NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Gaming with the Government

Man wearing purple button up shirt, standing outside in front of a tree. Photo from Facebook

SGA President Matthew Day and founder of Gaming with the Government

Several people siting holding controllers. Thare is a group in the front citing on two couches, and another group in the back standing Photo by Aaron Lehner

A group of students compete against each other in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in SGA room (SC213)

Student Government connects with community through video games

The Student Government Association (SGA) holds ‘Gaming with the Government’ from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday in the Student Success Center (SC213).  Students and faculty are invited to join the student government in a variety of different video games.  SGA President Matthew Day, Architecture and Engineering major, says that the idea of having a video game club on campus had been in his head for a while before GG was launched.  “We had a projector screen to host [government] meetings, but we realized quickly the room was too small to hold our members in. One day we were reorganizing the room and stumbled upon the projector and I thought that we should keep it. I then thought to myself, ‘Why not hook up my Xbox or Switch?’ so I bought a VGA and HDMI cable and they both worked,” says Day.

Soon this began to attract students from outside the SGA room.  They were able to see him and other members playing whatever video game Day had brought through the window, and he realized the potential this could have for SGA and the rest of the student body.  “The idea of combining video games and student advocacy has been a great accomplishment. I believe that it is a better way for SGA to interact and advocate for the students of NECC,” says Day. According to the NECC website, the Student Government helps identify and address student concerns and brings them up to the appropriate senior administrators as necessary.

“The idea of combining video games and student advocacy has been a great accomplishment. I believe that it is a better way for SGA to interact and advocate for the students of NECC.”

Matthew Day, SGA President

Being a part of SGA help to build leadership and communication skills, but most importantly to build a strong community.  Sofia Fedele, Mathematics and Education major, was inspired to try and join SGA after attending GG. “I’m not much of a gamer but I’m having lots of fun. It’s a great, inclusive environment,” says Fedele. The most popular game in GG by far is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch. The fifth installment to the SSB franchise, players can compete with one another using a variety of characters from different Nintendo games and battle one another in a large arena. With Ultimate, up to eight players can compete at the same time and also engage in online battles.  “I thank Ricardo Rivera for helping us get connected online so that we could expand ourselves and play online,” says Day. In the past the student government has played Mario Kart, the Halo collection, Call of Duty, and more. Day encourages students to bring in their own games to play.

“I want to play games that others want to. They are more than welcome to bring and share whatever they want because in essence, it is about them.” says Day. Some games that he would like to play in the future are Quiplash, Cards Against Humanity, and Uno. Students that have attended GG also gave their input for other games that they could play. Garrett Henningson suggested Uncharted, Just Cause 3, and Grand Theft Auto.  Troy D’Angelo- Lombari suggested more card games such as Cardfight Vanguard, with others backing up this suggestion with Yugioh or Magic: The Gathering. With the increasing popularity of online gaming, NECC has gone through an official funding process to start including E-Sports into campus life. This would allow gaming students to play more competitively with each other, and possibly with other schools.  “E-Sports is affordable to the college, and also a great way to attract incoming students. But I would like to keep GG for a more casual gaming environment,” says Day.

Along with playing more games, Day hopes to expand GG by hosting in different areas of the NECC campus so that they are not confined to just within the SGA headquarters; the Sports and Fitness Building for example. “The only problem would be the limitation of materials like getting a TV, controllers, consoles, etc. because I mostly bring in my own stuff. But I do believe that it is possible. SGA is all about creating a community after all,” says Day.