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Underground Gaming Society gives students place to come together on Friday nights

<p>Every Friday, students come together at the Busch Student Center to play video games as part of the Underground Gaming Society (UGS). Members of the group bring different consoles and games each week.</p>

Every Friday, students come together at the Busch Student Center to play video games as part of the Underground Gaming Society (UGS). Members of the group bring different consoles and games each week.

Every Friday, the Underground Gaming Society (UGS) gathers at the Busch Student Center to play games together as a community. From 8 to 11:30 p.m. in Room 122, students have the opportunity to play their favorite video games with other students who share a passion for gaming.

Robert Dudas, a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences, is the vice president of the UGS. Dudas said that the UGS is a fun club where Rutgers students can bond over video games.

“The Underground Gaming Society is functionally a student-run arcade,” he said. “People bring in a variety of consoles and games for everyone to play.”

Dudas said the UGS is designed so that anyone in the Rutgers community can join. He said he encourages both current students and alumni who are interested in gaming to stop by the Busch Student Center on Fridays to see what the club has to offer.

“The club is open to anyone really,” Dudas said. “We have a nice mix of current students and graduated alumni that stop in. At UGS meetings, there are a bunch of different game consoles brought in for our members to play at their leisure.”

The UGS uses its console-sharing platform to offer a unique experience that students will not find at any other club. He said that the club builds community among gamers at Rutgers by giving students the chance to play games that they might not normally have access to.

“Usually a meeting has anywhere from two to seven consoles with a bunch of games going on with people actively spectating, as well as smaller groups away from the setups having side conversations,” Dudas said.

He said the UGS aims to be inclusive to every skill level of gamer — the club arcade consists of both casual and competitive components for this reason.

“We compete pretty often,” Dudas said. “As a result of a lot of other game-specific clubs cropping up, such as Smash Club or eSports, the UGS has become the de-facto club for the Fighting Game Community. While it’s a general gaming club, a solid majority of our members are active competitors in fighting games such as Guilty Gear Xrd, King of Fighters 14, Blazblue Central Fiction, Street Fighter V and so on.”

He said that not only do gamers in the UGS compete frequently, they also frequently win.

“There are even some members that regularly win tournaments in their respective games,” Dudas said. “In the past, we've held impromptu end-of-the-semester tournaments in whatever game happens to be the most popular that semester. This past fall it was Guilty Gear Xrd, this semester it (looks) like the game will be Blazblue.”

He said that skill is nothing to be concerned about at the club — UGS is not strictly competitive and actually encourages members to promote a relaxed environment.

“The goal of UGS is simply to have a place for Rutgers students to decompress and hang out (while) playing and talking about video games,” he said. “Our club is different because of its generally laid-back attitude. Our room is open to anyone and everyone for the time we're allotted so very often members will simply come and go as they please. We don't hold it against you if you're late, need to leave early, or miss any number of meetings. We're just here to hang out and play games.”

The laid-back environment is one of the many attractive features of the UGS to potential members. Additionally, the club gives Rutgers students access to expensive games and game consoles for free.

Gavin McGee, a junior in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, attends the UGS meetings for Scarlet Smash. McGee said that Scarlet Smash at UGS offers him the opportunity to play his favorite video game with his friends, without having to own the game or the game console.

If any Rutgers students are interested in attending a meeting for the Underground Gaming Society, Dudas said students have one last chance to enjoy the club before the semester ends.

“Sometimes on Fridays, I don’t feel like going out,” McGee said. “So instead of venturing off to a basement show or frat party, I go to the Smash Club on Busch. I don’t personally own the game or any console, so UGS is the only place that gives me the opportunity to play Smash with some friends here at Rutgers.”

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