Many clubs and organizations at Florida A&M University have had to virtually host meetings and events due to the coronavirus pandemic. One club has managed to stay connected despite the challenges that have been thrown at it.
The Video Game Club inspires students to get involved in the game through a variety of events and opportunities.
“The Video Game Club was formed in 2013 by computer science students,” said councilor Jason Black. “It’s a way to interest and excite students from all disciplines through interactive tournaments and game nights, as well as seminars and workshops on design, development, internships and career opportunities in the field. Since then, the club has grown to include members of the MEAC E-Sports League, HBCU E-Sports League, and Black Collegiate Gaming Association.
Since its creation, the Video Game Club has organized more than 20 tournaments and workshops. They plan to increase visibility and membership on campus through activities and alliances with national gaming associations.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Black says they have been hosting virtual meetings and events since spring 2020.
“The Video Game Club officially meets once a month (every third Friday),” Black said. “Additional meetings take place with the board between meetings. All meetings and events are virtual and take place on Zoom. “
Members were able to use online platforms like Discord and Twitch to stay connected.
“The club has a Discord channel used for additional planning, communication and live social events, as well as a Twitch channel for the same purpose,” Black said.
Like other clubs, the Video Game Club took on the challenge of adding new members after losing some to graduation.
“The effect of the pandemic has been quite interesting,” Black said. “While this didn’t stop the club from hosting events, it made it difficult to recruit and process new members. Fortunately, we have been able to maintain a stable core of students and have maintained and even increased our momentum. “
FAMU student Nana Ama Marfo has been an active member of the Video Game Club for three years. What she likes best about a member is the positive environment and passion for video games.
“What I love most about being a member of the club is how close and FAMU oriented it is,” said Marfo. “They welcome everyone. I love how we have such a passion for video games, educating others and their culture.
Marfo says she had to adjust to virtual meetings early in the pandemic.
“I used to go there every week on Friday face to face,” said Marfo. “It didn’t change anything. The only thing is it’s not face to face so we can’t do cool things that we want to do.
Frederic Triplett has been a member of the Video Game Club since 2014 and just graduated last December. Triplett says his favorite part of being a member was attending club meetings and game nights.
“Events like different themed game nights or the usual meetings where we brought our systems in and played games were my favorite part,” said Triplett.
Triplett says the pandemic made organizing events difficult at first, but it got easier over time.
“At the start of the pandemic, it was difficult to organize the competitions that we wanted to host,” said Triplett. “As we got used to using Zoom and other platforms like Discord, it became a lot easier to have more social events.”