Geneseo Geeks battle gaming stereotypes

On Friday Sept. 13, the geeks of Geneseo assembled in the College Union Ballroom for the annual Inter-Geek Convention, hosted by the Geneseo Area Gaming Group and Geneseo Anime Club.

Students joined together for a night full of games, fun and “geeking out.”

GAGG President senior Sarah Kruidenier said that the purpose of the night was to give students the opportunity to meet other gamers, find people who share their unique interests and experience new games.

“I actually came to this event my first year here, and that's how I found GAGG,” Kruidenier said.

GAGG offered a variety of events throughout the night, including several role-playing games, a Magic draft, a Nerf gun shooting range and video games such as Rock Band, Super Smash Brothers and League of Legends.

At this event, the Geneseo Anime Club continued its tradition of recreating a “maid café” to serve guests drinks and snacks throughout the evening. Junior Kelsey Machniak and other members of the Anime Club played the role of the “maids” themselves, complete with typical French maid dresses, aprons and stockings.

According to Machniak, actual maid cafés that are popular within anime and manga cartoons inspired the restaurant recreation.

“In an actual maid café, the girls sing and dance,” Machniak said. “We don't take it that far, but since the cafés are an integral part of Japanese culture, we try to stay authentic.”

This year, GAGG and Geneseo Anime Club brought in another huge crowd of gamers ready to mingle and play. Kruidenier said that events like the IGC give the “geek” community a chance to meet people from various backgrounds.

“We have athletes, we have people in theater, we have [people] from all majors: chemistry, English, math. We have a very diverse group here,” Kruidenier said. “I think that helps to combat any negative stereotypes that would discourage people from joining.”

Not only does GAGG dissuade negative personality stereotypes, but it combats sexism and racism as well.

“There is this sexualized vision of women in gaming - and gamers are aware of that - but in a lot of the games we play here it isn't much of a problem,” Kruidenier said. “In board games it doesn't come up as much; in role-playing games you can be whoever you want.”

Kruidenier said that this trend in tolerance isn't just seen in Geneseo's gaming community but in gaming culture as a whole.

“I think there has been a lot more acceptance lately. I'm the second female president that we've had in a row,” she said. Even in recent years, Kruidenier said, there's definitely been a jump in the number of women involved in gaming.

“Coming to GAGG is one of the best experiences I've had in terms of being a woman in a gaming group,” Kruidenier said.