Rhode Island's gaming convention and the college gaming scene

When most people think of gaming conventions, they probably think of major national events like the late great E3, industry confabs like the Game Developers Conference, or even vaguely game-related fanfests like Comic-Con. They probably don't think of more local, personal affairs like the University of Rhode Island's annual gaming convention, which was held for the 16th time this weekend on the campus' Memorial Union.

This is perhaps understandable, as the University's student paper explains the event had somewhat limited attendance due to a lack of advertising. But it's also a shame, in a way, that more people couldn't be persuaded to get together for the con's Guitar Hero II, Halo and Gears of War tournaments.

We know college students play games -- hanging out with your buds and playing Madden or Halo all night is practically a rite of passage on most campuses. What we don't understand is why organized gaming clubs so often struggle to attract widespread interest on campuses that might have thriving clubs for everything from paintball to napping. Despite the common casual interest, most students don't seem to see gaming as something to join together over in an organized club setting.

Or maybe our impressions are off. To our college readers out there: what's the gaming scene like on your campus? Is gaming mainly a personal pastime, or do students often get together to play socially? Let us know in the comments thread below.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.