Gaming Club Cover Image

I was personally very excited to talk to Mr. Haug, the Gaming Club Coach. I asked him for an update on the current activities that the Gaming Club had done. He said, "Gaming Club has been on a big Dungeons & Dragons kick since the start of the 2nd quarter. We finished two separate campaigns in January for high school and are wrapping up our junior high campaign next week. Other activities that have been big hits were Pokemon for a short while as well as Splatoon." I have had an interest in Gaming Club so not only was hearing about their activities cool but it also allowed me more insight into the club. I then asked why the club was so important to him. He said, "This club is important to me because I am a huge gamer myself. I love video games and think that they can be incredibly educational for students. They teach problem-solving skills and quick reactions under pressure. Additionally, both the playing and production of esports is a booming market that will only continue to grow. There are jobs in the video game industry, and we are doing students a disservice by not providing this opportunity for them to pursue it. I want to give students that don't quite have an activity to call home a place to belong." When I did this interview one of the main things that crossed my mind was how thoughtful Mr. Haug is. This teacher takes time out of his day to give students a place to come and hang out. So you could imagine how hard it was for him to choose only a couple of outstanding students. The names he mentioned were, "Jr. High: Leo Hain, Raymond Liu, & Evan Hunt. High School: James Liu, Ash Hunt, and Joe Weaver. These students were selected for outstanding attendance and participation in the Gaming Club." Mr. Haug is also very outgoing so I asked him for his honest opinion on the club. He said, "I think this club is awesome! It gives me a place to relax and unwind after the school day, sharing one of my strongest passions with students I care about!" I was also genuinely interested in how the club affected people so I asked. He said, "As I said earlier, this club gives a home to the students that aren't athletes but aren't quite involved with the arts either. Gaming is a large part of many students' lives, it's time it came to Raymond Central." The fact that Mr. Haug cares about his students this much is not amazing but incredible. After asking so many questions about the club I asked another personal question about how the club affects him. He told me, "Gaming Club has given me a chance to connect with high school students that I don't get very often due to being a junior high teacher. I've gotten to know quite a few students that I otherwise would not have had the chance to. It has also allowed me to become more closely tied to Raymond Central. I've truly enjoyed my time working with the Gaming Club and am looking forward to trying to establish esports at RC as well." Mr. Haug is always trying to reach out to more students with open arms. This means I can say with full confidence that Raymond Central should be grateful that we have him. I asked him another interesting question about what inspired him to start the club. He said, "Esports was my true inspiration for starting the gaming club. I want to allow students to compete for Raymond Central doing the things that they are already so skilled at. We have some incredibly talented players here at Raymond Central, and an organized competition will allow them to hone their skills and look to continue it at the collegiate level. Eventually, we may be able to expand the competitive side into a collaboration with the journalism program to establish the production of shows around the games being played, the possibilities are as big as we want to make them." With that, he accidentally answered my last question. Which was, "What are your plans for this club?" He still answered it though saying, " I kind of touched on this in the previous question. I want esports to be something to be proud of at Raymond Central. I love working with students, I love coaching, and I love playing games. Gaming clubs and esports allow me to combine those passions and help kids reach for their dreams. What kid that grew up playing games didn't want to become a professional gamer at one point? If I can give students that chance, every moment working towards it will be worth it for me."