Game Night’s gone virtual! University Libraries is hosting a free reimagined Virtual Game Night on Oct. 30 from 5 p.m. to midnight open to Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the public 18 and older.

Virtual Game Night is a Halloween eve full of gaming fun that includes virtual board games to tabletop role playing games (RPGs) - all favorite games with virtual makeovers. The event provides a safe way to socialize during the pandemic, particularly around Halloween.

Leading the planning team are Jonathan Bradley, head of studios and innovative technologies; Sara Sweeney Bear, Fusion Studio manager and space assessment coordinator; and Alex Krasner, studios graduate assistant, all experts in having fun. Other campus partners involved in planning include the SciFi and Fantasy Club, HokiePRIDE, and the Board Game Club.

The event will use several digital platforms including Zoom and Twitch. Zoom will feature a board game room with breakout sessions for individual games and virtual tabletop role playing games (RPGs). The night will include social online games like Jackbox and One Night Ultimate Werewolf. 

Participants can simply sign up for the games they’re interested in and try different games over the course of the night. Each room has a host who will manage the room and run the game. 

New to Virtual Game Night will be a special premier of "The Role of Play," the library’s new Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) stream show on Twitch, a popular platform among students. The goal of the Twitch programming is threefold: promote literacy, engage with the Virginia Tech community, and advertise library spaces and services. 

The team hopes to produce content for Twitch that inspires and engages the community while also drawing people from outside the library to interact in new ways, like exploring works of literature and reinterpreting them in a new medium. 

“I’m really excited about meeting and interacting with members from around the Virginia Tech community through Twitch,” said Bradley. “I’m curious to see what all the various viewpoints can do to collaboratively reimagine works of literature that have existed in some cases for hundreds of years."

“Game Night has always been in part about bringing people together,” said Sweeney Bear. “Folks need social connection now more than ever, and I think this will be a great way to offer them that opportunity safely.”

The libraries’ studios network assists students and faculty with media production and provides equipment lending. Creating a live event, such as Virtual Game Night, is an extension of that work. “We focus a lot on play as a learning tool, which is tightly connected to this type of work as well,” said Bradley.

“As the University Libraries' Fusion Studio manager, I am always thinking about ways to help people build connections and gaming is a great way to do that,” said Sweeney Bear. “It’s also great practice in skills that are relevant to the Fusion Studio mission, such as communication, collaboration, and creativity.

“I love board games and tabletop role playing games (RPGs) and I’ve found that they’ve had a significant impact on my life,” said Sweeney Bear. “Since I started playing Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), I’ve become better at communicating and at making decisions in tough situations. I want to provide people with opportunities to engage in these activities, and hopefully introduce new people to the hobby.” 

To register for Virtual Game Night, visit bit.ly/libgamenight

— Written by Elise Monsour Puckett