Ohio State’s Rhythm Games Club continues to socialize during an inherently isolating pandemic by combining online gaming, music and friends.
In 2019, a video was posted of Alex Chan, a fourth-year in computer science and engineering, playing the rhythm video game “osu!” at the newly-opened Ohio State esports arena. In the year since its posting, the video has been watched nearly 1 million times on YouTube.
Chan said he was there with his group of friends who met through various means, but all had one thing in common: a mutual love for “osu!” Not to be confused with the abbreviation for Ohio State, “osu!” is a rhythm game that can be played on phones and computers.
“Over summer break, I decided we could make a club out of this,” Chan, president of the OSU Rhythm Games Club, said. “We wanted to try to see if there are any other players that enjoy the game like us.”
With in-person student organization events on an indefinite hiatus since Sept. 14, the OSU Rhythm Games Club is a way to give students another opportunity to be social through the power of online gameplay mixed with melodious musical mechanics. Every week, the club meets online to play “osu!” and other similar games together, Chan said.
Chan said the most popular game mode is “osu!standard,” where players have to accurately click circles on the screen to match the beat of a popular song.
“Pretty much everyone in the club plays ‘osu!,’” Dawson Gamble, treasurer for the club and a second-year in computer science and engineering, said. “There’s lobbies in game that you can open and people join, with everyone taking turns picking songs to play.”
“Guitar Hero,” “Rock Band” and “Dance Dance Revolution” are older examples of rhythm games the club also plays, while “Beat Saber,” “Cytus” and “osu!” are more popular ones, Gamble said. Games in the genre can have various forms of input from touchscreens to guitar-shaped controllers, replicas of Japanese taiko drums and more.
The club now has more than 40 verified members in their online Discord server since participating in the fall semester involvement fair and affiliating with the Buckeye Gaming Collective, Dawson Gamble, treasurer for the club and a second-year in computer science and engineering, said.
“We wanted to do excursions even to Lincoln Tower’s esports arena, but of course that closed down,” Chan said. “That leaves us with just online, which only comes down to a few games.”
For “osu!standard,” players usually use a mouse and keyboard or a drawing tablet and stylus. Chan said he personally chooses to play using the latter method, which has allowed him to reach top 700 in ranked…
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