Does the corona crisis actually have a negative impact on a gaming association?
‘Let me answer that question in two parts. If it is purely about gaming, then the situation is quite similar to before the corona crisis. If we look at the social aspect, then we also suffer from the crisis. Our members' focus is on gaming, but we also want to come together as a community. That hasn't really happened in over a year. Still, we consider it a privilege that we were able to migrate so easily to a fully online environment.’
How big is your association?
‘I don't know the exact number, but usually we have about 100 to 120 members. That number often fluctuates a little, but we never really get beyond that. Not even last year. We hold about ten online meetings a month and that is where we meet.’
You are starting something new this month?
‘Indeed. In April, May and June, we are going to run a pilot together with seven other gaming associations of Dutch universities. Delft, Leiden, Rotterdam, Groningen, Wageningen, Eindhoven and Tilburg. This Intercollege Clash (ICC) can be seen as a kind of tournament, in which you can collect points on behalf of your university by winning games. We play all kinds of classic games, such as League of Legends, Counter Strike, Chess and Minecraft. These are simple games that are accessible, so everyone can participate.’
What if the pilot is successful?
‘Then we would like to continue with the tournament in the new academic year. We don't know exactly what that will look like yet, but so far the reactions have been very positive. I suspect that we will continue partly online and partly offline. Keeping the tournaments online makes it a little easier for members to access. The hope is that we can already hold the last meeting of the pilot offline with some kind of ceremony, but for that the measures have to be eased first. In any case, it is good that during the corona crisis the ties between the gaming associations have become much stronger. We work together more and organise as much as we can.’