Belhaven Gaming Club is Bringing Students Together Through Gaming

July 3, 2024 (Jackson, Miss.) - The new Belhaven Gaming Club (BUG) is creating a vibrant community at Belhaven University by uniting students through a shared passion for games. At the helm of this thriving community is Garrison Owens, the passionate president of BUG. Owens, a film production and visual art major from Vicksburg, Miss., envisions BUG not just as a club, but as a conduit for forging lasting connections among students. "Games are an easy way to join a group of people to become not only friends but to become a community of friends and students," Owens explains.

The club welcomes a diverse range of games, including party games, fighting games, sandbox games, strategy games, and competitive games. Students can compete for prizes and top honors with games like Rocket League, Mario Kart, and League of Legends. Party games such as Wii Sports, Jackbox, Mario Party, Super Smash Bros., Minecraft, and more will give students a more casual and fun gaming experience. Members are encouraged to be on the lookout for new games to add to their repertoire, ensuring there is something for everyone.

One ambitious project spearheaded by Owens is Bellcraft, a Minecraft server where the Belhaven University campus has been meticulously recreated as an interactive and explorable environment. Owens and other members of BUG have dedicated countless hours to its development. This interactive server has generated excitement among members, thanks in part to the collaborative efforts of Lily Theisen, vice president of BUG.

Theisen said, “A salient part of our homegrown community is Bellcraft; the official BUG Minecraft server. We utilize Bellcraft to encourage player interaction in a casual survival game-mode, as well as promoting collaboration through the collective in-game recreation of the Belhaven campus. Our biggest project to date is the building of our beloved campus in Minecraft, and we are continuously looking for more students to help with the process.”

BUG isn't limited to video games; the club also embraces physical games. They are collaborating with Belhaven's tabletop/boardgame club, The Round Table, to create opportunities for both video and tabletop games to be enjoyed together. The club's ethos revolves around inclusivity and diversity in gaming. "Any kind of game can be brought to the table as an idea. We are always looking for new games," Owens affirms.

The club's vision extends beyond gaming. BUG aspires to be a key factor in attracting new students to Belhaven University by showcasing the community and enjoyment that gaming can offer. The club's events are designed to welcome not only seasoned gamers but also newcomers eager to learn and have fun.

"We want to help and work with students who love games but also those who want to learn more about them. You don't have to have experience in it, just have fun!" Owens emphasizes. "BUG could be a vital way to get more students interested in not only games and community but also Belhaven University," Owens notes.

On April 6th, BUG hosted its first major event, featuring TVs, consoles, and projectors for a day of gaming. The event saw an impressive turnout, setting a positive tone for future gatherings. Looking ahead, BUG has ambitious plans to work with the Belhaven Leadership Council (BLC) to organize a variety of events aimed at engaging incoming freshmen. Planned activities include Nerf wars, DND, video game nights, intramural leagues, and biweekly game nights, and more.

With these exciting initiatives, the Belhaven Gaming Club is poised to become a significant presence on campus, offering students a unique way to connect, have fun, and immerse themselves in the vibrant world of gaming.