UL Video series: 'The Gathering' offers an alternative 'hobby space' and 'social community'

UL Video series: 'The Gathering' offers an alternative 'hobby space' and 'social community'

The context

A small space in Limerick City has become an important social community for people of all ages.

The Gathering is a games and hobby space popular among those interested in roleplaying and fantasy games such as Dungeons and Dragons, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokémon.

For those not interested in more traditional hobbies such as sports or musical instruments, The Gathering in Limerick offers an alternative social community.

Saoirse O’Connor has been going to The Gathering every Saturday for 11 years, making lifelong friends along the way.

“I had a really tough time in primary school as the nerd always does,” he said.

“This was a safe haven and a social haven for me to make friends and learn new things.”

Adult players Kevin Mullins and Michael Kennedy meet up every Wednesday night to participate in historical war games played on the table top.

Kevin makes the lengthy commute from Waterford each week to get out of the house.

“It’s a two hour drive for me from Waterford to Limerick every week. There’s nothing down in Waterford where I can play this,” he explained.

Michael found a new outlet within The Gathering after a soccer injury left him blind in one eye and unable to play sports.

He believes there are huge benefits to gamers meeting up to share their interests at The Gathering.

“You’re usually playing those games by yourself,” he said.

“You come to The Gathering and you’re meeting the people that love to do the same thing you do. You’re meeting people in an environment that you want to be in.”

The video

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