Video Game Club and a Mindshift

In middle school, I wrote a research paper on all the bad things I could find about video games. I was closed minded and couldn't imagine a case where I would be pitching to my administration all the positives of video games. I never in a million years would have guessed that I would now be overseeing my school's first video game club, but I am and I love it.

This summer I did an Ignite talk at ISTE. While freaking out backstage, I met Josh Bound, a Pennsylvania educator who I quickly learned was in my Apple Distinguished Educator class. Through that experience I learned about the Video Game Clubs of America and the story behind how the organization was founded. I was inspired by their mission and was finally able to see how video games could be used as a vehicle for social emotional learning and to help students gain confidence.



Fast forward a few months and a couple of my students came to me about starting a video game club during our activity periods. After a call with Josh to get me up to speed on video games, I was in. We quickly got approval, used the VGC bylaws to put together an exec board and the students planned the first meeting. We had 65 students in attendance!!

I was blown away. The students cheered for each other, motivated one another, and built each other up. It was unlike anything I had ever seen with video games before. Students in other activities started coming to my door to find out what was going on because "it sounded like a lot of fun". Other adults in the building dropped by to check it out because they couldn't believe VGC was really what all the hype was about.

We have now had 2 meetings and are planning for the Spring semester. It is so fun and student run! The exec board is learning leadership skills and how to manage an activity and everyone is having fun. If you are at all interested or even a little bit curious, reach out to Josh Bound or go to www.vgcusa.org. You'll be glad you did!

Huge shout-out to Josh for changing my mindset and making a believer out of me.

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