Ready Player None(?)

Alex Serrano


For most of us it began on Wednesday, the twenty-eighth of September, at a seemingly routine senate meeting. Called to the attention of the senate leaders was a complaint about the current state of the SMCC Game Club. You know, the one that pretty much gives the noisy lounge it’s name. Well, this singular complaint quickly snowballed into a call for action, followed by a McCarthy-esque line of questioning.

Questions like – Who’s to blame? What caused this schism? Is there bullying involved? When does Half Life Three come out?

While many of these questioned went unanswered, the Senate agreed to look into the codes of conduct for Game Club and the Senate, to see if there was any sort of comeuppance for Game Club’s perceived slights against the populace. Meanwhile, a select few, including your humble Beacon Managing Editor, decided the best course of action was an investigation. It’s mission: Uncover any or all corruption within the Gaming Club.

Currently, it would seem that there are two factions in this Bolshevik-ian uprising. One is the original Game Club. Last year many of you may remember the raucous, helter-skelter gamut of games and gamers playing in the noisy lounge. Lines of tables packed with land-grabbing Magic The Gathering matches, fitful bouts of Street Fighter, and rave-blitzes of Rockband, all played with an upright zeal.

Unfortunately, the once effervescent Game Club has seen quite a downscale in attendance. A mere sixteen were reported as attending the night of the twenty-eighth. But the attendance was not the most bothersome bit: there was almost no gaming outside of five or more monitors dedicated to Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U.

Evan Billington, president and current student representative for Gaming Club, was not in attendance at the usual Senate meeting. Otherwise, an investigation would have very likely been deemed unnecessary.

In an on-the-record interview, he openly stated that most of the equipment being used was personal equipment brought to the lounge with the express purpose of playing Super Smash Bros. in weekly tournaments. These tournaments, known as “Smash By The Sea,” have been attracting many off-campus players interested in playing on a harsh, competitive level. Billington was very clear in saying that no money had been spent to get the extra equipment, nor had been spent at all, for he has not been up to task as club representative.

The complaint in question was leveled towards this faction, the “Smash Bros.” if you will. However, there is another side to the story, across the street in the Surfsite lobby. Here we can find a small but plucky group of nerds standing up for their right to play games, and looking around, it is easy to draw comparisons to the slightly more bloody June Rebellion (portrayed by Victor Hugo in Les Misérables). Like a modern day Cafe ABC, our Enjolras is played in this bizarre metaphor by Samuel Dalot, leader of the revolution. According to him and the others in the lobby of malcontent, the Game Club atmosphere had turned from fun, group gaming into a competitive and caustic space.

According to Evan Billington, most of the splinter group’s complaints are unfounded. Apparently most of this all started with a disagreement over whether or not the Game Club would host a big Rock Band game. Those against said that it is a loud and disruptive game for *insert gendered slur*, and those for, the Lobby Protesters, fought online via the Facebook “SMCC Gaming CLUB” page.

Even though a poll was taken, and Rock Band won by quite a few votes, Billington insinuates that no further action had been taken to secure Rock Band’s place on the Game Club roster.

As of this time, neither concessions nor peace talks been negotiated. It should also be noted that despite Billington’s continued absence from Student Senate, the Senate has pursued the issue no further.