Hundreds of Stony Brook University’s nerdiest students gathered in the Student Activities Center Ballroom to share their love for video games, role-playing games and anime on Friday for the university’s second annual NerdFest.
Students were able to unwind after a week of hard work, share some snacks, play games with friends, or even meet some new faces while enjoying the freedom to express their inner nerd.
“Nerds are a lot more fun than people give them credit for,” Joe Bucci, 19, a biomedical engineering major at Stony Brook, said. “It seems like a fun place to hang out for a couple of hours.”
The Stony Brook Gamer’s Guild brought NerdFest to the campus for the first time last spring. It made such a big impact on the student body that they brought it back this semester.
NerdFest 2.0, as it was called this year, set up a variety of tables to cater to the different levels of interest of all the attendees. Clubs, like SBU Gamer’s Guild and the Animated Perspectives club, set up to advertise what they were all about and even included hands-on activities for students to enjoy. Among the most popular activities were game systems that were set up at three different tables with games like Wario Ware and the Super Smash Bros. series.
Video game stations were accompanied by role-playing games, or RPGs, set up at different tables around the ballroom floors. Groups of 10 students met at these table to show off their skills as masters of mythical worlds.“Eldrich Horror” was among the most popular games of the night. In this game, players created teams to investigate the mysteries of the world and fight off evil creatures.
Jacqui Albin, 20, a junior psychology major, said she attended NerdFest in hope to promote her idea of bringing a new convention to Stony Brook called “WhatCon.”
After I-con, a science fiction convention held on Long Island, stopped coming to Stony Brook, Albin has been pioneering to bring something similar back to the campus.
“WhatCon is short, memorable and east to advertise,” she said. “It’s been brewing in my head ever since I found out that I-Con left the campus.”
Albin has been attending conventions and cosplaying since she was in high school. She said that bringing back a small convention to Stony Brook will help make the campus more lively and fun.
Albin was not the only student at the convention advertising her ideas for fun and creative events on campus. Stony Brook’s Human v.s. Zombies also made an appearance at NerdFest. SBU HvZ is a huge game of tag played every semester by a large group of students who run around campus with Nerf Guns trying to rid the campus of “zombies.”
The game starts out with one infected student who grows the zombie army by tagging students dubbed as “human.” Moderators of the game send out group texts of “missions” that players can join in on throughout the weeklong event.
“A lot of new students are on campus every semester and some don’t know,” Asher Kaufman, 21, a moderator of HvZ and computer science major, said. “Hopefully us being here will help them realize that we’re still here and they should come join and play.”
Cosplay was strongly encouraged this year and some students went all out in preparing their costumes for the event.
This year’s NerdFest may not be the last as president of the Gamer’s Guild, Alice Quiros, said in a Facebook post that the club will be “looking into doing this again next year.”