Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Gamers unite for fun

Pu Ying Huang

Mathew Vogel plays against Chris Henao in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom on console number 1 at Caffe Medici Saturday afternoon. Longhorn Gamers hosted a video game tournament open to members and non-members where proceeds made went to the Japanese Tsunami Relief Fund.

With summer quickly approaching, many video game enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting the new gaming releases and announcements that often come with the heat wave. As gamers wait for summer titles to hit the shelves, student organizations are offering platforms for gamers to keep busy in the meantime, from fighting hoards of zombies to scorching their opponents with a Charizard card.

Longhorn Gaymers, an LGBTQ-based gaming organization, was founded in fall of 2010 by Asian cultures and languages senior Brian Davis. Although LGBTQ gamers may seem like it might be narrow demographic, with a count of 88 members in its Facebook group, Longhorn Gaymers provides a surprisingly active meeting place for students of any sexual orientation — whether they’re into saving the princess or more interested in leveling up with the overall-clad Italian plumber.

“The organization is basically a safe place for people of LGBTQ orientation to have fun and play games in an environment that’s extremely warm and friendly,” said Daniel Jenkins, journalism sophomore and vice president of Longhorn Gaymers. “During a typical meeting we play games, make announcements about future plans and pretty much just give the students some time to unwind, which is something we all definitely need.”

Longhorn Gaymers recently hosted a fighting game tournament at Caffé Medici Espresso & Coffee House, and all the proceeds went to the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. Throughout the semester, Longhorn Gaymers holds various themed meetings (such as “Horror Night,” focusing on survival horror games) along with special events and tournaments.

“Brian [Davis] founded the club to help with his own coming out process,” Jenkins said. “He wasn’t a ‘stereotypical gay guy,’ he was more reserved and not very outspoken, and to these people, is who we want to open the club up to.” While Longhorn Gaymers was founded as a safe place for LGBTQ gamers to hang out, students of all sexual orientations and gender identities are welcome to attend, as long as they share a love of gaming and respect the LGBTQ principals from which the organization was founded.

If you’re interested in a club focused on a specific game rather than a free-for-all, Pokemon Club might be the place for you to catch ’em all with a kick of nostalgia. Founded in fall 2010 by radio-television-film senior Lee Caffee, Pokemon Club focuses on everything from the old Game Boy games to the more recent additions to the series.

“Once a year we hold a Pokémon Stadium tournament and Pokémon Snap tournament, and we’re currently watching every episode from the first season as well as every movie,” Caffee said.

Pokemon Club is also involved with the Intercollegiate Pokemon League (started in 2010 at Pennsylvania State), in which they battle other schools and universities competitively through the card game.

However, not all gaming organizations require a controller — if tabletop role playing games are more your style, you can roll your dice with Delta n Delta, a Dungeons & Dragons organization at UT.

“The club was originally founded to help people who play DnD (or any role-playing game) find other people to play with,” said Andrew Bieber, electrical engineering senior and president of the club. “A lot of people have groups in high school and when they come off to college, they lose contact with those groups but still want to play. When they come to the meetings they get to meet with a bunch of other players and hopefully find someone to play with.”

According to Bieber, many of the people who come to the meetings have never played the game before, and the organization is happy to help teach newcomers the ropes.

“Our favorite event is the dice draft,” Bieber said. “We try to hold one or two of those every semester. We buy a few hundred dice, put them into a bunch of giant piles and people take turns pulling out what they want to complete their set.”

Although many may associate tabletop games with the cliche of basement dwellers, the sheer amount of activity and diversity in UT’s gaming community has proven that the hobby is inclusive enough for anyone to get involved. Delta n Delta jokingly claims to offer “no preferential treatment towards basements because that would be unfair towards study lounges and other playing environments.”

Regardless of specific interests or preferred platform, getting your game on at UT has never been easier.

“Our meetings are usually small enough that you can get to know everyone there by name after coming a few times,” Bieber said. “We mostly just like spreading a great game around.”

Printed on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 as: Gamers unite for friendly fun

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Gamers unite for fun