From tabletop to desktop: the Tabletop Gaming Club goes online

Before the pandemic, the Tabletop Gaming Club (TGC) brought students together to play board games and card games in-person.

Since the campus has been closed, TGC has been forced to move its meetings online but stays committed to keeping its community together with whatever games the club members feel like playing.

“The whole quarantine situation has been a bit of a damper on being able to meet people in-person and that doesn’t change the fact that we can still find ways to connect with each other and still play the games that we want,” Elita Yim, TGC President, said.

Before the pandemic, TGC was a place for people to meet and hang out to play all different kinds of games.

The club room had a diversity of games with some talking about Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) on one side, some playing board games and card games in the middle, and others on another side of the room playing Smash Bros and Mario Kart on their own Nintendo Switches, Dexter Washington, member of TGC, said.

“People would just go around, table-to-table, talking to friends and playing stuff,” Washington said.

However, the pandemic forced the club to go into quarantine with no human contact, forcing students like Washington, who has been homeschooled up until college, to miss out on the college experience.

“That’s the thing I’m most saddened about this year,” Washington said. “I really loved the campus experience because I’ve never had the experience of going to school before for a significant period of time so it was really new to me.”

Despite going virtual, they were able to create two servers through Discord for all new and current members to join in and play games this semester.

The first server consists of club members who want to play casual online games with others such as the Murder Mystery Party, Among Us or Cards Against Humanity. The second server is for the club’s D&D side where they meet every other Saturday to play in a campaign hosted by Yim.

“It’s more of like a platform for people to connect with each other rather than just like forcing people to meet up every time,” Yim said. “Not all of them are always active, but they are there.”

Before COVID-19, Chris Page, full-time English professor and club adviser for TGC, found the club relaxing, and a way to escape the stress of being an instructor.

“I miss going and not having to think about all the emails I have to respond to or all the planning I have to do,” Page said. “I really loved that and I can’t wait to get back to it.”

Until in-person classes resume, members say the online version of the club will suffice.

“Sure it might not be exactly the same as everybody sitting on the table together and writing stuff down on paper, but the moments are still there,” Washington said.