I attended the Geeks on Ice campus gaming event on Friday, September 16, 2022. My boyfriend tagged along with me and we were able to walk around and see different clubs within the League of Geeks. When we walked in, I waved hi to JS and we made our way toward the board games. We looked at some of the options for a little bit. This was nice because I saw both games I was familiar with and some I had never heard of before. My boyfriend and I arrived at the very beginning of the event so there were not many people there yet to start up a board game yet. We sat down at a table with Code Names and a game called Letter Jam which I had never heard of before.
Letter Jam was an interesting game. Unfortunately, we did not make it all the way through. I was drawn to this game by the design of the packaging. I thought the strawberry was clever because it was talking about jam. The game reminded me of Wordle through The New York Times. It took a long time to set up the game. The setup was more complicated than I anticipated. I felt like the instructions were slightly complex and confusing. Although, It is possible that my brain was just tired at the end of the week.
We did not end up playing Letter Jam. I found the setup got to be confusing. Then, my boyfriend and I walked to the floor above to check out other areas of the event. We walked through the lounge with the Super Smash Bros playing and other computer games as well. We made our way toward the virtual reality area where someone was all set up to play Beat Saber. Only one headset was charged enough to be used. So my boyfriend and I sat and waited for a bit observing the process. He thought it would be funny to watch me, but he never got a chance. We were waiting for a while and decided to go check out other areas of the event again.
We made our way back through the lounge where all the games were being played. This time I saw a group playing mario kart on the Nintendo Switch. I like Mario Kart but I have only played on switch maybe once. Every other time I have played Mario Kart it has been on the Wii. I think next time I may take my chance at virtual reality or Nintendo Switch Mario Kart, but that did not happen this time.
When leaving the lounge, a group of five people was just setting up the game Mysterium and I got excited. Only a few individuals in the group had played Mysterium before. The person who played the role of Ghost had the most experience with the game. It was interesting playing with a mix of experience levels with the game. It took some time to explain how to play but it also helped that the more experienced individuals were able to help the process. This reminded me of some of the leadership styles and aspects we touched on during class the other week. We talked about leading by example, thinking politically (which was thinking of all the options and outcomes) and a lot more. I saw different styles of playing games and leadership come out.
I was also intrigued by how the individual, who had played before with their family, had different intricacies with playing the game that came out as we went along. This made it interesting as I had to adjust my game play slightly from what I had experienced in class. We ended up making it through to the last stage with only one “hour” left on the clock. Then, we all displayed our individual collections of the person, room, and weapon. The clues given were mostly supporting one card out of the three. This was an interesting strategy that I do not think I particularly enjoyed. I think only one out of six of us actually matched what the ghost had chosen as the final culprit, location, and weapon of choice.
I liked seeing people’s reactions as we made it through the game. How people reacted at the actual outcome and final result was intriguing. The ghost also noted that they had used all of their crows before the final round and that two of them had been used to get better cards for one person in particular. This made me think about the dynamic of having a group of five friends playing with two people they had never met before. It was probably an interesting dynamic from their experience as well. I think this observation and the note about the crows influenced how I saw the end result of the game. I thought there may have been some choices that were made that would have been different if someone else was the ghost. This would most likely be because of differences in experience, personality, and leadership style. Playing in this setting and with this dynamic of individuals really made me want to try a go at being the ghost in the future.
We set up the game to play again and another individual joined. This was intriguing because they stated they had played before, even if it was a while ago. However, I found that they asked more questions than the players who had only played for the first time that day. This new individual also had a more assertive personality. This added a whole new layer to the game but also made it slightly more complicated. It is quite possible I viewed it as more complicated because I am a fan of cooperation and sharing different ideas. While this assertive personality may have been helpful in some decisions that needed to be made. It was also frustrating because we had to explain the rules and re-explain them after this individual was trying to help make decisions as to people or places that would be selected. This made the second game start out with a very interesting point of view.
We did not end up finishing the second game of Mysterium. The group we were playing with wanted to go ice skating so we cleaned up. My boyfriend and I walked through the areas once again and passed by several groups down on the second floor playing board games. Seeing a variety of groups playing different games was wonderful. I had not expected a lot of people to be at the event. But I felt like the turn out was pretty impressive for what I was expecting. My boyfriend and I did not stay too long after that because it was getting late and I had another event I had to help facilitate within my Residence Hall. We did pass JS on the way out again. They were bringing in SDS Pizza when we crossed paths again. This would have been wonderful, but I also appreciated the ability to recognize that we were done for the night and would not have had a good time if we tried to stay much longer.
The biggest highlight of the event was the community. It was a very cordial group that was both inviting and welcoming. I feel like more students should branch out and go to League of Geeks events as well. There were a lot of options to participate and get involved while at the event. Therefore, it was easy to get involved and find something at lest somewhat interesting. I would definitely recommend this event to other students. It felt like a wonderful way to build community and create great memories with friends. I felt like the community was kind, respectful, and welcoming on all accounts and interactions that I had.
One thing I would have done differently if I went again, I would have brought along more friends to play games with. I think this would have made my personal experience better. I felt like my boyfriend and I were just wondering around for a little while because we did not want to start a game with just two people. I think I also would have worn socks. It was a warm day out and I wore sandals so I was not able to go ice skating once that had opened up. I appreciated ice skating being an opportunity and only wish I had planned ahead more. Maybe I was not anticipating being at the event for such a long time, but I am truly glad I did stay.
If I helped plan the event, I think I would have done the event on a different day than the Art After Dark Miami Activities and Programming (MAP) event. This would be helpful because there was so much advertising for the MAP event that I did not know about the Geeks on Ice event except from word of mouth during out classtime.
Overall, this event was really fun! I will recommend this event to others in the future. I also hope to go to other League of Geeks events in the future, or atleast the Meeples board game nights. I hope other students take the opportunity to experience events like this as they are good experiences and opportunities to see the amazing community that exists on Miami’s Campus.
The images included are the box of Letter Jam because I thought the design was cool. I also included an image of Mysterium mid-game. I would like to note that I am not good at remembering to take selfies and/or other pictures at events, yet I remembered to take these at least.