to games and they are not limited to digital devices; there is a huge tabletop game market nowadays, ranging from simple card or dice games all the way to full scale role-playing games.
Not sure where to find a game that would interest you or how a game plays? Consult the Internet. You should be able to find a number of games that are fun and suit you. Now get some people to play with!
I mentioned before that playing a game gives you an experience that you can relate with someone through. In some form or another, playing games, especially with other people, builds comradery. Playing games is a great way to spend a night during the weekend and is often overlooked by people that typically do other things. Scott and I recently spent a Friday night playing a notoriously difficult platformer called Spelunky together. The amount of entertainment we got out of the experience both brought us together and gave us a great start to the weekend. I could go on about other games that I have spent hours playing with other people, but I think you understand how games can be great to make friends through.
DePaul has a large community of gamers, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the largest student organization on campus is DeFRAG (Check em out: http://defrag.depaul.edu/ ). The DeFRAG meetings are a perfect place to meet people and learn to play new games at the same time. It is open to everyone, even if you’ve never played any games before. Plenty of people would be willing to teach new games to you and help you out while you play them. If you haven’t played many games before I suggest going to at least one of these meetings or to someone you know to play a game, any game. You might find that you have been missing out on a completely unique experience.
The two main points I am trying to make with this blog are… First, to offer people a way to meet new friends and have fun. Second, to encourage people that don’t consider themselves to be gamers to branch out and play a few games. Both gaming and starting your college career are things that start out uncertain and rough. However, after some time has passed and you receive guidance, it evens out and becomes easier to do and to enjoy. With that I will leave you with some table games that run the gambit of complexity but are definitely fun. It is by no means a comprehensive list of awesome games, but it is a list of games that I like. Maybe you’ll find one to your liking!
Tabletop Games that I’m sure you’ll like!
- Left-Center-Right – A simple one die gambling game where one lucky winner takes the pot.
- Cards Against Humanity – Think Apples to Apples, but dirtier. For those that aren’t familiar with Apples to Apples, it is a game where players alternate drawing prompt cards and choosing the card that best matches it. The other players submit the other cards.
- Fluxx – A card game with a simple premise: draw one card and play one card per turn, meet the goal to win. However, there are cards that change the rules and steal victory from the other players. Available in many themes.
- Munchkin – Munchkin is a sort of role-playing lite game that primarily uses cards and does away with much of the complexity and time typically needed for RPGs. It is really fun once you get the hang of the basic rules. Loot the room and stab your friends in the back! (Also has a large variety of themes.)
- RISK – You can take over the world, enough said. More seriously, RISK is a classic strategy game that I like to play a lot (because I win most of the time).
- Betrayal at House on the Hill – A B-rated horror movie in a box! If you like the kind of horror movies that take place in creepy old houses, you’ll probably like this! It is another RPG lite and is one of the most unique games I have played. It has fifty different possible haunts!
- Settlers of Catan – A strategic trade and economy game set on the island of Catan. This one can be a bit more complex for new players, but like any game is more fun once you’ve played it a few times. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for premature terminations of friendships due to playing this game!
…Spencer Albin is a freshman at DePaul studying Computer Game Development. Spencer is also a member of the Office of Student Involvement EDGE Team!