Tired of your parents telling you to get outside, do your homework, and hang out with friends? Make them happy (and do some of these things at the same time) in a video game club held at your school.
If your school doesn’t have one already, students like you must step up. With a little help from your teachers and parents, you can get a middle school or high school gaming club up and running.
How to Start a Gaming Club at School (in five easy steps):
- Gather your video game club allies
- Research your school’s procedures
- Prepare your gaming club proposal
- Stress the benefits of your gaming club at school
- Coordinate with the IT department
We’ll break down these steps below…read on for more and you’ll have your gaming club set up in no time!
Step 1: Gather your video game club allies.
You’ll never get a video game club approved if you’re the only member. And you’ll need helpers to complete all the work to get the club set up. Plus, it’s a lot more fun with more people involved. It’s time to build your task force.
Look for people who love gaming or are willing to support the club. They might include:
- Your friends. The people you play with now might like to be part of your club. And they may have other friends that want to join.
- Your librarian. If students hop into the library to play games or borrow equipment, the staff might support a video game club.
- Your computer science teacher. You might find a game-lover within a science classroom. It’s critical to get a teacher to join your team, since most schools require clubs to have a faculty advisor.
- Your shops. If you buy your gear from a store in your town, other kids probably do too. A local business might be willing to support your club with cash or advertise it.
Step 2: Research your school’s procedures.
To make your club official, play by your school’s rules, and be careful. Make a mistake now, and you could kill your project before it starts.
First, contact your school’s athletic department. Plenty of schools consider gaming a sport. Some high school gaming clubs, for example, compete in tournaments for cold, hard scholarship cash. If that happens at your school, you won’t need to start a club. One already exists.
If not, you’ll need to start a new club. But your school may already have rules about:
- Who can start a club.
- Where clubs can meet.
- How clubs can be managed.
- How much money clubs can spend.
The teacher or faculty advisor who has agreed to sponsor your club can help. Ask that person to gather up all the rules and regulations. Study them carefully and follow each step as it’s written.
Step 3: Prepare your gaming club proposal.
Your first step probably involves registration. You’ll register your club with the school so you can accept members and hold meetings. This takes some paperwork (sorry!), but your faculty advisor can assist you.
Most schools require club founders to answer questions about:
- Why video game clubs would help the school and students.
- How often you’ll meet .
- Where you will hold meetings.
- How people can join your club.
- What you will do during the meetings.
Some schools make you answer these questions in writing. They become bylaws for your video game club. But others are more informal. Your teacher can tell you how your school likes to run things.
If you have no idea what a formal proposal for a high school game club or middle school version might look like, run searches. There are plenty of examples (like this one) you can borrow from.
Step 4: Stress the benefits of gaming clubs at school.
You filled out all the paperwork. You did everything just right. But the administration still has concerns. Should you give up? No way.
A lot of adults think of video games in a negative light, so you need to highlight all their benefits – like their ability to improve coordination, amplify problem-solving abilities, boost multitasking skills, and increase focus and concentration capacities.
Ask your parents to help you do research. Look for studies that prove kids that play become well-rounded members of society. There are plenty of studies out there just like this (including two cited here) that could move people from fighting you to helping you.
Also, talk with your administration about the games you plan to play. They may be worried that you’ll spend your time fighting or blowing up buildings or learning how to swear like a sailor.
Choose games that are school friendly. Experts recommend these VR titles, for example:
- Woofbert VR
- The Body VR
- Oculus DreamDeck
- Discovery VR
If none of those appeal to you, look for other options in a similar vein. Stay away from any games that could be deemed controversial.
Step 5: Coordinate your club with IT.
Your club was approved. Yes! But before you hold your first meeting, you’ll need just a little more help.
Some schools block video gaming sites so students won’t play all day long instead of learning. Your IT department will likely need to lift those restrictions so your meetings run smoothly.
Some experts suggest telling IT what sites you need and when you need them. Share a list and a schedule. That way, the team can lift and then replace the blocks when your meeting starts and ends.
If your club has been approved, there’s no reason for IT to refuse your request.
And if you have trouble, you can always ask your club’s sponsor to help.
Lastly, consider including Clutch among the list of approved sites, create an account for your school, and start sharing your club’s exploits and gaming achievements with an awesome gaming community.