In wake of social distancing due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), seacoast board gaming group Meeple Tabletop Gaming Syndicate (paired with the UNH organization of the same name) has switched their weekly Friday night meetings to online. 

The change was announced on March 27 on the group’s Facebook page. Instead of the typical in person meetings, the group meets Friday nights on their Discord server, which is open to the public. 

Discord is a voice, video, and text communication app that provides easy access for people to chat one on one or in larger groups. Jake Hewins, junior business administration major and publicity manager of Meeple Tabletop Gaming Syndicate, said the club is now run through their Discord server where they communicate through voice chat, and a host will screen share the game of choice for the entire group to view. 

According to Hewins, the group has had to adapt to online, but their new method of meetings has been effective. “Attendance is understandably lower, but quality is just as high,” he said. 

Standard group meetings that take place in the wildcat den consist of a wide variety of games: “board games like House on the Haunted Hill to party games like Secret Hitler to trading card games like Magic the Gathering,” Hewins said. Now most users can run their typical games with “no problem,” but some activities haven’t been as active, like the Magic the Gathering card game, because it felt “very cramped to play without a big table,” (like at the wildcat den). 

Hewins was studying in Washington D.C this past semester and was unable to attend weekly meetings, but he said he’s “excited to be able to talk to my friends again and play board games virtually as though I had never left.”  

Junior Sydney Drea said that the virtual gaming nights have become the highlight of her week. Like Hewins, Drea said the meetings help her stay connected to her friends while people must be apart, and it gives her something to look forward to every week. 

While they can’t be the typical meetings in person, “the laughs and human connection is just the same,” Drea said. 

Meeple Tabletop Gaming Syndicate welcomes “any and all levels of gamers” and their events are open to everyone.  

The link to their Discord server can be reached here: https://discord.gg/2rfpmJJ