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Game night draws students to the Underground Coffee House

After starting this quarter, game night added Jackbox games to its weekly rotation of games on Thursday, Feb 17.

Omri Ofek and Robert Starritt compete with other students in Jackbox games at The Underground Coffeehouse at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. The Underground Coffeehouse added game night to its weekly line up earlier this quarter. // Photo by Ryan Scott

Eyes flitted back and forth from phone screens to a projector as students played Jackbox games at game night in Western Washington University’s Underground Coffeehouse on Thursday, Feb. 17.

The Underground Coffeehouse, located in the Viking Union, started hosting game nights on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. this quarter. Each week so far has featured a different game. Most of the games that have been featured are multiplayer party-style video games. 

Jacqueline Pham, the Underground Coffeehouse coordinator, said she wanted to add another weekly event to the lineup and thought of game night. 

“I wanted a new series during the week, something to be consistent, because when there’s more consistent scheduling there’s more attendance,” she said. “I was like, I’m gonna throw another series in there, and let's make it a game night because I like Super Smash Bros.”

Games so far have included Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., Jackbox games and even a Marvel trivia night. Jackbox games is a series of collections of party games where players use their phone as their controller and view overall game progress on one larger screen. 

Although game night doesn’t draw the same crowd size as other events that The Underground Coffeehouse hosts, the room was certainly not empty or silent. 

“There’s usually a pretty good group that comes out to them,” Pham said. “It’s a lot more niche and lowkey than the other events.”

Second-year Omri Ofek went to game night for the second time on Thursday with plans of becoming a regular. 

“It's just to come and relax, to hangout,” Ofek said. “When you have to go to classes about advanced sciences, things like that, it's nice to be able to turn off your brain.”

He originally learned about game night when he was bored and scrolling through the Western Involvement Network one evening. After attending to see what it was all about, he had fun and decided to keep going weekly. 

First-timer to game night, third-year Robert Starritt, learned about the event through an Instagram post

When technical difficulties put things on hold at the start of the night, Starritt stepped in to lend a hand by running to grab his Xbox.

GAME NIGHT BODY
Students competing with each other in Jackbox games at The Underground Coffeehouse at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. Game night was added to the list of weekly events The Underground Coffeehouse hosts earlier this quarter. //Photo by Ryan Scott

“I ran back and grabbed the Xbox from my room which is like a minute away,” Starritt said. “I wanna play, but we’re not gonna be able to if we don’t have a working Jackbox game.”

He said this turned out to be a good thing because he had a different edition of Jackbox games on his Xbox than they did on the laptop, and it included more games. 

“We could play the good version of Trivia Murder Party on my Xbox because I have Jackbox 6, not Jackbox 3,” he said. “It just has better rules, so that worked out well.”

Starritt said he was glad they were able to play it because it’s the kind of game that’s more fun in larger groups. Since he normally played with only a couple of friends, the number of people at game night was a nice change. 

Jackbox games drew a similar crowd size to the night Super Smash Bros. was played, Ofek said, with some faces starting to become regulars to the recently created series.

Game night will continue to be held at the Underground Coffeehouse on Thursdays at 7 p.m., with the next game being Studio Ghibli trivia on Feb. 24.



Ben Larson

Ben Larson (he/him) is a reporter on the city news beat for The Front this quarter. He is a visual journalism major and when he isn't reporting he enjoys the outdoors and horror movies. You can reach him at benlarson.thefront@gmail.com


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