A Short Story About a Little Gaming Alliance

I’ve been thinking about my years of college and I don’t remember telling anyone about my failed attempt to spread the word of Star Control to other gamers.  It’s nothing spectacular because nothing really happened from it and the club ended before it even had a chance to start, so I guess it can be seen as a tragedy of some kind.

At the start of my second year of classes, I received an e-mail about the many clubs that were available for people to join.  There were many types of clubs, ranging from martial arts, foreign films, anime, music, dancing and last but not least, video games.  There was a club called the “Gaming Alliance” where people could play many types of video games.  This was a few months after Alex Ness first announced wanting to make a new Star Control game with Activision, and UQM 0.6.0 was released with netplay.  I wanted to join the club and show everyone UQM and get people to learn about the melee combat and start playing against different people.  I knew that it would take a while to get used to the combat, but I figured that it’s worth a shot at least.

So, I walked into the Student Center and I told them that I am interesting in joining the Gaming Alliance.  I wrote my name and e-mail address on a long list of potential club members and I was told that this is one of the clubs getting the most attention.  There were over 30 people on that list and I felt nervous about how I would show of UQM to everyone else.  I even made sure I had the 3DO intro and ending videos copied to the UQM folders to help show it off.  There are many retro gamers out there, and I hoped that it would appeal to them as well.

A few weeks later, I received an e-mail from the Student Center saying that they would like to see me because there is something they would like to talk about with me.  The person who deals with setting up these clubs told me that the person who started this club had to stand down as club president because of a personal matter and offered me the spot of club president.  We knew each other because I used to work as tech support at the college and I helped him a few times with computer-related stuff.  I happily accepted the offer, not knowing the responsibilities ahead of me.

As club president, I had to manage the club itself, in addition to my little plan of showing off Star Control.  Unfortunately, my classes continued to get harder and with the midterms getting closer and my need to find a job, I had less time to dedicate to the club.

I got an e-mail from someone who wanted to hold a Counter-Strike tournament, and a girl who wanted to interview me regarding gaming culture.  I even tried scheduling time in the evenings for the meetings.  I want to stick to the philosophy of “any game, any console, any time”.  I had the idea of people just showing off random games and everyone would play as many games as possible and nobody would feel lost in a single game and encourage people to explore other genres.  Because of my busy schedule, I never had the chance to start a single club meeting and I had to go back to the Student Center and tell them that I no longer have time for the club anymore and I had to resign.  They passed the rank of club president to someone else and I don’t know what happened after that.

I still think about it occasionally.  I imagined that I’d make a few people raise their eyebrows at me and I had no plans on concentrating on hardcore gamers.  I love talking about video games and watching videos of them, so I wanted to find a way to encourage people to find a game they like, talk about it and if possible, have other people download it for free and play it.  If the club members did like UQM, I would have mentioned TFB’s desire to make a new Star Control and I’d help them write letters to Alex.  Even though my plan ultimately failed, I’m just glad I tried at least.

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