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Originally posted October 18, 2012
Imagine my surprise to be greeted by the sounds a video game when I opened my classroom door one bright Wednesday morning. That was how I found out that the Virtual Lab was also the site of the Lounge, or the Gamer’s Club, or, as I affectionately call it, Nerdville.
With three video gaming consoles going and three different games being played across two classrooms, it’s a gamer’s paradise, but a teacher’s nightmare? Not particularly, because between two classrooms and three gaming consoles, a wide variety of students were playing games, laughing, and talking together.
These are the same students who rarely speak in class, do the bare minimum of work, and interact with no one unless they have to do so, but put them in front of a gaming console and personalities emerge that I’ve never seen before and I’ve had many of these students in my classes in the past.
The Lounge, or Nerdville, gives students who have never had a niche at school before a place to go and to interact with other students and fellow gamers with Chris Sharpe overseeing all. Noisy they may be, they belong at Union High School just as much as any other organization any maybe more so because the Lounge caters to the students who fall between the cracks of traditional school organizations.
Let me end this by saying that I am decidedly not a gamer, but my nephew is and his friends are gamers, too. I know exactly how this community of students functions in a school and how much easier it is for them to have their own place in it and they and Chris deserve to stay.
Union High School Virtual Instructor