Convention aims to put focus back on gaming

By Will Wright| @KyKernel

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Students played, promoted and celebrated “Dungeons and Dragons,” “Malifaux,” “Pathfinder” and live action role playing (LARP) at UKON, a gaming convention hosted by the Miskatonic Student Union, on Friday and Saturday at the Student Center.

Many of the games are considered role-playing tabletop games, in which players combine classic board games with improvisational acting. Each player acts as a different character with his own personality and skill set.

Laughter and constant competitive banter could be heard from the different groups of gamers, although attendance was low.

The president of the Miskatonic Student Union, Reuben Fleming, said the event was “dead” compared with previous years.

A total of 33 people attended the event over the course of the weekend.

“People just aren’t gaming anymore,” said Fleming, an international studies and political science senior. “Table-top gaming since the ’80s has been frowned upon in popular culture.”

The club needs more members to survive, Fleming said.

“Here in the Student Center we’d normally have rooms reserved here on campus during the week, but we just don’t have the community.”

A computer science sophomore and the president-elect of the Miskatonic Student Union, Jason Nall, said the group is looking to turn things around next year by hosting events in the Student Center where students can eat pizza and learn what gaming is all about.

“It’s going to be an uphill battle to get it back where it used to be, but we’re ready for it,” Nall said.

“You’re introduced to something that is new and foreign, and I think it’s a lot of fun. We have to be productive in both finding gamers and introducing people to this.”

Nall said these events will take place early next semester.

“We want to give people an unbiased view on gaming, and how it’s been misrepresented in popular culture,” Nall said.

Fleming said tabletop gaming has picked up a reputation of “a bunch of nerds sitting around eating junkfood, and it’s not like that at all.”

“People don’t encounter it a lot. They don’t know about it, and it’s kind of an oddball thing to them,” Nall said.

Gaming is, more than anything, a social function, Fleming said.

“We’re trying to bring gaming back to the university,” Nall said.