To me, many clubs at IHS fall under two unfortunate categories. Either they are seen as overly pretentious, due to their academic subject matters or the over-enthusiastic attitudes of their dedicated members; or the club is not expected to be taken seriously due to either its unprofessional environment or unorganized structure.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that one club, the Tiddlywinks Club, possesses none of these flaws. The club focuses, of course, on the 129-year-old game of Tiddlywinks, where two teams of two players take turns attempting to shoot discs of different colors and sizes (“winks”) into a pot, using nothing but a piece of plastic (the “squidger”). Along with the addition of the “squop” mechanic (where a player is allowed to prevent their opponent from moving a wink as long as they have their own wink on top), Tiddlywinks is a game that requires strategy, tactical positioning, and a foresightful game plan. It can be played both casually or competitively, in that both can be played easily with friends for fun, or with rivals for more serious reasons.
Overall, it is a game that is truly “easy to learn, but hard to master.” Supervising the small group of Tiddlywinks players is Mr. Drix in room H213, dubbed “the foster father of North American Tiddlywinks.” After starting a club at Cornell over fifty years ago, Drix still passes his knowledge to students in the forms of advice and instructions. His style of teaching allows for the inexperienced player to get a grasp of how the game should be played optimally and efficiently.
When I first heard about Tiddlywinks Club from a friend and member, I thought it was a ridiculous child’s game with an equally ridiculous name. However, when I personally attended a session, I was blown away by how much skill was required in order to even get at least a single wink in the pot. I had growing respect for the game and the dedicated members of the club; soon, that respect turned into an interest and desire to get good at this fascinating game by overcoming the steep initial learning curve. Tiddlywinks Club is where one should go to experience the satisfying feeling of accomplishment and to test one’s coordinative and strategic abilities, either competitively or casually.