Gaming Gators gather for game nights every Monday on campus as a way to socialize and play attendees’ favorite games. (Graphic by Tatyana Ekmekjian/Golden Gate Xpress) (Tatyana Ekmekjian)
Gaming Gators gather for game nights every Monday on campus as a way to socialize and play attendees’ favorite games. (Graphic by Tatyana Ekmekjian/Golden Gate Xpress)

Tatyana Ekmekjian

Q&A with the Gaming Gators

May 7, 2023

Welcome to a special Q&A Xpress podcast with the Gaming Gators. 

The Gaming Gators club is a gaming community at SF State that offers a space for gators to bond over shared interests. 

D’Angelo Hernandez, arts and entertainment reporter for Golden Gate Xpress, sits down with Matthew Johnson and Nichol Garcia, two members from the Gaming Gators club.


D’Angelo: Welcome back to another Gator talk podcast today. I’ll be your host. Dangelo Hernandez, an arts and entertainment reporter for GGX. today I’m here with two Gaming Gators. Why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourselves. 

Matthew Johnson: Hello everybody, my name’s Matthew Johnson. I’m a Japanese major here at San Francisco State. As far as the Gaming Gators is concerned I’m an officer. And I handle fighting game tournaments and Monday game nights.

Nichol Garcia: Hi, my name is Nichol Garcia. I am currently a Becca major and my role within the club right now as of this moment, is the production staff. I oversee and help the other production members in streams outdoor production shoots, and as well as the podcast I’ll be launching all right. 

D’Angelo: Well, why don’t we catch up with some of the new things that you guys were just talking about. So, the Monday night game night events. I know there’s been two. The first one was party games, if I’m not mistaken, and the second one being fighting games. So why don’t you go ahead and tell me a little bit about that and how those turned out.

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Matthew Johnson: Initially , the game nights were kind of supposed to be just for fighting games I handle fighting in tournaments and the game nights were like, fighting game nights were kind of a thing that we were thinking about to give people a more casual way to interact with fighting games and to just Hang out on campus.

When I was talking to the people at the R & C, at the racking queue for, those not initiated. They were like that sounds great, but why don’t we sort of expand that idea and turn it into a thing that even more people can come to and enjoy? So that’s what we did. And so now we have three themes that we’re rotating between.

 Party games as mentioned earlier, fighting games and then social games, which will be, this coming Monday. I believe it’s May 1st. Yeah. And that’s just gonna be stuff like Jackbox or Garic phone, if you’re familiar.

D’Angelo: Oh, I love those. 

Matthew Johnson: Hey, it’s free. Every Monday night, six to 8:00 PM 

D’Angelo: Free for everybody.

Matthew Johnson: Free for everybody. 

D’Angelo: Wow. 

Matthew Johnson: You don’t have to bring anything just, just bring yourself maybe a few friends if you like dragging ’em along, into things and have a good time. 

D’Angelo: How was the turnout for the first two events? How did, how was the vibe? How’d it go? 

Matthew Johnson: The first event was understandably a little light.

I brought my like laptop and I had some, some stuff on there, some more. I don’t know if it scares the right word, but just like, not the typical stuff because we already have like four other setups for, you know, your Mario parties and you’re overcooked and stuff. There were about three people at my thing, and then I think four, four or five people playing Overcooks.

D’Angelo: Oh man. 

Matthew Johnson: I think that was about it. Like we had about eight people total. Which is, you know, again, to be expected. Nobody really knew about it. And then we had our fighting game night, just two days ago, and that went from like two setups being used to all five of them being used, and it was like crazy.

I told the fighting game people like, Hey, we’re gonna be doing this. So it makes sense that more people were there for that. But it was just kind of crazy to like be full up and to have to like, Really, you know, walk around and talk to people and like make sure that everybody was okay and like that everybody knew kind of what was going on and it seemed like everybody was having a great time.

I was really happy with how it turned out. 

D’Angelo: So it was a real big contrast to the first one and just

Matthew Johnson: yeah

D’Angelo: having a focus on being a good host, making sure everybody was having a great time was top of the priority list. That’s awesome.

Matthew Johnson: The first day it was just like, oh, I get to play like Streets of Rage.

For like two hours and that’s sick. And then the other day it was like, I get to play like a little bit of this and then I gotta good check on these people and like talk to these other guys and so much more busy. But I, I do enjoy it 

D’Angelo: it turned into a little bit more logistical work.

