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Matt Miller ’24 enjoys online gaming because it’s mentally challenging and helps him develop multitasking skills. An electromechanical technology and robotics major with a sweet spot for the tech world, he also likes that gaming connects him to a virtual community of like-minded peers.

“I’m part of many different groups online, and I can just hop into a voice chat with anyone, and they’ll take me in and play games with me,” Miller says. He notes that at Plymouth State University he has also met many others who enjoy video game play, including his roommate, Robert Muzzey ’24.

Miller wants to share his passion for gaming with more University students and is leading the charge to create a new eSports Club on campus. He is working with others to draw up a constitution and other governing documents to make official what is now considered a focus group. “I’ve met all these kids through video games,” he says. “It’s a common passion we have. We want to share it with other people.”

The effort began at the end of the fall semester last year, when Drew Guay, director of campus recreation and student life, e-mailed the student body to gauge interest in eSports at PSU. Within hours, there were over 150 responses. Miller was all in and he and several students came forward to begin exploring the possibilities. Guay has arranged tours of other college eSports facilities and has empowered the students to shape the new offering so near and dear to their gaming controls.

PSU is planning to dedicate a lounge for online gaming practice and competition in the Hartman Union Building (HUB). “eSports is taking campus recreation programs by storm nationwide,” Guay says. “We are excited to look at ways to help students connect with one another on- and offline while developing a stronger connection to PSU. The eSports Lounge will offer an incredible opportunity for students to explore something fresh and exciting in a booming field with endless opportunities.”

Miller hopes a green light will come by the end of the spring semester. In the meantime, he and other gamers on campus enjoy connecting in a temporary space in the HUB.

Leading the effort is a responsibility that Miller takes seriously, and he’s excited by the taste of leadership that PSU has offered he and his fellow planners. He says, “If we want this to be a thing, we need to take care of it.”

Students interested in the emerging club meet regularly online to talk through the tenets of the constitution and strategize ways to grow the membership, and Guay is always available to answer questions and provide resources. When the group is ready, students will present a proposal to the Student Senate with the goal of gaining official club status.

Once the eSports group is fully formed, Miller says students would compete in person and online against hundreds of other schools across the country. Let the games begin!