Campus Gamers at CSUB
The Campus Gamers club at California State University, Bakersfield, was created in September, 2011. It very quickly became one of the fastest growing and most respected clubs on campus.
Campus Gamers meets every Friday at 3 PM for a business meeting, which is followed by a "gaming meeting", where club members and guests play games of all kinds. The club is "platform neutral", meaning it does not focus on one particular kind of gaming or a single platform. Members are discouraged from what is frequently referred to as "fanboyism," so there are no arguments about Playstation vs. Xbox, Console vs. PC, or video games vs. board, card or tabletop games. Members celebrate when other members find a game they're happy with, even if the game isn't of personal interest to them. Membership only requires attending three regular business meetings or other offically recognized club events. Attending gaming meetings only is not sufficient for membership.
Club membership is also "gamer neutral", meaning that game lovers of all kinds are welcome. Membership includes hardcore and casual gamers, and people of different genders, races, religions, nationalities, sexual orientation and physical abilities. The club does not practice "tolerance", rather, it practices "inclusion." Tolerance means letting someone into your house. Inclusion means welcoming them into your home.
Some favorite games of club members include League of Legends, Overwatch, Halo, FIFA, Minecraft, Super Smash Bros, Pandemic, D&D, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Rock Band, Just Dance, and Cards Against Humanity.
Campus Gamers is one of the most collaborative clubs on campus, working with many other clubs and organizations.
- Each year, the "Japan and Beyond" club holds a "Matsuri", or a Japanese festival, which includes Japanese and other Asian food, Inflatable Sumo wrestling, a Taiko drum demonstration, a judo demonstration, calligraphy, costume and traditional dress contests and more. Campus Gamers provides over a dozen game stations with Japanese games for attendees to play. In turn, JAB members run the Japanese games at "Extra Life."
- The Student Recreation Center at CSUB throws a Halloween party called the "Scary Rec Carnival," with a haunted house, costume contest, face painting and photo booth. Campus Gamers provides a large gaming section for this event as well.
- Campus Gamers participates in "Runner Nights" events by hosting a table with carnival-style games, with themes based upon the theme of the "Runner Nights" event.
- The club helps out at campus events like the Latina Youth Conference and Foster Youth Conference, which in turn sent helpers to "Extra Life" events. It also helps with projects like Campus Clean-up Days and by sending attendees to events like the Brown Bag Luncheon speaker series.
- Campus Gamers receives donations of games and gaming-related items, and it supports other club fundraisers with prize donations for silent auctions.
- The club collaborates with organizations off-campus, as well. It has provided enough gaming equipment for a gaming area at BakAnime, the Bakersfield Mini-Con, Bakersfield Comic-Con, the Tulare CA Sci-Fi Con, the Bakersfield Home and Garden Show and the former L.A. Cosplay Con. At the LA Cosplay Con, the club secured a sponsorship which allowed every student from CSUB to attend the event free of charge.
Campus Gamers' biggest annual event is "Extra Life", a gaming marathon to raise money for the Lauren Small Children's Center at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital (BMH). In six years, the club has raised over $160,000 by loaning gaming equipment for use at the event, securing donations of food and prizes, and promoting the events on campus and around Bakersfield.
Campus Gamers works very closely with the staff of the local Children's Miracle Network (CMN) office, which operates out of BMH. It helps out by answering phones during Mediathons, at events like "Tip a CHiP" and others. Like "Extra Life", "Dance Marathon" is a program of Children's Miracle Network, and Campus Gamers fills an entire room with games for attendees to play between dances.
Campus Gamers members are very visible and well-known in the gaming community in Bakersfield.
- Campus Gamers provided a gaming area for local foster youth at the "Breakfast with Santa" event.
- Campus Gamers provides games for the New Advances for People with Disabilities (NAPD) program.
- For the past four years, club members have served as everything from timekeepers to witnesses to backup dancers for local school teacher and gamer Carrie Swidecki, during her multiple world record attempts. In July, 2015, she set a new Guinness world record for longest video game marathon at 138 hours, playing "Just Dance". Her event raised $7,305 for "Extra Life". She's also set records for high scores during a campus "Dance Marathon" event.
- Campus Gamers has been recognized by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce with a "Beautiful Bakersfield" award nomination for its work with "Extra Life."
Campus Gamers attends many functions on campus including three annual Club Fairs, Celebrate CSUB, Engineering Day, NSME Open House, University Day, New Student Convocation, College: Making it Happen, and more.
The club holds a mini "Extra Life" preview event at the university's anniversary event called Celebrate CSUB.
Club members donate the use of their gaming consoles for "The Best. Week. Ever. - Game Over edition" where games were available free to play for all students and faculty for a full week in the Student Union.
The club has held "Game Day at the Cafe" events, and "End-of-Quarter" gaming parties.
All students are welcome to attend weekly meetings with gameplay sessions following the meetings.