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Thursday, April 18, 2024

UF’s Gator Gaming Club is providing a trip down memory lane with its first-ever gaming party, featuring video game favorites from the ‘90s until now.

The club, known for hosting its annual GatorLAN tournament, is taking a different approach this year with its Gator Gaming Winter Party. While their past tournaments have brought in hundreds of participants, they expect this year to be even bigger, according to their website.

The gaming party will take place Saturday in the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom from noon to 8 p.m.

The tournament is free and open to the general public. Registration for all games will be at the door, and attendants will have the opportunity to play against others while meeting new people from all across the state who frequently travel to Gator Gaming events.

With more than 11 games listed, including “Mario Party,” “Mario Kart,” “Pokémon” and “Dance Dance Revolution,” there is sure to be something for everyone. A wide variety of consoles will also be available, including Nintendo’s GameCube, Wii, 3DS and Nintendo 64.

Attendees can expect a fun and relaxed atmosphere, as the event will not have a competitive edge like usual gaming tournaments.

“Tournaments are usually all day, but this one is more casual, more fun and less serious,” Ben Rachman, the event coordinator, said.

Participants will also get a chance to reminisce on their childhoods while playing on older consoles.

“One cool thing about this tournament is that we will have Nintendos,” the 19-year-old microbiology and economics sophomore said. “There will be new things that have never been done before.”

Rachman said the most popular game seems to be “Super Smash Bros.”

Throughout the day, the party will have mini-tournaments available for anyone who wants a more competitive atmosphere, with “Mario Party,” “Pokémon” and “Super Smash Bros.” among the competitions available.

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Annabelle Pulliam, a family, youth and community sciences sophomore, said this will be her fourth time attending a Gator Gaming tournament.

“People would be surprised to learn how far the skill levels range for certain gaming groups,” the 19-year-old said. “Most of the time, people are there to help.”

The party will not only be a place for gaming and ‘90s nostalgia, but also for building friendships over a shared love of video games.

“I’m looking forward most to hopefully finding someone who I can befriend and play with regularly when I get back home,” Shane Cook, a 19-year-old UF computer science sophomore, said.

It is suggested that attendees bring their own controllers, along with any games or set-ups.

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