AlphaTwo posted in on September 18th, 2006
In many ways, UWGamers owes its existence to Universityâ€™s wonderful co-op program. It was the Summer term of 2005, and a bored co-op student by the name of Harold Li was browsing through the Federation of Studentsâ€™ website, randomly scanning through information and links (all during break time, of course). While scanning through the list of active clubs on campus, he noticed that there was a distinct lack of clubs that would interest him. But one club caught his eye. UWGamers. The page was lacking, but there was an e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. He thought to himself; let’s see what that’s all about.
Two Weeks. Nothing.
At that point, he figured they were too busy, so he looked at other possibilities. In a lucky Google search, he stumbled upon a proposed Ludology (A study in video games) Club for the University. (Constitution Here (no longer online, cached on google search)). It seemed interesting enough, and at least there was actual content he could look at. He contacted Ian Bailey, the contact listed for the website. Unfortunately, he had just graduated that term, and was no longer involved in developing such a club.
Two potential clubs. Both dead in the water.
There had to be interest in such a club. It was absurd that no one wanted one. This is where the UWGamers you know and love today was born.
By the beginning of June 2005, Harold was heavily involved in the pre-planning stages, such as mapping out potential roles the club can take. Through many e-mails exchanged between him and Rick Theis, the Clubs Director at that point, many specifics of the club operation was created, such as advertising, club promotion and procedures in running a club. The initial constitution draft, ver. 0.1, heavily sampled other club constitutions (most notably the aforementioned Ludology Club and Ctrl-A, which was literally the only club that had a decent looking club constitution), also defined many existing features of the club today, such as the club mandate on mission. By early September, the unofficial club managed to gain approval to operate for Fall 2005 despite the lack of approval from the Federation of Students. It had gained the minimum required number of members to start and operate a club, and the old UWGamers was officially declared dead.
As an aside, careful uses of Google and Yahoo search yields the only remaining traces of the old UWGamers found here. Some of the content may be not safe for work, and contains lots of nonsensical babble. Here is a brief summary of what happened.
08-11-2003 – Initial Proposal for a Capcom fighting Game Club on campus by an avid group of Capcom Arcade fans.
09-10-2003 – Went ahead with submission, initially as a “scheme” to get Federation of Students to pay for them playing fighting games.
01-22-2004 – A message was left, by what is assumed to be the president of the club at the time, “hey if you waterloo guys still want to use the fed’s funding to organize tournaments or whatever this term, email me at email@example.com.”
03-15-2004 – “holy… there’s a lot of ppl emailing me about the UWgamers club. wtf. i have to do real club president work and answer this s*** now. g**. i just want my 50 bux!”
03-15-2004 – “WTF? Do they know it’s just fighting games? Or do they think we play Yahtzee and s***?”
03-15-2004 – Reply – “some guy is saying he’s got a ps2 and xbox and likes to play games. sure. some other guys emailed me about magic cards. hahah. well, if they wanna pay 5 bux membership to play magic cards that’s fine with me. there’re also some ppl who aren’t from UW. i’m thinking i can jack them for more money and say it’s cuz of “FED regulations, sorry” hahahaha…
President, Founder, Janitor.”
03-15-2004 – Reply – “But what’s your responsibility to all these people? Do you have to arrange “playtimes” for them? Are they entitled to some of the funding? What do THEY get for joining?
hahah.. i have no idea what this club is for. i just wanted to get 50 bux so i could play at the cove all night. this is all stuff that i never expected. but then again, what was i thinking? it’s waterloo. it’s full of geeks and nerds.
so this club is basically for me to get school sponsored marvel… and for the enjoyment of the sportsmanship and comradery of video game players of waterloo. holla.”
At that time, no one was aware of these facts, and it was assumed that the club fell under because of lack of promotion around campus. In retrospect, it was easy to see the mismanagement was the downfall of the old club. It was something never to be repeated again.
Fall 2005 – This is not what we expected
The first ever official club meeting was held at SLC 2133 between the seven people who signed up as members on the Federation of Student application forms. Ideas were suggested as to what the club offers to the University community, as well as event planning, club promotion and membership structure. While the club still did not have the Federation of Studentâ€™s official blessing, Rick Theis, then the Clubs director, has assured us that our application documents were in good shape and would grant us special permission to setup on Clubs Day to advertise. During that first meeting, initial club size projection ranged from 50 to 100 members. Boy were we wrong…
September 15th, Clubs Day. With an LCD screen, a Gamecube, Bongo controllers, a large tub of coffee and two signup sheets, Darin and Harold kicked off what would turn out to be an incredible successful day. By 10:30, over 50 people had expressed interest in the club, signing up for the mailing list and club membership (the fact that we had decided no to charge at that point also helped). At the end of the two day signup blitz, the club had accumulated 200+ members.
During the initial signup phase, we had asked two simple questions: a) Would you be interested in a Console Tournament, and b) Would you be interested in a LAN tournament. Since the results came back positive (with 95% yes on both), the club decided to run one of each: A Halo 2 Tournament around midway through the term, and a LAN Event held past the last day of class.
The results were disappointing. Less than Less than 20 turned out for the Halo 2 tournament (12 more showed up for the side â€œall shootersâ€ tournament), and the LAN was so unsuccessful in terms of getting signups, the club was forced to cancel it and run a general gaming event in itâ€™s place (although completing a full game of Zelda: Four Swords on the big screen at the SLC is a feat that have yet to be matched).
Some good did come out of it all: The general bi-weekly gaming meet-up, also known as â€œGame Onâ€, was established in this turbulent time. The club also had an Xbox 360 debut event thanks to Omar, who was kind enough to share the system for the night. The term also allowed its founding members enough time to find a suitable replacement for running the club, who eventually led the club in creating its perennial event.
More Coming soon…