Strategic Game Club Opens Doors and Minds

Posted on February 7, 2012

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Features | Christina Manero

Everyone loves a good game.   Simple games are great entertainment, while those of the more intricate variety force players to think.  From “Uno” to “Settlers of Catan,” there is a game for every type of person.  Springfield’s Strategic Game Club firmly believes in this statement.  Thursdays after school, Mrs. Pirmann’s room is filled with students playing all manner of board games, and having a ton of fun doing so.
Speak to any member of the club and they will insist that they do plenty more than simply “play games” at Game Club.  Jordan Shuster, the club’s treasurer, explains that for her, the club is about “getting to know people outside of theater and Jazz Band and all that.”  Many other members expressed similar opinions.  Devin Matthews states, “As a guy who sits at home and plays video games for hours and hours, I feel like I have no friends because I never see anyone outside of school.  Game Club is a perfect experience…[I’m] socializing with people.”
Mrs. Pirmann, the club’s advisor, explains that when she started the organization, she did so “with the idea of a club or student organization that anyone could belong to.”   Many of the club’s members feel that she has achieved this goal.  Graham Roberts explains, “I’m not really the most athletic person…or the best singer…or a great actor…So this has got to be my favorite club.  It’s open to everyone…you just need to be able to enjoy games.”
Devin also explains that Game Club “ …is great, because you are not screaming at someone through a controller…you’re actually sitting across from someone playing a board game…which is still fun, because you actually see that person.”   Many of the club members agreed that it is great to have an idea of games outside of “Call of Duty.”
Mrs. Pirmann adds that kids “don’t need an organization to facilitate …you have to be in the same place at the same time as other people [to play table games]. So a student organization with a specific meeting time works.”
Video games are seen, however, at the Strategic Game Club’s Face-to-Face 24-hour gaming event.  The experience is just what it sounds like; 24 hours of all sorts of games.  The club charged admission, and the profits went to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  The club raised $1500, and the money was used to buy games for children staying in the hospital.
Michael Rambo, who was one of the club’s first members, explains that he “comes to…make new friends or become better friends with people.”  He also goes as far as saying, “You don’t even have to like games [to join].”  Jordan explained this seemingly contradictory statement, “We have [less intricate] games like ‘Uno’ and ‘Apples to Apples’… the club is for literally any person who just wants somewhere to belong.”
Every member of the club expressed a similar sentiment.  Student after student explained that the club is a place where they feel accepted and well-liked.  Michael expressed that the group “doesn’t seem like a club…it feels like a community.”  It was Graham who summed up all of these wonderful statements the best. “This [club] is where you come to relate to other people who enjoy your hobby, and they accept you.”
The Game Club, for all its simplicity of purpose, achieves much more than giving students entertainment for a few hours on Thursday afternoons. The club gives its members a place to share their love of games, as well as a place where they feel accepted.  Jordan explains that it’s for “someone who isn’t necessarily in any other clubs, or for someone who just wants to branch out.”  Springfield’s Strategic Game Club is truly a place for everyone.

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