This section is for interested parents, and how a video game club at your child's school may help them.

Social skills and gaming

A common misconception among parents of gaming children is the idea that playing games is also not being social with their peers. In fact, the opposite is what is true. Modern gaming is an incredibly social experience, with players having to constantly talk to each other to strategize, or reach out for help in ever expansive and difficult games. Even the old Nintendo gaming systems, when friends come over and play for hours together, that experience is intensely social. Perhaps it isn't a traditional experience, but fundamentally it still is people gathering together and talking to each other. I think it is important to keep that in mind. Certainly moderation is important with all things, and excessive gaming shouldn't be written off as OK due to any perceived extended social skill exposure. Just keep staying connected with your child to see where they're at.

Feeling connected to your peers.

The most commonly reported quality of being a part of a video game club, is that the participating students are feeling more connected to their fellow classmates. Video game clubs have been a way for students who don't think there is anyone who can relate to them, to feeling like they have a place they belong. Once isolated students often find prosocial friendships in a video game club. They give the students a place to not feel like their interests are undesired by their peers, which ends up helping them feel better about schooling in general.

students build connections with their teachers

With a teacher, or multiple teachers, running the video game club, the students have reported their ease of being around them as a benefit to participating in the club. Many participants say it has helped them learn how to build connections to the teachers they have, which helps them continue to stay engaged in school. I've interviewed several kids who state that because of video game club, they work harder for their teachers because they don't want to let them down now that they have a relationship to them outside of a classroom setting.

When you’re finally connected to those people somehow, even if it’s just sitting in a room with them, it’s like you feel like you’re not just a group of acquaintances, you’re not just friends or anything, you’re not just people that happen to be in a club. It’s like even though some of you don’t even talk, you feel like it’s not just a club it’s like Cadets where it’s like a second family. It’s their thing that they need, it’s like being with those people, it’s not a club, we all go there, we all have fun, it’s like we’ve all become one big family. Even if there’s people I don’t know, I still feel I’m really close to them.
— Elizabeth - Thomas Haney Secondary School