This week, I interviewed Mr. Pelletier about the social gaming club. You may see the interview below.
GGG: Thank you for the interview, Mr. Pelletier.
Mr. P: No Problem.
GGG: So what do you do in the Social Gaming club?
Mr. P: If you were to walk into the Social Gaming club, say at lunch time, you’ll see people playing board games, card games, occasionally StarCraft (that’s a video game), but what really happens in the Social Gaming club is people make friends. So the people that come to the Social Gaming club, their all into“nerd” games, and I use the word “nerd”, like, with total mucho respect. I’m a huge nerd myself and so I made the club because I wanted kids who are kind of, you know, nerdy, anti-social, maybe not anti-social, but have trouble making friends, to have a place to come in and be comfortable and make friends. So that’s really what happens in the Social Gaming club. The social comes first and the gaming comes second.
GGG: So that’s who would come into this club, right?
Mr. P: Yeah, usually nerds, but anyone can come in; we have people who are totally into sports and that stuff drop by, because it’s big enough that anybody will just show up for games. Originally it was made for that kind of student who had trouble making friends, because that was me in high school. I was totally the nerd who thought, “How do I make friends?! Like, no one does the things I do”, and it was a teacher who made a club like this, and I was thought, “Oh, that’s cool. I want to see that. When I become a teacher.”
GGG: When does this club meet?
Mr. P: Every day at lunch, and every day after school except for Wednesdays. People are just always in here, playing games and having a good time.
GGG: So not in the mornings.
Mr. P: No, not in the mornings. I’m busy preparing for class in the mornings.
GGG: Where is the meeting place?
Mr. P: It’s in room 322. A322, I think is it technically called?
GGG: Do you also teach people how to play if they do not know how to play?
Mr. P: Yeah, so, if students want to come in and learn how to play games, there’s always somebody who is ready to teach; it might be me, or it might be some of the other students. If you just ask “Hey, how do you play these games?” then there’ll be someone to jump in and help you out. I think people are excited that others are interested in games too; whether it’s Settlers of Catan, or Magic the Gathering, there are always people that are interested. I like to teach people how to play games, of course, but anybody in here will help you out.
GGG: I have also heard that you have some extra Magic the Gathering decks. Would those be the “bad” cards or would they be about average?
Mr. P: (laughs) One of our members, Conan, brought in a couple of decks that he bought and they’re just kind of average decks, they’re not really powerful. We also have free cards, which have dwindled down to really bad ones. There used to be a lot of good stuff. Now, there’s a new influx, so that’s pretty good; we just give those cards away. But one thing we do in the club is we let people proxy cards, which means you can get them off the internet, so you don’t actually have to buy the cards, because Magic’s really expensive. In the past, before we did that, some kids, they’d roll in these 400 or 500 dollar decks, and they just would be winning all the time. It would be like,
“Well, how are we supposed to beat them, because they have so much money? I don’t want to spend that much on Magic”.
So I said
“No, let’s make it about skill and strategy, and not about the money.”
So we do that. I’m not sure if the company would appreciate that or not, but I’m not too concerned. We’re not violating any copyright laws.
GGG: About StarCraft, do you need an account or anything?
Mr. P: We play the original StarCraft, which is from 1997. There are so many people who have a copy of the game, so you can come in and somebody will have a copy of it so you can play. You don’t need an account, you just show up and, if someone has a copy of the game, play.
GGG: I’ve seen someone with a Pokémon game. Is that allowed?
Mr. P: Oh yeah, there’s a small group of people who love Pokémon in the group, and they’ll bring in their DS and be playing, so that’s totally allowed.
There’s no real “allowed or not allowed”; the only thing that’s not allowed is that after school, I only allow StarCraft on the computers, otherwise it gets so busy with players, that there’s no space for people to play StarCraft and Magic and all. So I outlawed all the really popular games and only let people play StarCraft, because I have a soft spot for StarCraft; I played it for a long time.
So basically, the Social Gaming Club is in room A322, every day at lunch and every day after school except Wednesday. You play board games, card games, and (some) video games. So if that sounds interesting to you, you should go check it out!