Gaming is more than a game for this student

Andrew O’Hanlon (he/they) loves board games. He calls his collection “massive,” and his club is called Board Gaymers. It’s a way to have fun, and it’s open to anyone. But at its core it is a way to strengthen ties in the LGBTQ+ community. 

“It’s definitely for community because having groups where you all get together and talk about real issues and how to work is good and necessary, said O’Hanlon, a rising junior majoring in computer game design at George Mason University. “But at the same time, you also need a place to chill out. We all sit and we play and have a good time.” 

The club, which counts 40 on its mailing list, used to meet every Friday night in SUB I on the Fairfax Campus. With the campus shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, O’Hanlon has hosted online tabletop game nights. Whether the group gets back to in-person game nights depends on how open Mason’s campus is for the fall semester. 

“If it’s open or partially open, I think I’m going to try to bring the club back, but with appropriate safety measures,” O’Hanlon said. 

While helping bring the LGBTQ+ community together. 

“Most of the fracturing and infighting I’ve seen has taken place in online spaces,” O’Hanlon said. “If you are building groups, building communities in person, people are much more open. If you’re putting in the work and building places in real life, then it’s usually a pretty open, good group.” 

Join Mason’s Lambda Alumni chapter for a Pride Trivia Night, June 30, 5-6:30 p.m., via Zoom. Register here.