Harrison Kidd: When did you first become interested in strategy games?
Will Evans: I used to be really into building and painting models when I was younger. So, one day in 2011 I went to Phillip’s Toy Mart down on Harding Road to see if there were any models that’d pique my interest. When I got to the model aisle, I found one of the workers stocking the shelves dedicated to a miniature war game called Warhammer 40,000. He asked me if I played Warhammer, and I replied that I had no idea what it was. He the proceeded to explain the basics of the game and how it was both a modeling hobby and a strategic war game. That’s where my interest began. I don’t play Warhammer anymore, as it’s absurdly expensive, but I did get a good few years of fun out of it, plus it got me into painting scale figures, which I still do to this day.
HK: What is your favorite strategy game and why?
WE: My favorite strategy game would probably be the RPG Shadowrun. The setting, which is a combination of a futuristic cyberpunk dystopia and magic, I find to be incredible interesting, which is unsurprising given that I’m a cyberpunk junkie and write in the genre myself. The game also has really interesting mechanics that allow for real freedom in creating characters and playing them.
HK: What inspired you to create a club about strategy games?
WE: My inspiration for the club itself came primarily from the fact that nothing like the club existed at MBA. I’ve always heard from people that they were interested in playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, but could never convince their friends to play with them. I figured why not just create a place at school where students can get together with their peers and play the game of their choice.
HK: Tell me about the club itself, how it works, what do you think is important about it?
WE: The club itself is very open. I’ve made sure to tell everyone that they’re free to suggest any game or event they would like to set up, as I do not want to restrict anyone’s gaming; doing so would go against the very reason I created the club. So far, we haven’t done much beyond a simple game of Settlers of Catan, but I have formulated Dungeons and Dragons groups that I hope to get up and running soon. The club is still getting of the ground, but I hope the foundation Mr. Berry and I build this year will last for many years to come.
HK: Have Mr. Berry and Dr. Lech been an inspiration to you throughout this process?
WE: They’ve both been very helpful in establishing the club, despite being very busy themselves. Mr. Berry has been a great source of ideas for the club, some of which will hopefully become a reality. Dr. Lech has also been crucial in rallying the support of other teachers, as well as incorporating Magic: The Gathering into the club. Plus, they both have ample supplies of games that keep the clubs options open.
HK: Explain ‘D&D’ in a ‘for dummies’ fashion.
WE: Dungeons and Dragons is a fantasy role playing game, which, in its essence is a game in which you create a character and go on an adventure. They game requires no boards or miniatures, only some dice, pens, papers, and an imagination. One player takes the role of the Dungeon Master and creates an adventure/storyline in which the players embark on quests and slay monsters. Think like a very Tolkien-esque sandbox.
HK: What else are you involved in around the hill?
WE: I’ve been a member of the rifle team since the 8th grade and also work for ARCHIVES and frequently participate in the Red Poets Society.
HK: Does your love for strategy and this genre of games bleed into other subjects such as movies and video games?
WE: Needless to say, I’m a huge nerd, so absolutely. I’ve put more hours into some games than I’d care to admit and my tastes in movies and literature are noticeably on the science fiction side of things.