Dordt’s gaming guild seeks to foster community

Aleasha Hintz—Staff Writer

Dordt’s newest club, The Dordt Gaming Guild, seeks to offer gamers of all experience levels a chance to connect with others of similar interests.

Before this year, there has not been a university-sanctioned space for students to game together. Students who wanted to game had to do so in their dorms or apartments, sometimes leading to pockets of isolation on campus.

The club was created to bring these students together.

Ethan Haeder, president of the club, said, “The Dordt Gaming Guild was made with the intention of having community on campus, and ministry with and to each other through the medium of gaming.”

He and the club director, Brad Hickey, have both had experiences where they were touched by faith through secular mediums. Video games get a bad rap, but just because most are not explicitly Christian, does not mean that they cannot touch people’s hearts in a profound way.

“It might not be massively, glaringly obvious…” Haeder said, “but it’s [faith] still absolutely there.

The Dordt Gaming Guild is an active manifestation of Dordt’s mission statement. That is, it is a part of their goal to equip students, “to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life.”

The club plans to actively integrate Christianity into the club by taking prayer requests in Discord.

The first thing needed to make this club a reality was a space dedicated to gaming. The game room is located in the Covenant Hall basement, and boasts an elusive PS5 console, a Nintendo switch, brand new PC’s, and even a growing library of board games. This room will be made available to guild members via reservations for time blocks and other club events, from 3-10, Monday through Saturday.

The club boasts three sections, each one dedicated to a different branch of gaming. The three sections are console gaming, PC gaming, and “traditional” games such as board games, tabletop role play games, and trading card games. There has even been talk of adding sections for mobile and retro gaming depending on club member’s interests.

Each section is led by a vice president, and operates independently. Sophomore Zach Bivens will be the vice president of console gaming, freshman Emma Ryan will be the vice president of PC gaming, and junior Isaac [“Nemo”] Rohne will be vice president of traditional gaming. 

The president of the club, Ethan Haeder, said that this was done mainly for the sake of efficiency. Rather than have one person manage a large group of people, the vice presidents can lead only the people committed to their section of gaming.

But the club’s bread and butter are multiplayer and cooperative games. Initially, there was talk about this club being an e-sports club, but due to e-sports’ competitive nature, it was rebranded to better reflect the communal intentions of the club.

The Dordt Gaming Guild is quite democratic in nature. It’s all about what the club members want to play. The top games so far are Minecraft, League of Legends, and Valorant. There are hopes to start a minecraft server for the guild, and offer a few competitive opportunities with the last two games for those interested.

The club is low on commitment. There are no requirements for meeting or event attendance. Even if members do not use the club for its intended purpose, the opportunity to game in community will always be available to students.

However, prospective members are required to have a Discord account, as this is the club’s primary mode of communication. Once individuals are added to the channel, they will have the option to participate in any combination of the three sections. After joining a section, new channels will open on the Discord server.

Already, the club has 54 members, and they hope to gain more after their kick off event on September 24. 

All levels of experience are welcome to join the gaming club, whether you have never gamed in your life or you game four hours everyday. “We would love to have every single Dordt student be a part of this,” Haeder said.

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