PDBY interviewed TUKS Gaming Society Chairman, Marco Vermeulen, about how they came to be, what they have on offer and what the future of the society looks like.

How did the TUKS Gaming Society get started and what is it that you offer?

The TUKS Gaming Society (TGS) only started up in 2020. We had a rough start because the annual general meeting couldn’t occur due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we were never officially registered in 2020. This means that we had to casually keep the society alive without help from the university. This year we are registered with the university and have over 160 members. Over the past few years, we have provided a place for gamers to find other gamers to play with in a friendly environment. We hosted and provided opportunities for people to socialise and interact. It was through this that we built a community that we are very thankful for.

Where can we find you?

You can find us on the university’s society page, where people can sign-up. Also, we have posters up around campus and do share links for people to join us. 

Do you strictly only do video games, or do you cater to board games, TTRPG (Tabletop Roleplaying Games) and as such?

Before lockdown, we focused on “Dungeon and Dragons.” We had weekly games where we would get together and play on campus. Since then, we have taken it online. In addition, there are a variety of other games that are played in society Some of these are tournament games such as Mortal Combat and FIFA. We had events for the whole day where people could come together and play these games. We have a discord server where people can meet up and play some casual games together. Since the lockdown restrictions have been lifted. We have started to get together at places like Springbok Bar, where we play games like Settlers of Catan, Magic The Gathering, and Warhammer 40k. 

Are you planning to expand into the e-sport scene with games such as CSGO, Valorant and League of Legends?

Our primary focus, as a society, is to provide a place for people to be social. Casual games provide a better environment for that, since they require less commitment. However, there has been a growing interest in games such as Valorant. We would like to go in that direction, because it is something that the community members want to be a part of. So, we are hoping to facilitate that if the community wants to go in the e-sport direction.

What are the requirements for the e-sport scene to develop and are they already in place?

The first step is to find out what interests people have and where they would like to spend their time. For this, we have put together what we call the TGS council. This  is a place for people to represent the portion of the community they are interested in. As for Valorant, for example, we have a few people who are interested. Then we start by hosting a few casual games so that people can see if they like it. Then we move on to regularly scheduled meetings. If from there, the interest remains, then we can transition into the more serious side with e-sports.Although with the community as active as they can be, I wouldn’t  be surprised if we started by saying that we have a lot of interest from the people. Then we immediately start training for the competitive scene and hop right into it. We are all for supporting that, but it really remains up to the community to decide.

Are there any new things we can look forward to this year or something you would like to achieve in your time as chairmen this year?

My goals for this year would be making sure the society can keep going with its own momentum and with people requesting the games they would like to play. The things to look forward to this year are absolutely everything. We are feeling out what all the members are interested in and seeing where the society grows from there.

 

Photos: Anneke Laaks

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