The Daily Gamecock

USC's Carolina Gamers Club offers a social hub on campus to unwind with friends

The Carolina Gamers Club at USC looks to foster connections within the gaming community on campus and introduce members to games they've never played before.

Second-year operations and supply chain student Dylan Klingensmith, the president of Carolina Gamers Club, said the club meets every Friday night to play a variety of games and socialize.

"In our name, we game," Klingensmith said. "It's basically the premise of the whole club."

Third-year computer science student Jordan duBarry, the club's vice president, said the club was started around 2017 to provide a space for students who enjoy playing games to de-stress from their classes.

Members of the club communicate and build their community by using the messaging platform known as Discord, Klingensmith said.

 "(It's) like texting, but on a much larger scale," Klingensmith said. "It's easiest for us because we have — at least, in the Discord — we have so many members. I think the tally is at 600 something." 

Klingensmith said members can bring their own games to play during club meetings, but most of them tend to include multiplayer features so that several members can play together.

The club plays a wide range of games, duBarry said, including online games, card games and board games. Some of the most popular and accessible games that are played during meetings include the Jackbox Party Packs, Magic, Trivial Pursuit and Therapy

Third-year biological sciences student Brooke Lawson, the club's secretary and treasurer, said members vote on the games they want to play once a week by way of a dedicated Discord chatroom.

Every two weeks, the games played at meetings are themed based on different genres, Lawson said. Past themes have included fighting games, party games and rhythm games.

The Carolina Gamers Club also collaborates with other game-related clubs across campus several times a semester, Lawson said. These clubs include the Tabletop Gaming Club, the Pokémon Trainers Association and the Nippon Anime Society of Heavenly Imagery

Last Thanksgiving, Carolina Gamers Club met up with these three clubs for a potluck event in which members played games and watched a movie. Lawson said events such as these help to foster a sense of community between the gaming clubs on campus.

"A lot of us in these clubs have similar interests," Lawson said. "So it's a fun way to connect with others as well and have fun."

Lawson said the Carolina Gamers Club receives a number of new members from the collaborative events it organizes with other clubs.

The College of Engineering and Computing also hosts its own organization fair, Big Wednesday, at the start of each academic school year, where the Carolina Gamers Club sets up its own table to inform students about the club and persuade them to join, Lawson said.

Along with having regular meetings and collaborations with other organizations, the Carolina Gamers Club aims to hold special, game-related events a few times a semester. Last year, it rented out an AMC theater to watch the Five Nights at Freddy's movie, Lawson said.

The club provides a communal atmosphere for its members, who can use it to relax and practice their hobbies outside of academics, duBarry said.

"It's nice to have the time at the end of the week to meet up with people, just play games for a few hours and de-stress like that," duBarry said. "That's what we've heard from a lot of our members."

The Carolina Gamers Club meets at 300 Main St., next to the Swearingen Engineering Center, every Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.