Here at Cass Technical High School, there are a variety of clubs. Keeping this in mind, this gives a lot of diversity to what students can choose to do in their spare time. The clubs vary from the different sports clubs, to the different language clubs, and etc. However, one club in particular stands out amongst them all that appeals to a vast amount of students; the Video Game Club.
Having more than 100 students attending the club, it’s clear to see that it is something unique about the club as it has the most students attending a club at Cass Technical High School.
Some students have stated the club to be more like a safe haven than an actual club.
Brevin Washington and Anthony Quinteros, members of the executive board for the Video Game Club, agreed.
"The Video Game Club is a great stress reliever and a safe haven because it allows kids to not be judged for what they love doing, playing video games and it gives them something to look forward to," Brevin said.
Quinteros' response was along the lines of what Brevin said as he begun to give him input.
"Video Game Club is one of the places people can go and let stress out from the amount f work some teachers give without getting in trouble," Quinteros said.
One of the physics teachers, Nicholas Lenk, or better known as Dr. Lenk to the students runs the Video Game Club.
“I think it’s awesome, it gives gamers a place to meet each other and hang out and build friendships with others not just in their grade level, but throughout the whole school," Lenk said.
When told that some students find the Video Game Club a safe haven and asked why he would think students would say that, he said: “Because, the culture that we have built here is one of support of each other. It’s a place where kids can feel like they’re accepted even when they’re being weird. I’ve actually never heard anyone call it a safe haven, but I’m not surprised students have told you that because the kids that are in, they know that the people that they are around they can trust and they can open up. They don’t have to maybe put on the façade that they’ve been wearing all day. Once they get here, they can be themselves.”
Might other schools adapt the rules that are presented at Cass Tech's Video Game Club?
“I think they should," Lenk said. "The job of school is to teach kids. A huge part of teaching students is student engagement and so if you can give students a place after school where they really feel that they’re apart of, they start associating themselves with the school and they start associating themselves with more peers. If you wanna get these kids interested in school you need to give them a place in school in which they care about.
"I’ve created the website videogameclubs.org where I go through everything that I know about how to engage students and how to set things up like this successfully. However, the bottom line is you have to have a teacher that really cares about the club and will put a lot of effort into it because if it’s just a teacher that who will just grade papers all the whole time while it’s going on typically don’t see that much success as the ones where the teacher is up, they’re playing games with the kids, they’re setting up tournaments or maybe events where the kids can really dive into the club.
"The No. 1 factor is the person running it. So, that would be my first advice to any teacher who’s trying to run a Video Game Club. You have to have your efforts focused on it. Your name is tied to it so make it awesome. The second factor is to let kids decide what games they want to play. They know exactly what they want to play so let them bring in what they want. I mean yeah, if we were to just bring in one game like 2K (a basketball game) and base the club just off of that it would be successful, but also it would have a limited scope because it wouldn’t bring in as many kids at once as a general Video Game Club would. It’s usually best just to leave the choice of game up to the students.”
If you have any other questions on what exactly to do for your own Video Game Club, visit Lenk’s website videogameclubs.org.