CRAGG offers games, cosplay and anime to Buffalo State students

C.R.A.G.G., the campus gaming and anime club, hosts Game Nights frequently in Ketchum Hall and is gearing up for their biggest event of the year, a convention labeled CRAGGNAROK

Rachel Doktor/The Record

C.R.A.G.G., the campus gaming and anime club, hosts Game Nights frequently in Ketchum Hall and is gearing up for their biggest event of the year, a convention labeled CRAGGNAROK

It’s all fun and games until they graduate.

The Campus Role-Playing Anime Gaming Group (CRAGG) is a gaming organization that takes part in playing games, including card games, video games, board games, cosplay and more.

In addition, the club enjoys viewing Anime and Manga.

Based off of modern d20, a role-playing game system, they also participate in role-playing games including Dungeons and Dragons and other varieties.

Jill Chesna, the club’s president, says the 60-member organization is welcoming to anyone interested in coming to play.

Tyler Wagner, the club’s secretary, says he’s not a big gamer and didn’t watch anime before joining CRAGG.

“… (CRAGG) might seem like a weird fit, but I was a member of the gaming community at my last school and I’ve never seen any place more accepting,” Wagner said. “What made me stay in the club was the members, (they’re) super welcoming.”

The club’s gamers unite in the club’s office, Student Union room 105D.

“Anyone is welcome to come down, hang out and find out if anyone plays the same game, watches the same anime, or in general just shares the same interests,” Wagner said.

Last Saturday night, the club hosted a Nerf War in Bulger Communication Center.

Though Chesna says the event was smaller than expected, she said they’re very excited for their annual event, CRAGGNAROK, Buffalo State’s annual gaming and anime convention, March 15 in Bulger.

Chesna said they’re hoping for more events and a larger crowd this year.

The club will host role playing games, a Chinese auction, and have the local Dagorhir Battle Games group demonstrate live action role playing at the event.

Mark Miller is an independent vendor of a business called Ichiban Games, who will be selling games at CRAGGNAROK. As a gamer himself, he’s always looking to buy more games for his collection, which already contains about 1,330 games.

In an effort to save money, he avoids stores and instead buys games in multiples on Craigslist, at garage sales and through people selling them in general. He sells the games he doesn’t want, which keeps fueling his collection but also keeps his inventory constantly updated.

He follows the motto of, “Buying gamers for gamers.”

“If I get good stuff, it keeps me moving,” Miller said.

Based on his success thus far, he could open up a small store if he wanted to, but doesn’t want to because he says it’s so crowded in game selling industry. Therefore, he looks for the smaller conventions like CRAGGNAROK.

“It’s going to be pretty awesome,” Miller said. “Ichiban Games is on the loose.”

On a smaller scale, the club also hosts weekly events.

Every Tuesday is Anime Night, from 8:30-11 p.m. in Upton Hall 230. The group promotes anime and community by choosing the anime through voting, and the club watches about four series throughout a semester.

Additionally, Thursdays are Game Nights, from 6:30-10:30 p.m. in Ketchum Hall 106, 111 and 118. With a weekly turnout of about 25 people, these events are described as offerings to the gaming gods, from Tactical Combat Gaming (TCG), such as Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh, to various board games.

Wagner said these events are his favorites.

“I love that it’s just a super laid back place where everyone can relax and hang out, playing whatever interests them,” Wagner said. “It’s nice to just play Super Smash Bros. and have a time to relax during the week.”

As the gaming industry continues to change, Chesna said the club has been thriving for the past couple of years. Outside of the increased trend in CRAGG, she has also seen changes the demographic of video games she has experienced.

“Videogames in particular are changing a bit in gender roles,” Chesna said. “The newer games I’ve been playing — one of my recent favorites being The Wolf Among Us — female characters are taking on more powerful and realistic roles in the story lines of games.

“I enjoy this immensely not because I am a female, but because it adds that sense of realism in a game that draws me into the story that much more! I’m excited when people are unpredictable yet predictable based on a non-static character.”

As the industry changes, CRAGG continues to game on.

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