With so many people spending most of their time at home during the pandemic, the video game industry has exploded and many new gaming communities have emerged across the country.
This surge in gaming popularity sparked the return of the City College Video Game Club, which has seen hundreds of new members flock with so many home students taking classes online.
“We decided this semester would be a great time with everyone online and offline,” said club president Tanja Jefferson. “The club server has been up and running for a few weeks now and we have about 150 people now.”
The club aims to bring together students with a common interest in video games and gaming culture. Members do everything from gaming to live streaming on popular platforms like Twitch, and even modifying or creating their own. own games.
While not meeting in the traditional sense, the club helps connect like-minded students through the social media platform Discord. There are no scheduled weekly meeting times, instead members find channels through the club’s Discord that they are interested in and connect with other members that way.
Some of the most popular games played by club members include “Among Us”, “Rainbow Six Siege”, “Minecraft”, “The Elder Scrolls Online”, “Fortnite” and “Stellaris”. There is an additional ‘Table Simulator’ section where board and card games such as ‘Monopoly’, ‘Catan’, ‘Uno’ and ‘Cards Against Humanity’ are played in an online format.
Members are encouraged to explore and create their own channels on Discord based on their favorite games to engage other members. According to club vice president Rafael Carrillo, the goal of the video game club being so open is for members to be able to connect with new people based on common interests.
“We’re here to build a community, we’re not here to play a specific game,” Carrillo said. “Our biggest concern was that people were distant and in their own affairs since we are not on campus.”
The club also made it a focal point to ensure a respectful and welcoming environment for all participants, and since voice interactions are so essential to online games, Jefferson and Carrillo wanted to have rules in place to keep that peace. New members must sign an agreement with group rules, before they can register for roles that reflect their interests.
“It was really exciting to see when the club started to become popular that there wasn’t a single case of [members] be rude, critical or intolerant, ”Jefferson said.
The club also plans to launch a “Gamer Girl Initiative”. This new weekly Hangout aims to bring members together in a female-only environment to help members connect over video games and other common interests.
“Growing up, video games were kind of an exclusion,” Jefferson said. “Now they are the biggest entertainment industry, they are powerful and important.”
The club are also planning to jump into the action with the hugely popular game “Among Us”, with plans to host a tournament in November. It may not attract the record Twitch viewers that Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar had, but it will be an opportunity for City College players to learn about “impostors” among friends.