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New Gamer Organization on Campus

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – There is a new organization on campus that brings students together who are interested in playing and discussing video games!
The adviser for the group is Humanities Professor, Edward Gonzalez-Tennant, and the student who started the group is senior, Andrew Colucci. The interest in video games and lack of a relevant club is what started the group, the large membership is what’s keeping it going.
Gonzalez-Tennant has been involved with the group since its start in the summer of 2013. Because of his interest in video-games, he volunteered to be the adviser for the group. “I generally see video games as a positive thing, and hope that the student club can bring together students who share our same enjoyment of games,” he said.
Gonzalez-Tennant has experience in the field of video games which makes his interest in the organization much deeper than just being an adviser. He said, “Andrew and I share an interest in video games and I actually do research on game engines. This includes using game technologies to virtually reconstruct historic sites, which is sometimes referred to as heritage visualization.” You can see some of his work at the Rosewood Heritage Project website.
Since the organization is not official, there is no current president of the Gamer Club. Colucci started the club so he is currently in charge of the group. In regards to how the club began he said, “This idea for a video game club started this past summer. I was an orientation leader and at every orientation session I met quite a few first year students who were interested in video games. These students expressed an interested in joining some sort of social club on campus organized around (them). With video games being a passion of my own, I decided to help these new students out by organizing this group before I graduate.”

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The gamer organization has expanded exponentially since its creation. Colucci said, “In the beginning of the year, the group started out slow, about eight of my previous orientation students met with me and (helped to start it).  However, as time went on, and more students got involved with (it), we expanded. Starting from eight members, we now number about 70 students.”
Group members meet regularly to play as well as discuss video games and other aspects of what Colucci refers to as “nerd culture”. He also said, “Today we still are not an official club recognized by SGA and student activities, but we are an interest group who meets regularly on campus (about twice a week) to plan little social gatherings about video games. The group is centered on the common interest of video games as well as other things associated with ‘nerd culture.’  We often find an open classroom on campus, bring TV’s, consoles, and laptops, and play video games late into the night.”
As stated previously, the organization is not considered a permanent one yet, so Colucci, along with the other members of the group, are doing all they can to make it officially recognized by the university.
The founder said, “While we are not a club yet, we have created our constitution and will soon elect officers. I am seen as the president…simply because I have organized it up until this point. Soon we will create a roster of names, including officers, members, and advisers, to be submitted to the Student Government Association.”
Colucci was the one to approach Gonzalez-Tennant about becoming the adviser for the gamer organization. Colucci said, “Professor Gonzalez-Tennant has been my thesis adviser and I have traveled with him twice to the Caribbean for Monmouth’s Archaeological Field School. I know him quite well as both a mentor and friend. He shares my love of video games and has wanted a social group like this to form on campus for years. Therefore, when I approached him about becoming the club’s adviser, he was more than happy to accept the position.”
Monmouth senior, Brittany Hardaker, is a new member of this ‘gamer association.’ She is also a Contributing Writer for The Outlook and has also written articles about the new organization. Hardaker said, “I have always had an interest in video games since I was a little girl. I was involved with the MLG (Major League Gamers) for years before I came to college. When I heard about the new group on campus I was intrigued to see what it was all about, especially since they were not considered an official group (yet).”
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Hardaker was interested in joining the club after she interviewed Colucci for her own article. Hardaker said, “I originally just wanted to write an article because of my own personal interest in the video game culture. After my article was finished, I was really impressed with what the group was doing. I was willing to offer my support and membership in order to help (it) become recognized by the SGA.” Hardaker also added, “Even though I am a senior, I am always looking for new and interesting things to get involved with on campus. That is why I decided to become a member…”
If you are interested in joining you can contact either Professor Gonzalez-Tennant or Andrew Colucci. They have made it clear that they need all of the help and membership they can get to become an official group on campus. So game on!