April 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
If you enjoyed reading about last month’s Street Fighter X Tekken tournament run by the Leeds MET Games Society then you’re in for a treat.
This week Project:Gamer Sophie spoke with Christian Harris, founder of the Society, to bring you this exclusive interview.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Well I’m from ‘tother’ side of the Pennines so Lancashire born and bred but I get called ‘Yorkshire Man’ when I’m out and about in Oldham. Unfortunately I’m in my last year at University but I have had the best three years of my life in Leeds and despite being a mature student I’ve definitely matured as a person.
When did you start games society and why?
The society was formed in 2010. After sitting in a five year course overview where first, second and third years were invited and only five people actually attended, I decided to try and bring all the years together by putting together the society. Whilst in the meeting there were two third years who had never spoken to each other in their whole three years at university. I myself thought this was kind of weird so this also influenced my decision. Back in 2010 we started with 18 members which were basically the games design group I was in but now I can say we have over 200 people and we have come a hell of a long way since then.
What does the society offer for its members?
On our Facebook page we wrote ‘Play Games, Make Friends, Drink, Basically have fun!’ and we have stuck to that. Fortnightly tournaments where players have the chance to win copies of new games (this is very popular) but we also do quizzes, nights out and nights in. We try to always have a video game theme with these.
Do you have any upcoming events?
As the university year is drawing to an end we are trying to push through as many tournaments and events as possible. We are currently promoting FIFA Street Tournament for after Easter and then we have Ghost Recon, Gears of War and a BYOGN (Bring your own game night). Then rounding the year off with paintball…hopefully!
Leeds MET Games Society has been nominated for society of the year, can you tell us about this?
The Union Awards is Leeds Met Students Union’s way of recognising and thanking everyone who gets involved and makes us the great organisation we are. Held at The Carriageworks Theatre, the event celebrates everything from societies to volunteers and sports clubs to student media.
We have not only been nominated for Society of the Year, we have also been in the running for event of the year. We organised an event at the beginning of the year to bring all the societies together for a Games Night. The night attracted over 50 people including staff, full time officers, student media, calm volunteers and society members. Everyone was split into teams and competed in a number of different games. The atmosphere was electric with laughter and cheering as the teams demonstrated a community; each team battled it out to be crowned the winner. In the end it felt like nobody went home a loser as there was something for everyone to laugh at… especially as a few of the boys insisted on doing the vocals for Rockband despite being slightly off key. On a personal level I have been nominated for most outstanding achievement award which was a huge surprise to me. I’m proud just to be nominated. But if I could sacrifice not winning that and winning Society of the Year I’d do it in a heartbeat.
What are your plans for Games Society after you graduate from Leeds MET?
I’ve got mixed feelings really, I don’t want to see it just disappearing like a lot of other societies especially after working so hard to get links with Ubisoft and PopCap but I also don’t want to pass it on to people who aren’t as dedicated as the current committee. There’s a little part of me that wants to carry on and just ask people to become event organisers and promoters. With only being 40 minutes away I’m more than willing to drive up on nights and help out. Hopefully by winning an award it will attract someone as dedicated who will take full reigns.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
I just hope in 10 years time I can look back and say I founded that society, and that in the future it becomes even more successful than it already is.
Interview conducted by Sophie Beaumont who also holds copyright for the photograph featured in this article.