Formed five years ago by a small group of friends in the Computer Science Program, the Gaming Club brought together students who shared a love of video games. The gaming club doesn’t just play games, they also do a lot for the campus and community. Currently, there’s about twenty active members that meet weekly to plan activities.
When many think of gaming, they think of video games. But the club also plays tabletop games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, as well as livestreaming party games such as Super Smash Bros., Mario Party, and Mario Kart. Most gaming sessions will conclude with a game of Quiplash. Throughout the year, the club also puts on other fun events such as movie nights and board game nights.
Gaming club member and Computer Science major, Nicholas Hofer, says “We do more than just play games. The club does various fundraising events each semester partnering with different charities.” These are typically 12 hour livestream events, and any donations they receive from the stream goes directly to the charity selected for that particular stream. In the past, they have raised money for the Humane Society, Wounded Warrior Project, American Cancer Society, and more. Once a year the club partakes in the Extra Life event, in which livestreamers around the country hold a 24-hour stream, and all proceeds go to a participating Children’s Miracle Network hospital. “The club partners with St. Jude’s every year,” says Hofer. “It’s great to be able to do what you love, and make a difference at the same time.”
As an officer in the gaming club, Hofer learned valuable skills. “It’s made me more comfortable working on a team, which is a common skill required by many careers in the computer industry, such as programming. It’s been a great opportunity to gain experience in both leadership and teambuilding.”
Members of the gaming club would love to see it grow. Not only has the club grown in members, but it has also gotten more involved by hosting more events and livestreams each semester. Computer Science major, Donovon Gochnaur, says “One of my ultimate goals, which is already starting to come to fruition, is a campus-wide Super Smash Brothers tournament with hundreds of students participating. We have a tournament coming up in April, and it should be a great start to what will hopefully be an annual tradition.”
Gochnaur enjoys being a member of the club. “It gives me a nice break from my homework so I can relax and rewind, so when I return to my studies I can be rejuvenated. Being in this club and helping with the streams has definitely helped me become a better Computer Science student for the sheer fact that I have had to learn totally new computer programs to help with the streams.”
The group will be hosting an open Dungeon and Dragons game in conjunction with Residence Life and Campus Ministry on March 24th at 6:30pm to help encourage more to join the club. Dice will be given to all participants while supplies last as well as a free prize raffle at 8pm.