By Nathanael Hawthorne
Every semester, it’s hard to miss students running around campus wielding Nerf guns and shooting them at other students wearing bandanas on their arms or around their heads. This is the Urban Gaming Club’s semesterly Humans vs. Zombies event. While this is the group’s largest event, most students don’t know about the other events the group puts on.
The Urban Gaming Club was formed in 2009 and was made an official student organization in 2013. The group is dedicated to organizing a larger variety of games on YSU’s campus.
While the primary focus is still Humans vs. Zombies, the club has many other events such as Tabletop Nights and escape rooms.
“Tabletop Nights are events where our attendees gather into groups and play a large-scale Dungeons and Dragons campaign,” Timothy McCall, club president and senior computer science major, said. “Tabletop Nights are specifically focused around DnD. For anything else we have board game nights.”
Around 25 people participate in the Tabletop Night activities, while the board game nights pull in roughly 10 to 15 people.
“Besides Humans vs. Zombies, Tabletop Nights are attended the most,” McCall said.
When it comes to the other events, the group started having escape rooms in the spring of 2017. In escape rooms, participants become detectives and try to find clues that lead them to escaping the room within a set period of time.
“SGA asked us to run one for their Halloween event, so we just kept doing them,” McCall said on why the group started doing escape rooms.
“We design all of our puzzles and tasks for the escape rooms, as well as most of our other events,” former YSU student Ciera Flickinger said. “We get inspiration from the internet. Planning them usually takes a few months, however.”
The club typically has just one escape room on campus in the fall semester.
“Usually we hold them in the fall near Halloween. The themes are usually something creepy or horror based,” Flickinger said. “We’ve done creepy carnival themes and things like that.”
Even with several other events the club usually sponsors, they never lost focus on their number one event: Humans vs. Zombies.
Humans vs. Zombies is a weeklong event that the group does every semester. This is the club’s most popular event.
“Participation varies depending on if it is our weeklong event or our invitational,” Kenny Anderson, a senior civil engineering major said. “Usually, our weeklong event is around 60 to 80. I’ve seen invites range from 60 to 100-plus.”
Invitationals are when the group opens the competition to other schools. Many universities attend these invitationals.
“Examples of universities that have come are Bowling Green, Ohio University, Ohio State University and the University of Pittsburgh. People come from around the country,” Anderson said.
Other schools also have invitationals, and the club has been invited to participate in competitions at Ohio University, Bowling Green, Penn State and Groucher College, a school in Baltimore.
Anyone can be a part of the club. The Tabletop Nights happen regularly every week, and Humans vs. Zombies’ weeklong competition starts March 31 and ends April 5. The invitational is the weekend of April 12.
More information can be found by joining the YSU Urban Gaming Club Facebook group. You can follow the club on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at YSUUrbanGaming.