By Nicholas Kim
COVID-19 has had a big effect on the Video Game Development Association at California State University Long Beach. This semester, club officers and members have taken a different approach in communication and performance.
The Video Game Development Association is a non-profit student organization on campus that teaches members how to design video games through a series of designing programs. Each semester, VGDA members work in a studio-lab-like environment where they develop video games. Through this experience, members cultivate real world experience and personal skills from their hard work and receive credit for their published work.
Since COVID-19 has forced club officers and members to work from home, there have been issues of maintaining club management. These issues include getting feedback from members and not being able to teach members how to use design programs in-person.
Jessica Wei, club president and third-year computer science major, is leading the club by hosting general meetings online through Discord and Twitch. Since the campus closure, VGDA began hosting 24 Hour Game Jams: hackathons that specialized for game development. Originally, Wei and her other members communicated with students and challenged them by having them develop a game on campus, but now they are communicating and working electronically from their homes. Despite the solutions to avoid the coronavirus and maintain leadership in club management, Wei did have some problems managing the VGDA.
“The only issue with club management before was that it was much harder for us to build a closer community of people before when we were all isolated at home, but now we are doing our best with what we can still do through events such as demo days and game jams,” Wei said. “As a club, however, we have been doing our best to keep our spirits up and drives to continue developing our games.”
The VGDA had problems at first when COVID-19 hit, but they’ve managed to find a solution where members can keep working on club assignments and still manage to be in communication with each other. Operations are slow, but hopefully, things will return to normal.