Games, laughter, support at Maverick Lounge tables

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By Chase Winter, Contributor

Walking through the Maverick Lounge in the Milo Bail Student Center, students are guaranteed to see at least three things: students sleeping, students studying and “the table.”

At eight tables,known as “the table” by those who gather there, friends play Magic the Gathering, League of Legends and numerous other card and video games. Joe Adam and Patrick Noyes find themselves in the lounge almost daily, partaking in the cards and conversation.

“I didn’t start coming until a year ago,” Adam said. “I came through on walking tours and never really wanted anything to do with it.”

When asked what eventually brought him to the group, Adam said he saw groups playing Magic the Gathering, a card game, and he became an active participant in the games. Noyes, a freshman who has played “Magic” competitively for three years, said he discovered the group through Adam’s younger brother.

Five tables over from Adam and Noyes sat Stephanie Blackmore, also known as “Mama Steph” to those at “the table.” Blackmore, aUNO alum, is credited as one of the founding members of the group, along with her fiancé whom she met in the group.

Blackmore said the group began as a way to “share likes and play card games.”
As time went on, the group began to grow and the group interests spread to table-top role-playing games and TV series such as

“Dr. Who” and “Sherlock.”
“We started with one table, and now we have about 60 people up here a day,” Blackmore said. “It gets pretty loud up here.”
Blackmore also said the group serves as a means to build social skills and stop bullying among members.
“If you consider yourself a nerd, geek or outcast, you’ll find people here with similar interests and [who] have been through the same things,” Blackmore said.
As students visit the tables, those who don’t play games sit and do homework or make conversation.
“No topic is off limits; you can even come if you want advice,” Blackmore said. “If you’re willing to grow, you’re welcome here.”

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