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Gaming Club faces pandemic challenges

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Adam Van Lul
Staff Writer

With the University of La Verne shutting down due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the La Verne Gaming Club is facing its own set of challenges. 

At the beginning of the semester, the club’s roster consisted of more than 100 members whose passion for video games brought them out for get-togethers and tournaments hosted by the club. 

When the University closed indefinitely, the club found it difficult to stay in touch with all of its members. 

Junior accounting major Adam Betancourt, vice president of the Gaming Club, said their priority at this moment is not video games. 

“It’s best if our members focus on themselves, their health and their families,” he said. 

One would think that it would be easy to run a video game club exclusively online through internet use and apps that support group messaging, like Discord or Zoom; however, this is not the case.

“Online it hasn’t been as active because we’ve been disconnected with our members. Our major events at school would involve us meeting up, but because of this pandemic, we’ve put the club on a hiatus,” Betancourt said. 

Another possible reason why the club is struggling during this time is because of its need for social interaction. The club thrived off of the social interaction gained through on-campus meetups and without these events, everything ground to a halt, Betancourt said.

Senior political science major Christian Nunez, treasurer of the Gaming Club, said the club’s favorite game is Super Smash Bros, though League of Legends and Minecraft are popular choices as well.

Though all of these can be played online, Super Smash Bros, a crossover fighting game, is by far the club’s preferred choice because up to eight players can play on the same screen at the same time. It is often played at the club’s tournaments, Nunez said. 

He added that although the Gaming Club is disconnected at this time, he is part of other groups, like the Debate Team, that have taken to video games to pass the time.

“Everyone is in a gaming club of their own at this point,” Nunez said. 

Other non-member students seemed to agree with this notion. Brendon Wheeler, junior computer science major, said that he has been gaming during this time to avoid being around other people. 

“I enjoy playing video games because it’s a great way to pass time without having serious repercussions on my health,” Wheeler said. 

Noah Jones, junior criminology major at Grand Canyon University, said he felt there was a surge in online gaming in the past few weeks. 

“I have definitely noticed there are a lot more people online during the COVID-19 outbreak because they make the games lag all the time and lobbies are extremely full. We have nothing better to do with our lives so we resort to gaming with our friends,” Jones said. 

Adam Van Lul can be reached at adam.vanlul@laverne.edu.

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