Board Game Club on the rise at UMD

Illustration by: Megan Rowe

Illustration by: Megan Rowe

Dozens of people at a time show up to Board Game Club every Friday night, eager to get a spot and set up their games. Chairs in the conference room are taken up quickly, and the tables are covered with boards. The room is filled with the sound of laughing and instruction manuals. People break up into different spots to play their games.

This was considered a slow day for the Board Game Club.

Matthew Casper, president of Board Game Club, has been going to these meetings since he was a freshman four years ago.

“While I have been at the club the number of members has shot through the roof,” Casper said.

Board Game Club, or University Gaming Society as it is formally called, is a group that meets every week to play new and different games. The club plays a wide spectrum of games, from casual party games to more in-depth strategy games.

“Through the club I have met so many great people and I have made some of my best friends at UMD there,” Casper said.

The games that the members play can vary from week to week. There are some constants such as “Magic the Gathering” or “Betrayal at House on the Hill,” but anyone can bring a new game at any time and people will play it. The group is based around playing new games, but the atmosphere is based on meeting new people.

“My favorite thing about UGS is the people,” Casper said. “A game is only as fun as the people you play it with, and you are always in good company here.”

While it may seem as if the club is popular now, it did not always have such a high turnout.

“When I joined freshman year, there were maybe 20 people in the club,” Casper said. “We have easily 45 to 50 active members, and more that come from time to time.”

Casper said that the main goal of the club is to facilitate people interested in gaming, so they can meet and play together.

The atmosphere at the meetings is very casual. Some of the games are meant to be taken seriously, and others are more common party games. A player with any level of experience can easily find a game to play at these meetings. If someone’s only experience with games is Monopoly, they can still find something to play at the club.

Jack Hauser has been going since he saw the club at the activity fair, and of all the clubs he signed up for, this is the only one he still goes to.

“There are certain games that are easier for new people, and there are some games that take four hours to play,” Hauser said.

While the meetings on Friday evenings are the most well-attended for the club, it is not the only time they meet. Some members meet on other days of the week to play role-playing games, such as “Dungeons and Dragons.”

“It’s something relaxing to do, and it’s nice to be social,” Hauser said. “It doesn’t feel like a second class like a lot of clubs.”

Casper said he hopes to see the club keep growing, and for people to give it a try next semester. The club meets every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. in KSC 355.

Culture Kevin Fischer