Better know a club: video game club


Hannah Jones/Winonan

Dressed in a comfortable t-shirt and jeans, Cassie Pearson entered the Student Union rolling along a suitcase packed with everything she’d need: a PlayStation 2 and two Dance Dance Revolution controller pads.

Pearson was one of the many to arrive at the Student Union on Saturday night for Winona State University’s first video game club meeting of the year, which would begin at 7 p.m. that night and end at 7 a.m. the next day.

All throughout the Student Activity Center club members were lugging out their equipment—computers, game consoles, controllers, chips, pop and more—and setting up gaming stations in the booths and seating areas.

Pearson explained that the dance game wasn’t really her favorite. “But, it’s a good group game,” she said.

According to Pearson, the group, not the games, is really the essence of the club itself.

Video game club gives students an opportunity to be social while they enjoy one of their favorite hobbies. Rather than “hiding in their rooms,” Pearson said, club members can spend Saturday night with a big group of people who share the same interest.

And it is a big group. Video game club boasts a roster of more than 100 members, with about 40 or 50 members in attendance at each meeting.

Treasurer Ryan Santos is one of the four or five club members who routinely stay the full twelve hours. Santos admitted to owning seven consoles and more than 200 games. He had plenty of options to choose from that evening and only 12 hours to play.

“Sometimes we just sleep on the leather couches,” he said, gesturing to the cushy sofas by the entrance to the Student Union. However, with his job beginning at 11 a.m. the next morning, he was wondering whether or not he should even bother sleeping at all.

As president, Walgrave said, he has two main responsibilities: make sure the club runs smoothly, and most importantly, make sure everyone is having fun. That means getting people to not only play but play together.

Sophie Kaplan, former vice president, commented that Walgrave was doing a “lovely” job as president, keeping order and keeping up the community spirit of the club.

“We can play games by ourselves all week,” she said. “Here, there’s a really good atmosphere. It’s like a little society.”

Just like any other society, video game club has its own set of rules. Some are official; Walgrave went over those in the brief Powerpoint he gives every year at the first meeting.

Video game club functions as a lock-in. Security locks up Kryzsko commons at 11 p.m. to 12 p.m. on the weekends. After that, if any club members leave, it’s game over—they can’t get back in.

However, according to Kaplan, there are several unspoken rules of video game club as well. “If you’re playing single player, switch to multi-player if you can,” she said. Her expression got grave. “And do not save over other peoples’ files,” she said.

“Ever,” Walgrave added.

Walgrave ended his Powerpoint, and screens across the room blinked back to life.The members of video game club grabbed their controllers, un-paused and got ready for a long night of fun.


Contact Hannah at [email protected]