By Brendan Stanton ’16
Monsters, traps and spells come to life every Tuesday night in Xavier Hall. These are the cards duelists play in Pacific Lutheran University’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Club founded by PLU junior Andrew Morris.
Morris came to college to get a degree, get out and get a job. This year he decided that he wanted to create a fun and safe environment for his peers to join in the excitement surrounding the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game. Morris knew that he didn’t need a club to duel with friends. But he wanted to start an official club to reach out to more people on campus and create a more diverse community.
Morris surveyed interest for the club over the summer through social networking sites and found enough interest to sign a formal petition to start a club. Morris created a constitution, filled out all of the paperwork, and became the first official president of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Club at PLU.
Morris wanted to diversify clubs at PLU. Morris says, “Some clubs like intramurals take physical ability. In Yu-Gi-Oh! Club as long as you can play with a single hand you can play in the club any time you want.”
Morris asserts that, “It’s a very inclusive club and it doesn’t take a lot to get started.” Morris makes sure that his peers feel included by providing cards and lessons to those just starting out.
Morris has been playing Yu-Gi-Oh! since second grade. Although the trading card game has fluctuated in popularity over the years, Morris has held fast to his love for the game. Morris says that a Yu-Gi-Oh! duel is “A place where I can belong.”
Morris says that there is a certain stigma about trading card games and specifically Yu-Gi-Oh! in that it is “A nerd’s game.” Morris says he wants to remove this stigma and hopes that the club’s presence on campus will help to prove that students from all walks of life can join in the excitement. Morris emphasizes to “At least give it a try.”
The club’s average attendance is about eight students. Many students who have expressed interest have not been able to attend because of scheduling conflicts. Because of this, Morris plans to add more meeting times and special Saturday club outings to Roadside Hobbies in Spanaway to participate in their tournaments.
Currently the club meets Tuesdays from 8-10p.m. in Xavier Hall. The club meetings are formatted so that the first hour is spent dueling against one other person while changing and fixing card decks. The second hour usually consists of a chaos duel where everyone gets in a circle and duels each other at the same time.
The Lutes that attend club meetings on a regular basis are grateful for Morris’ initiative to start to the club and appreciate his friendship, both during club meetings and out of club meetings. Active club member John Pham says he loves going to meetings because “Everyone loves each other.” Pham added that he appreciates “The camaraderie and all the shenanigans.” Erik Wolf says, “The club has helped me form connections. I was neighbors with a guy and didn’t become friends till joining the club.”
When told this, Andy said, “I appreciate that they all enjoy being in the club. I would like to live up to their expectations and stay involved in their lives. Andy added that, “When it comes to the card game I will make a ruling. If someone pulls me aside and wants to talk about something else then I would switch into friend mode and be there for them.”
Morris says that creating the club has helped him “Gain new friends, improve game strategy and grow new perspectives on life.”