Video gamers start after school club

Rachael Peck

Each Friday afternoon, deep in the bellows of the basement meets a group, little known to the BSM community. The video game club, founded only a few short weeks ago, is redefining the way students interact with each other and technology.

The group was started by sophomore Miles Engrave. “I am usually [at school] until five every day and I wanted something.” His interest in video games and friendship with Knightline adviser, Mr. Fran Roby, led him to a solution. “So, I asked Mr. Roby to use the Knightline room to play

,” he said.

According to the group’s adviser, Mr. Roby, he was excited when approached about the idea for the new club. “I had to check it out with Ms. Andersen,” and it all started from there.

After receiving the okay from the administration, Engrave invited a few friends to join him. The group, which still remains nameless, has been meeting in the Knightline room on Friday afternoons from right after school to about 3:30 p.m. ever since.

With the lights dimmed, the small group of five surrounded the giant green screen of the Knightline room, playing a classic––SuperSmash Bros on the new Nintendo Wii. Each with their favored character––for one “Zelda” and another “Kirby,” the group battles.

After a few short weeks, the “group of five people and one system…has extended” to an average of fifteen people, three games, and two smaller screens in addition to the green screen; “it’s a mad house today,” said junior Alyssa Nation of the dark room outfitted with three game systems “going at once.”

Now that they have introduced the game Guitar Hero, younger students have begun to get involved. Though mostly juniors and sophomores, there are a few freshman and junior high students. This situation has allowed all ages to come together, bonded by the same interest, as well as fostered good-natured rivalry between the grades; “whenever the freshman get beat it’s always good,” said Nation with a laugh.

While the thought of playing with a seasoned gamers may seem daunting, the group is open to all levels, expert and beginner players alike. “Everyone can play. One kid didn’t even know how to use the remote when he came, but he learned really fast,” said Nation of a newcomer. But because most of the players are well advanced, especially at the SuperSmash Bros, “you have to be pretty good to win,” said sophomore Art Isaacson.

The club members are generally considerate of other players but occasionally conflict arises. “If you have already played you give the remote to someone else and usually people are pretty fair. If there is someone who won’t give it up there is a big uprising and people start to get mad,” said Nation.

The problem has increased with the growth of the group. Though Engrave likes the idea of the group expanding to include more video gamers, “[he] liked it when it was small because [they] didn’t have to do all this rotation [between controllers].”

Despite the common misconception regarding the world of gaming, girls are active members of the group. The club consists of mostly boys, but there are a few girls equally as talented and technologically inclined. “I can definitely keep up with [the boys]” said sophomore Emily Kasel.

The students involved in the group carry their passion for video games past the doors of the Knightline room. Not only do these video game enthusiasts play after school, many spend free time at home playing as well. “I have always been addicted,” said freshman Veronica Randall, “so yeah, I definitely play at home.”

If you are considering joining the club, speak to Miles Engrave first.