One of the things that has helped keep me sane the last couple of years of being mostly isolated because of the pandemic has been through playing games and talking to people online, and the way I’ve been doing that has been through monthly game clubs. I thought I would talk about why you should check one out or maybe even start your own!
What is a monthly game club?
A monthly game club is a group that selects a game to play every month and discusses the game as they play it. Usually these groups have some sort of theme like a console platform or game genre but not always. The clubs can take any form but I’ve mostly seen them on Discord since it’s so easy to start one up there. They also sometimes have a podcast to discuss that month’s game but many do not.
Why should I join one?
It’s a great way to play older games. It feels like on social media people generally stop talking about a game once it’s a couple of months old, especially if it isn’t a gigantic hit. Monthly game clubs allow people to try out games and have a community that they can discuss the game with. I really like this because I usually don’t get around to playing a game until much later, when most people have moved on. I’ve also found it’s just a nice way to meet people around the world and be social now that I’m a bit more isolated because of the pandemic.
Here’s some of the clubs I follow along with. If you’re looking for more, I also made a list of some that have a Twitter account here. This is also missing all the ones that don’t have a Twitter account, like the monthly playthroughs on the AdventureGamers.com forums and the one I run for the monthly games zine Indiepocalypse (message me if you want an invite). But hopefully this will help you get an idea of what they’re like.
DOS Game Club
DOS Game Club is a monthly group focused entirely on playing games on DOS that has been around for over five years. They play games from every genre and cover games both popular and obscure. One thing I really enjoy about this club is that the club discusses games on a forum and IRC channel. It’s fun to use something that reminds me of earlier days on the internet and club hosts have complete control over instead of a company like Discord. You can read about the club and find their forums and IRC here.
The Safe Room
The Safe Room is a newer group focused on horror games. It started earlier this year and has already played some classics like Silent Hill. You can listen to their podcast and join their Discord here
Cartridge Club is a group that has been around for over nine years. They play through a wide variety of games, both on consoles and PC, old and new. Their Twitter and Discord are here.
Adventure Game Club
Adventure Game Club is a monthly adventure game playthrough group that I started near the beginning of the pandemic as an excuse to get through my adventure game backlog. The adventure game genre has always been vaguely defined but generally we have a pretty loose definition and include interactive fiction related games like Citizen Sleeper and have had months for things like IFComp. It’s been nice having a place where people can discuss the games as they play them with other people who haven’t played them before and ask for hints on puzzles when needed. We also started a podcast earlier this year as an excuse to talk more after a few years of only talking through text. The Twitter page has links to the Discord and podcast
Start your own club!
If it feels like these clubs don’t quite fit what you’re looking for, consider starting your own! It doesn’t have to be anything big or have some sort of project attached to it like a podcast. It can just be you and a couple of friends talking about a different video game or tabletop rpg every month as you play them. I’ve found that they make games a more social and enjoyable experience for me and hope you consider checking one out.