Nichol Garcia: Yeah. Instead of playing like one of those management games diner Dash or whatever, like I was, I was the diner Dash. 

D’Angelo: Wrapping up talking about the new Monday night events. You guys also have a new podcast that just launched cause you tell me a little bit about that ?

Nichol Garcia: Well with this podcast, right now we are just figuring things out still as we continue 

Mainly the focus on this podcast is just making it a conversational podcast between two host on various topics such as gaming eSports. Anything that our host will be talking about for that week. We wanted to be able to, in a way, expand more within our production, from the things we’ve been doing such as content in our YouTube channel to, the normal eSports matches that we stream on our main G G S F S U Twitch Channel. We wanted to have this as a way for. For the community and also for us to be connected, you know? right now, in terms of format, we’re still experimenting in what works, what doesn’t but for this first episode hopefully tomorrow we’re just, making it conversational just talking about experiences and depending on, what the hosts will be, focusing on for that episode.

Are you guys gonna be having the same host turning every week, or is it gonna be sort of like a rotating host type thing? 

We’ve been talking about that a lot we’re planning on having rotating hosts due to people having other duties outside of the club so basically in terms of hosts for each episode, it will be, depending on who’s willing and who’s available.

D’Angelo: Absolutely. Do you guys have a content release schedule, if you will? 

Nichol Garcia: Content release schedule. We’ll be talking about that with the team. We’re planning on hopefully posting the, VOD and everything that comes along with it on our YouTube channel.

Everything is experimental on our end, so hopefully by the time we figure stuff out, we’ll be posting our VODs on our YouTube channel for archiving purposes. 

D’Angelo: Because you’re saying VOD, some might not know. It’s a video on demand. You guys are live streaming it, so this is gonna be a live podcast.

Nichol Garcia: Yes, that is correct. 

D’Angelo: Oh, that’s very cool.

Nichol Garcia: Not to say that recorded podcast bad, but we wanted to be able to connect with the community here on campus and online as well. So hopefully something that serves as a sort of a media for others to listen on and just try something new for our production.

D’Angelo: So you guys are really trying to create that open conversation with your audience, allowing them to communicate with chats during the podcast to be able to contribute to what’s being talked about 

Nichol Garcia: That’s pretty much what we’re going for, for now. Our format is basically, just making a conversation, we want to be able to just talk about stuff anything related to like games or any me form of media that our hosts are passionate about, so we’ll see how this works as well. If things work, it works. If it doesn’t, doesn’t, it it’s all about improving, your craft, your style and everything else that comes within the production side of things.

D’Angelo: Absolutely. So not just voicing, giving voice to those who want to be vocal about their opinions, but giving the experience of the production to those who want to gain the experience. That’s really cool. 

Nichol Garcia: Of course. of course.

D’Angelo: Well, is there anything else either of you two wanted to add?

Matthew Johnson: You can come to fighting game tournaments at the Rack-N-Cue from five to seven every Friday. Even if you don’t play a lot of fighting games, the vibes are very casual. Not a lot of people show up just come on down, have a good time.

Nichol Garcia: We’ll be streaming it at our GGSFSU_ Twitch channel

 Of course, as always, feel free to visit us in our GGSFSU Discord Channel. If you wanna find people to play with, if you wanna ask some questions or just hang out in general, we, we’ll be there as well.

Thank you for having us. 


D’Angelo: Thank you for listening to another Gator talk podcast from GGX. This is D’Angelo Hernandez, and I’ll see you later, alligator. 

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About the Contributors
Photo of D
D'Angelo Hernandez-Fulks, A&E Editor
D’Angelo Hernandez is the Arts & Entertainment editor, he is a Journalism major with a Philosophy minor. A Bay Area native he got his start writing for the Spectator at Chabot College. If he isn’t found at his desk streaming Escape from Tarkov, you can find him at the movies. His genre being character studies such as There Will be Blood, The Batman and No Country for Old Men.
Photo of Tatyana Ekmekjian
Tatyana Ekmekjian, Staff Photographer
Tatyana Ekmekjian (she/her) is graduating this spring with a major in photojournalism and a minor in hospitality and tourism management at SF State. Tatyana has a great passion for the culture, industry and preparation of food. She hopes to express her passion for food through the medium of photography to further her success in the food and lifestyle industry.

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