While we waited for our drinks in Luther’s, Seth explained to me how him and Alfred first got involved with the Video Games Society in Newcastle.
“I went to the first few taster socials last year and really enjoyed it! Me and Alfred actually met on the gaming society last year through the Overwatch e-sports team. We ended up realising that we were on the same course and had somehow never met!”
To my surprise, the gaming section doesn’t just consist of socials and meetups. Alfred took the time to explain to me how the society was split up.
“The society is split up into two sides: the e-sports and the social side. Our e-sports team play League, Overwatch 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant, Counter Strike 2, Rocket League, and, most recently added, Apex Legends. The social stuff involves things like Mario Kart socials, Smash Bros. tournaments and scavenger hunts to name a few. It’s a really positive experience with so many unique opportunities for everyone!”
The three of us had a chat about our favourite games, and I could really see both of their passion for the art form and understood why they were so eager to get involved.
Seth: “My favourite game ever is probably RDR2. The story and the scale are just so incredible. I study Computer Science with Game Engineering, and Rockstar Games are such a fascinating company I’d love to work with.”
Alfred: “I’d say Half Life Alyx. It was the first VR game I played that wasn’t just an arcade game. I’ve played things like Beat Saber and SuperHot VR, but those can’t give you a true story experience like Alyx did for me.”
The society isn’t just limited to socials and e-sports though. There have been multiple fundraising events throughout the year, with all funds raised going to charity.
Seth: “We held a huge event for Children In Need with the Newcastle United Foundation. They have an e-sports room which we used to play games and stream on Twitch for Children in Need, and we managed to raise £150.”
Alfred: “We also hosted a pub quiz in collaboration with SockSoc, who contribute all the funds from their pub quizzes towards charities. The entry fee for that one went to a charity called Special Effects, who make custom controllers for physically disabled people.”
It was incredible to hear how they’ve managed to use their society to work towards so many positive causes, and it stands as an inspiring example of how something like gaming can go towards such great things.
Alfred was keen to mention their Discord server, and explained why he finds it to be such an integral part of the society.
“You can speak to anyone in the society from anywhere, join a voice chat to play competitive games or just casually talk about the games you love. Even though we only meet like once a week, you could say that the society meets every day through the server. It’s part of the reason why I love the society so much!”
Seth also spoke a bit on how he feels the society disproves some common conventional images people hold of the gaming community.
“Basically, a lot of people know gamers are considered stereotypically a bit antisocial. But the society proves that you can bring all sorts of people together, no matter introverted or extroverted they are. It’s cool to see all the range of interests for games all across Newcastle.”
To close off, I asked them why they would recommend someone to join the society, which I feel Alfred answered perfectly to end the interview.
For those who are into gaming, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people who play the same games as them or have an interest in e-sports. But even for those who don’t know much about gaming, I’d still tell them to give it a go, they might really enjoy it. At the end of the day, who doesn’t love Mario Kart?”
Thanks to Seth and Alfred for speaking to me about their society! It was so cool to hear about all the awesome stuff they do, and I’ll definitely be heading to some of the Video Games Society’s socials at some point soon.
Check them out at @newcastlegamesoc on Instagram and join their Discord community. And if you’re interested in joining the society, memberships are available for only £5 off nusu.co.uk for the year!