Super Smash Bros Club: KO’ing loneliness with video games

The Humboldt State Smash Crew offers a welcoming atmosphere for fighting game fans of all experience levels
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The Humboldt State Smash Crew has resurrected and is meeting every Friday at 5pm in Nelson Hall room 102. Casual conversations and practice matches take up the first few hours of the evening. However, after 7pm rolls around, the gamers face off in a bracket-style tournament.

President of the club, Justin Packham, said that the Super Smash Bros Club offers a place of community for freshman and transfer students alike. He had previously been a member of the Smash Bros Club before it was disbanded because of COVID-19. Packham is a junior now, but he said as a freshman the club was a great opportunity for him.

“I was feeling very homesick,” Packham said. “It was the first time I had ever been away from home for so long and for such a far distance away. So it was just a nice place where I could come and bond with people over this game I played and I made some of the best friendships I’ve ever made up here.”

Packham revived the Smash Bros club after the old one dissolved and he plans to retain the same atmosphere that made him feel so welcome as a freshman. For Packham, it is about having a safe haven for people to unwind after classes and meet with fellow students.

The Smash Crew plays a variety of fighting games, not just Super Smash Bros. Everyone can bring their own gaming setup and any fighting game that members want to play are welcome. A new hot topic in the fighting game scene is “Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.” The game is essentially Super Smash Bros with characters from Nickelodeon cartoons instead of Nintendo characters. Packham says the game is fun but also trash. Several other club members chimed in to agree with that statement.

The club has a more friendly than competitive atmosphere, but that does not mean they do not compete. In previous years they have done trips to one of the largest Smash Bros tournaments in the country, Genesis 8. The event takes place this upcoming January in San Jose and Packham is hoping to bring down a group of club members to compete. The event offers cash prizes and tournaments for several different fighting games. Packham hopes to get funding from the school for the trip but that all depends on how many people join the club or how much fundraising they can do.

The Humboldt State Smash crew is open to the public and is welcoming any new members regardless of experience with video games. People are welcome to bring their own gaming setup and there are extra controllers and consoles available for people who don’t have their own.

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