You might be wondering what gaming has to do with a university campus, as it’s generally something you do at home or in residence.
However, that’s not really the case. With the advancement in technology and the growing popularity of board games, gaming has become more mobile and prominent and can really be played anywhere!
Six ways to bring your love of gaming to campus
WLAN and online parties
A WLAN party involves playing a game through a local connection using Wi-Fi. This is what my friends and I did in our first year. We would get together at one of our university residences and play games like Civilization V. This was always the best kind of break from studying (although Civilization V tended to turn into a really long “break”).
Online games on campus are also fun. Playing 1v1 against roommates or forming a team in a league and playing together often goes on for hours and hours. In first year, we had our own Discord channel, and it grew as friends of friends joined. It was a great way to meet people from all across campus who are also into gaming. In our experience, the internet connection in the residence rooms was the fastest connection on campus. The second best was in the Mathematics and Computer building.
Common room get-togethers
Another cool way to enjoy games is to get together in your residence lounges. Throughout the term, there are often video game or board game events going on in the common room, which is another great way to meet like-minded people.
Other days, we went down to gaming rooms (which are just rooms with couches and a TV) with our consoles and plugged them into the large TV. This way, we were able to enjoy split-screen games with our friends.
Like I said before, video gaming isn’t the only type of gaming on campus. There are also lots of opportunities to play tabletop games with your friends. Tabletop includes games such as cards, Dungeons and Dragons, Settlers of Catan, Code Names, and countless others.
I’m personally a big fan of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) and my group plays it every week. It’s a fun way to unwind after a hectic week. We usually book a room on campus and bring snacks to enjoy with our D&D sessions.
If you’re interested in board games but don’t have any, you can generally borrow them from your student societies, such as Environment Student Society (every faculty has a student society). The Turnkey Desk in the Student Life Centre also rents board games, so you can borrow whichever one you’d like to play with your friends.
Check out these other links to feed your passion for fun
Humans vs Zombies (HvZ)
HvZ is essentially a giant game of tag that takes place all over campus. Every term, hundreds of students sign up for it. When people sign up to play, they’re entered into a zombie lottery. A random selection of people are then chosen to start the game as zombies. Their mission is to turn every human into a zombie by tagging them. But, humans aren’t defenseless. They can use foam dart blasters or socks to defend themselves. (Socks are often tied together to create a sock whip, or they’re balled up and used as a projectile.) These are used to temporarily stun zombies so you can make a quick getaway. (Zombies are stunned for 15 minutes, which means they can’t chase humans in that time or relay any information to other zombies.)
Students go to classes as they normally would, and buildings are generally off-limits (safe zones), but outside, anything can happen! This is an incredibly fun game that gets you on your feet and brings gaming to the entire campus.
Samuel Ross, a regular HvZ player, describes it best: “Video games are great and all, but HvZ brings video games to real life. It's like playing a video game where you have to always be on the watch for zombies from any direction and shoot them once you see them in order to survive. Instead of VR, it’s AR. Actual Reality.”
There are multiple gaming clubs on campus that you can join. These clubs include — but are not limited to — the Deception Board Games Club (they play games like Avalon and Battlestar Galactica), the Fighting Game Club (they play all kinds of fighting games, like Tekken and Street Fighter), the Gamers Club (a club for people who like gaming in general), and the Party Games Club (they play games like Jenga and Coup), etc.
These clubs allow you to meet like-minded gamers and play your favourite games.
Also, if you’re looking for something that’s more on the development and discussion side of gaming, you should check out our Game Development Club.
There are various gaming places not too far from campus. There are board game cafés, such as Crossroads and Games on Tap. My friends and I have been to Crossroads multiple times, and we always have a lot of fun. There are tons of different board games you can play, and they also have events going on throughout the week.
There’s also a restaurant with vintage (N64) video games in Uptown Waterloo, known as Patent Social. There you can enjoy games such as Super Smash Bros. on vintage systems with your friends. If you’re looking for retro arcade games, there’s also the Pin Up Arcade Bar in Uptown Waterloo, where you can enjoy classic video games and pinball.
So, there you have it! These are just some of the ways you can play games on (or near) campus. Games offer a great way to relax from a busy schedule and just take a break. I hope this article helped you realize that even after you become a university student, you can keep the game alive.