The mostly male SRU Gamer’s Guild elected its first woman president last semester, and gathered the highest number of members since the club began 10 years ago.
Senior creative writing major, Carrie Mae Hanrahan, 21, joined Gamer’s Guild her sophomore year, and was also the vice president of Urban Gaming Club before being elected for presidency.
Hanrahan said that the most important thing she’s done for Gamer’s Guild is rewriting its constitution, which included modifying the membership rules.
“We’re a group of people who genuinely care about one another,” Hanrahan said. “I don’t make any decisions without contacting the rest of the group and seeing how they feel about what I’m proposing.”
The Gamer’s Guild parliamentarian, junior philosophy major, Darren Baldwin, 21, is in charge of enforcing the club’s rules. He said Hanrahan’s rewrite made his job easier.
“Carrie has been exceptionally good at inviting and welcoming new people,” Baldwin said. “She maintains a very friendly atmosphere.”
She said that being the first woman president caused some issues among the male-dominated guild at first, but said that the female energy is good for the group.
“As competitive as boys get, it’s easier for a girl to come in and diffuse a situation,” Hanrahan said. “They’re less threatened by female presence, and it keeps the guild fun and lighthearted, like it should be.”
The guild meets at 8 p.m. every Wednesday night, and is divided into several stations, where gamers participate in separate tabletop and role-playing games, or sometimes videogames. They also have hosted casino nights, where the club plays poker and Texas Hold’em.
“There’s a very negative stereotype associated with being a gamer,” Hanrahan said. “I wish more people would come and experience the guild for themselves. Even if they try it and don’t like it, it doesn’t hurt to just open people up to new experiences.”
Hanrahan said that membership is at its highest since the club started, with 40 total members, which she attributes to the social aspect of the club that bonds the group together.
“We involve new members just as heavily as we involve the older ones,” Hanrahan said. “Everyone here wears their heart on their sleeve, and we all care about each other.”
Sophomore music major Clifford Smolko, 19, joined Gamer’s Guild last semester after introducing himself to people wearing gaming T-shirts in Boozel. When he introduced himself, he said that they suggested that he come to a meeting, and he’s been a member since.
“People in high school are quick to make fun of gamers,” Smolko said. “The guild unites college students who would otherwise be playing by themselves in their dorms, and brings them together to share their passions. I haven’t had a bad experience.”
They’ve also had events where people brought tabletop and console games, but also have casino nights, where the club plays poker and Texas Hold’em. One of the more popular tabletop games is “Escape: The Curse of the Temple.”
Senior IT major Ryan Legenzoff, 29, described “Escape: The Curse of the Temple” as a mix between “Yahtzee” and “Indiana Jones.”
“Escape’ is like a frantic puzzle,” Legenzoff said. “It’s a combo of storytelling and a race to get out of this temple within ten minutes. It’s pretty intense.”
Hanrahan said that for someone who’s trying to get into gaming, it’s best to go to something like Gamer’s Guild where someone can show them how to play. She also said to come into it with an open mind because the group is comprised of all kinds of different people.
“It’s so important to break down these stereotypes so that people who are interested in the guild aren’t afraid to get involved,” Hanrahan said. “You never know, we might surprise you.”
Check back in next week’s issue to see the final Gamer Girl in our series, competitive gamer and Bungee employee, Bonnie Burton