Esports helps students to stay connected during online learning

Students and Professors alike link up in online games to keep in touch while physically apart

By Jensyn Hartzell

Elm Staff Writer

To help students cope and stay connected throughout quarantine, Washington College has begun to utilize its immensely popular Esports Club.

It takes place on a website Discord, which essentially is a “video gamer Facebook,” said Steve Kaneshiki, the campus recreation coordinator.

Players are able to post messages and find other players to link up with on online games. It is a friendly environment where gamers can enjoy themselves and find others that have the same interests as them.

Kaneshiki said that there are students, alumni, and faculty who have already joined the network and “believe it or not, students and professors do team up to play.”

There sssssis a plethora of video games, some of the most popular being, Minecraft, Overwatch, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart.

If players don’t find interest in those specific games, they can still join the Discord and find fellow gamers of the games they like. There are new messages in the chats almost every day, so players will have plenty of things to do to keep themselves busy during quarantine.

The joining process is easy and free. Players simply need to set up an account, which includes creating a username and password and supplying an email.

Then players can connect with fellow Washington Esport Club members and begin their fun. The club currently has one weekly event, a co-op Stardew Valley.

More information on this can be found on the Washington Discord network or by contacting Justin Gruen (cgruen2@washcoll.edu).

But all players are encouraged to share their favorite games, so more people can join and play along. Washington College alumni and former vice president of the club, Nick Miller, explained he uses the platform to “keep up with former classmates and teammates,” as well as “watching how the club is growing with each new member.”

He also explained that although there is a main chat that includes every member when on the Discord website, there are “multiple chat channels” that are specific to certain games “where members can chat about recent news and coordinate times to play together.”

The network is an amazing opportunity to “connect, win, and stay together through the power of video games and the internet” said Kaneshiki in his original information email about the club, which was sent to WC students on April 10.

The link to join was also included in this email. If students would like to find more information on the Esports Club, they can also contact the president, Mike Spence (mspence2@washcoll.edu) or the vice president, Julia Cunningham (jcunningham3@washcoll.edu). 

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