Students compete in the Mental Health Game Night hosted by BGC in the Esports Arena in Lincoln Tower Nov. 22, 2019. Credit: Courtesy of Ellie Earwood

Valentine’s Day might be over, but the Buckeye Gaming Collective will keep the love going with a festive gaming social this week.

BGC’s game night will be held Friday night in Lincoln Tower’s esports arena and consist of casual video game play, gaming-themed valentine cards and candies, Alison Dang, a second-year in sociology and philosophy and the club’s director of community management, said. The event will also raffle off prizes such as mouse pads, gaming headsets and gaming apparel.

BGC is a student organization dedicated to fostering community among Ohio State gamers and generating interest in esports at the university, according to the group’s constitution.

Dang said the goal of the event is to offer an in-person event for students to complement BGC’s primarily online activities.

“We want to help people get to know each other in person,” Dang said. “We basically just want to help people talk, bond and make friends with other people from different communities.”

Although the event is Valentine’s Day themed, Dang said the focus of the event is tailored to cultivating friendships.

The esports arena has more than 60 gaming computers, each pre-installed with about 15 games. The arena offers a variety of games, including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, League of Legends and Rocket League. The arena also provides gaming consoles such as Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4 Pro and Microsoft Xbox One S, according to the esports arena website.

The organization aims to host at least one in-person event per month and plans to host two more events throughout the semester, including a holistic well-being focused game night, Dang said.

The BGC is no stranger to working with the official esports department at Ohio State and often hosts its events in the gaming arena, Kenneth Kresina, a second-year in astronomy and astrophysics and the club’s director of public relations, said.

“It’s super great getting to work with the people over at the official esports department at Lincoln. They’ve been completely supportive of trying to encourage esports and gaming on campus as a whole,” Kresina said. “Without their support we wouldn’t be able to hold events like this using the university space. That relationship has been very strong. We’re looking forward to working for them in the future.”

The game night will be hosted from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday in the esports arena on the second floor of Lincoln Tower. The event is free to attend and open to all Ohio State students.