Game on

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It’s 2 a.m., and a dozen people sit on couches around a coffee table in a darkened room. A young man called Narrator, dressed all in black, walks among them carrying a flashlight and handing out cards. Each person takes a quick look at his or her card and hides it from view. Then Narrator sets the scene.

“The town of ‘Gamer Den’ has fallen upon hard times. Every night werewolves ravage the town, killing innocent people. The townspeople must figure out who among them is a werewolf and execute them before the wolves kill all the townspeople. Another dreadful night is falling. Townspeople, go to sleep.”

They close their eyes and rhythmic clapping begins.

“Werewolves, wake up ….”

No, the scene above is not an occult ritual and nobody will be hurt. It’s a group of college students playing the social game, “Are You A Werewolf?” at a gaming convention called DenCon 2014, and most of them have been playing since 9 a.m.

DenCon 2014 was the fourth annual convention sponsored by the Denison Gaming Guild. Held in Burton Morgan Center last month, DenCon featured a video game arena, a board game library, Artist’s Alley, game vendors’ demo room, several tournaments, and seven game rooms. Events included a campus Easter egg hunt and a movie trivia game show.

This year’s DenCon also provided the perfect time and venue for an event called Super Smash Bros. Melee for Charity. Inspired by the popularity of the classic video game in the residence halls, Max Kelly ’16, vice president of the student volunteer organization Homelessness and Hunger, came up with the idea to charge $5 each for competitors, with proceeds benefiting a charity of the winner’s choosing. Tournament champion, Daniel Fiorentini ’15, selected YES Clubhouse to receive $200. Fiorentini also took home a Chipotle gift card for his efforts.

Attendance at the gaming convention has increased by more than 30 percent since its 2011 inception, when Mike Maloney ’11 (known to Gaming Guild members as “Game Pa”) kicked off the first DenCon. Maloney is just one of several alumni who return for DenCon each year, and many other alumni attend the Gaming Guild’s Alumni Nights throughout the year.

The Denison Gaming Guild meets every Saturday at 7 p.m. in Burton Morgan’s Knobel Hall to play cards, board games, and social games—often through the night. “Sometimes gaming goes until 3 or 4 in the morning, and then everyone goes out for breakfast at Tee Jaye’s,” said DenCon staff member, Anna Rumbough ’16.

Werewolves and average citizens meeting up over eggs and coffee.What’s not to like?

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