Photos by Morgan Browning. Multimedia by Liddy Stallard.
Physics teacher and Game Club sponsor Nathan Southwick opens up the floor-to-ceiling cabinet Thursday after school in his classroom, exposing roughly 40 board games. Some are classic household games, like Monopoly and Scrabble. Others date back to his childhood and lie in disintegrating boxes.
Across the room, another cabinet filled with video games for the various consoles to be played on the back televisions.
Scattered between the two cabinets are members of Game Club, diligently playing a few of the many games Southwick owns.
Game Club meets every Thursday after school in Southwick’s room, 405, until about 4 p.m. Five years ago, two students approached Southwick about sponsoring the club, which he willingly agreed to.
“I am obsessed with games, I love them, absolutely love them, have since I was a kid,” Southwick said, “It’s fantastic that other kids are interested, so I like sharing my interest with them.”
For members of the club, games are a way to socialize. President and senior Alex Jenson has some friends who aren’t able to attend Game Club due to either sports or Doctor Who Club which also meets on Thursdays. Despite this, Alex has used the past three years participating in game club as an outlet to meet new people.
“I get to play strange and exciting board games, argue rules with people I hardly know and see friends,” Jenson said. “That’s what it is all about – a light-hearted, social gathering.”
Each week, students are free to play any board game they choose, whether it be one of Southwick’s or one of their own. Students then find people to play familiar games with, learn a new game or watch an active game. There is only one rule: do not cheat.
Club member and senior Berend Niehorster-Cook describes it as an open community, where people do not need to know the rules to join. If a person would like to try a new game, someone sits them down and guides them through it. Niehorster-Cook always attends game club to keep his mind working and interact with his friends.
“Dota, the third most popular video game worldwide, is an example of an interplay of positioning and adapting your strategy,” Niehorster-Cook said. “Playing games in general is great for the mind, it helps problem solve and test your reflexes in some cases.”
Game Club is an opportunity after school to meet new people, attain gaming skills applicable to life and a chance to try new games each Thursday.
“If you have free time at all, I would recommend taking up a game to keep your mind engaged and always thinking,” Niehorster-Cook said.