Huddled around a small table, six players scrunch their foreheads in concentration and bite their lips in anticipation. A second later, they fling their arms in the air, filling the room with cheers and expletives. The game is over.

The pattern of tension and release – or laughs and swears – that comes with playing a board game was on full display at the first meeting for the Northeastern University Association of Gaming Enthusiasts (NUAGE).

NUAGE has been an official Northeastern student organization since 2015 and is a haven for board game enthusiasts. The club supplies players with a sizable collection of games, though members are encouraged to bring their own.

The Welcome Week event, which took place on September 9 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Curry Student Center, was a massive success for the student-run organization. Even after appearing at the Northeastern Activity Fair this fall, many of the NUAGE organizers were surprised at the 150 people that turned up for the first meeting.

“Last year, only about ten to fifteen people came every week. We only ordered eight pizzas, expecting this year to be similar, so we were pretty surprised,” said Taylor Duckworth, a member and organizer of NUAGE.

Although the first meeting was light on pizza, players still enjoyed themselves. Many people came with friends while others used the opportunity to play and bond with strangers. NUAGE creates a space where swearing at or high-fiving a complete stranger is totally acceptable.

However, the best part of NUAGE is that members end up running the club just as much as the organizers. Players who are new to a game one week end up teaching others how to play that same game the next week. By allowing players to take the reins, NUAGE hopes to spread the tabletop bug.

NUAGE meets every Friday in 201 Forsyth Building, starting at 7 p.m. For more information click here.

Photo credits: NUAGE via Facebook.