Monday, September 22, 2014

Virtual exploration

Freshman student starts Liberty video game club

Each Thursday in DeMoss 4066, video game enthusiasts meet under the leadership of freshman and Liberty University Video Game Club President Jonathan Cole.

Gaming — Members play and discuss games during Thursday night meetings. Photo credit: Jenny House

According to Cole, the group meets for a variety of game-based discussion, as well as for watching and playing games, but the club might not have been created had it not been for a friendly challenge.

“I was eating at Doc’s with a friend last semester, and we were joking about having a video game club,” Cole said. “The next day, I was talking about it with other friends, and some said I could not do it.”

Cole said that he would prove them wrong, and he did, officially launching the club Nov. 27, 2012.

The video game club now boasts a unique distinction. Almost all of the club’s officials are second-semester Liberty freshmen. The only difficulty they ran into, according to Cole, was finding a professor to approve the club. After a week, Associate Professor of Information Systems Jerry Westhall signed the much-needed paperwork, making their club official.

“(The meeting discussions) range from creation of games to overall design,” video game club member Kevin Wheeler said. “(We) usually end up playing a popular game with 50 other people.”

Some of the group’s short-term goals include game tournaments, Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) teams, and a university-wide Minecraft server, according to Cole.

In the long run, they hope to compete with other colleges and organizations, send a group to Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and establish an outreach program — through which they would like to visit other colleges and high schools, sharing Christ along with their passion for video games, Cole said.

Cole also explained that as part of the outreach, they are considering finding a way to integrate with Campus Serve to have kids in the community play video games with them in order to have the opportunities to minister to them.

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