Inside look at Gaming Club

Bailey Baker and Mia Hermann

From the day freshman Marcus Duby got his first video game console to his first Gaming Club meeting at South, video games have always been a passion of his. Duby is just one example of a student logged into the world of video games, as many South students have found ways to connect with others through their love for video games, senior Jordan Combs, President of Gaming Club, said. 

Gaming Club is one of the opportunities at South for students to play video games in a freeform and welcoming environment, Combs said. 

“We can do whatever we want as long as we’re gaming, hanging, and being nice,” Combs said. “We’ve done JackBox [television] games where everyone will play on their phone and the game will be presented on the TV or projector; we’ve had a lot of good laughs from that.”

The club serves as both a gaming and social outlet where students are easily able to connect with others through a common interest, sophomore Marilyn Maldonado said. 

“[The] people in Gaming Club are brought together by video games,” Maldonado said. “It’s given me the opportunity to open up and explore the school. I just transferred, and I’ve met some great people who are interested in the same things [as me].”

Although video games are often seen as an after-school activity, English Teacher Gwen Quigley has found a way to work video games into her Humanities class curriculum, Quigley said. Recently, her students have participated in analyzing the stories and messages of video games they play during class. 

“It relates to a lot of the other Humanities units because it is thinking analytically and critically about an art form,” Quigley said. “In this case, that art form happens to be video games.”

The students in Quigley’s class learned to view video games as a storytelling art form through games such as Gris and Abzu, which contain relatable themes of environmental issues and mental health, Quigley said. She is a firm believer in the positive impact of video games.  

“There’s a lot of interesting research out there about the mental health benefits of playing video games productively, which I think would be surprising to people who have a negative opinion about video games,” Quigley said.

On top of the social and mental health benefits of video games, Combs believes that Gaming Club fosters inclusivity by encouraging more girls to join the club. 

“I noticed my freshman year that [my friend] and I were the only two girls [in the club],” Combs said. “As long as you like playing games, you are welcome at Gaming Club.”