UWT’s Smash Bros/Nintendo Switch club hopes to bridge the divide between students of different backgrounds through a shared interest in video games.
UWT’s “Smash Bros/Nintendo Switch Club” is a well-established RSO at the university. The club takes place every Friday at 1 pm in the Dawg House in Mattress Factory and lasts roughly two hours. The focus is playing the popular Super Smash Bros. game, but there are other games that they play on occasion. Vice-President Sean Jahner joined the club over two years ago when he was a sophomore. As VP, he helps out with event planning and decision making for the club.
“I happened to be walking by a flyer and saw the club posting,” said Sean. “It seemed interesting and a cool chance to meet new people. I also really liked gaming as well, so it was a win-win for me.”
In general, gaming is typically viewed as a male dominated sport. However, female gamers have always been around and are starting to see more mainstream representation. Currently, the Smash Bros club is a male-dominated club with few to zero women involved.
“There aren’t really any girls who attend our meetings,” said Sean. “However, they are always welcome!”
“One thing, however, that we really pride ourselves on is the fact that we are really open to individuals of all backgrounds,” said Sean. “We welcome anyone who stops by, even people who have never played games or just want to hang out. It might seem foreign at first but almost immediately they get the hang of it.”
There is also a stigma attached to gaming that it is strictly for the socially awkward and introverts. Sean mentioned that like-minded people like him, who play games, are trying to change this stigma.
“I think that video games are very good at helping introverted people meet others,” said Sean. “It’s a stigma that the gaming industry has had for sure and can have some truth to it. I like to think that we are always trying to bridge this gap and market ourselves as a friendly environment where anyone can hang out and talk to strangers. You could be playing a game and think, ‘Ah! This sucks!’ But having another person there with you makes it better. To me this is what gaming is all about. Socialization is the key.”
Currently, the club has hosted several gaming competitions with other gaming clubs like the Smash Bros club at the UW Bothell campus. They compete with each other in teams and can win prizes.
“It’s really fun! We broaden our community and meet other like-minded gamers while having a good time. These are always fun to look forward to,” said Sean. “Smash Bros. is such a childhood game for so many. It reaches people from other countries around the world and is still a favorite game for many. People grew up playing this game in the 90s. I think if UWT students gave it a shot, they’d be just as invested as we are!”
The UWT Smash Bros/Nintendo club is looking forward to the new year and hopes that they can reach a wider audience with more promotion and gaming events on and off campus. They just held a gaming tournament at the last meeting where members of the club competed with other gamers who play Smash Bros. They will also hold a Mario Kart tournament next week during their meeting where they will announce the winner and give them a small prize. For more info regarding the Smash Bros/Nintendo club please contact their President Ryan Woo through discord: https://discord.gg/cGPMcbYTjA