On February 21th, 2020, I did something I have never done before and something I thought I would never do: attend a video game conference. Under any normal circumstance, I would not have attended. I did not know anyone there and I have no clue how to play video games. However, there was an exception: Ultimate Werewolf. We played Ultimate Werewolf on the first day of class and it was so much fun that I just had to go to RECON to play it again.
Since I did not want to go to RECON alone, I decided to bring my boyfriend with me. He plays more video games than I do and actually had some semblance as to what was happening. We arrived shortly before midnight, pumped to play Ultimate Werewolf. It was his first time playing and since I enjoyed it so much, he figured that he would try his hand at the game too.
This version of Werewolf was much different than what we played in class. This was the “legacy” mode, where instead of Werewolves versus Villagers, it was Werewolves versus Villagers versus the British versus the person who had to guess what team would end up dying (I forgot his character name). Upon receiving my card, I realized that I was the Diseased and had Coronavirus (defined by the Moderator). This meant that if I died, the Werewolves could not kill anyone that night either, since they also had Coronavirus. I was amused to be the Diseased since my role protected my fellow villagers for another night. In a way, my role reminded me of the “medic” but in a more broad way, as they saved the entire village for a night. I was looking forward to learning the dynamic of the group and becoming more involved as the game continued, but unfortunately, I was killed on the first night. I ended up being okay with this since my boyfriend was still in the game and I could watch him try to live until the last possible second. Surprisingly, he made it nearly to the end and his team, the Brits, were the victors of the game.
The Legacy version of this game was quite interesting and very bloody. It seemed like as someone died, they were able to also kill another person or two along with them. For example, everytime one of the Brits died, they had to take out someone to either their left or their right in addition to them. There was also the unique role of the Leprechaun who had the power to shift the wolves’ target either one to the left or the right. As I watched, I saw that the Leprechaun saved a few people on the Villager team a few times. I also saw how my boyfriend was supposed to be killed twice, but because of the Leprechaun, he made it out alive.
This version of Ultimate Werewolf was less fun than the way we played in class on Week 1. Part of that has to do with the fact that no one knew anyone during Week 1, whereas everyone playing at RECON seemed to know each other and quite well, too. When I entered the Armstrong Pavilion at around midnight, I was immediately stressed and a bit anxious. Usually, whenever I walk into a room at Miami, I am able to recognize a handful of people and approach them for conversation and guidance. This was not the case with RECON. I only knew myself and my boyfriend, and I tend to get extremely introverted in situations when I do not know people. As a result, I mostly people-watched and did not interact with many individuals. I think I would have had more fun at this event if I knew more people or if everyone was a stranger.
After leaving from Armstrong, my boyfriend made an observation to me. I am a business student and spend most of my time in Farmer, so I know so many people who are involved within the business community. When I walk into a room full of business students, it is not weird, awkward, or stressful because I know a handful of people in each room. However, someone like my biology major boyfriend walks into a room full of business students and is stressed because he does not know anyone or what is going on, so he likes to stand back and people-watch. Me walking into RECON resembled him walking into a gathering with business students. I was simply at an event where I knew no one, so I kept to myself.
Although I only saw about two hours worth of RECON, it looked like it was a blast for people who enjoy gaming. There were screens everywhere and video games of all kinds were being played. I had another friend who ended up going to RECON for a different event and he had a phenomenal time. I would not be surprised if I found myself here again next year to people-watch and try my hand at some non-video games. Had it not been for EDL290, I would have never known that RECON existed and I never would have had a chance to see a gaming event on Miami’s campus. It is a goal of mine to try to attend as many things outside of my scope of interests while I am in school, and this ticked off another thing on the list for me. I will say that I did enjoy RECON more than anticipated and look forward to possibly attending other gaming events on campus.