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Starting a University Video Game Design Club

Video game design is often one of the most love-to-have careers imaginable for today’s college students. Video game designers get to be involved in the process to make those cool things that often end up taking countless hours of your life. But the job also seems a bit elusive and unattainable. Unless you know someone already in one of the top companies, you’re going to have to work your way into the profession of your dreams.

Having a video game design club at your university could be just the trick. Your resume would look a little more polished and professional if it included an extracurricular directly related to your field, which could be a small push towards getting what you want. Starting an organization at your university probably is not as hard as you’ll think.

First, contact your office of student life or student government. They will usually provide you with the forms you need to create your group. Next, you’ll typically need to gather around 5 to 10 other people to put their names down as the first members: most universities don’t let you have a group just for yourself. You’ll probably also have to create your constitution – find example constitutions or by-laws from other student groups. This constitution just says that you exist, who can join, and how they can vote on, for example, who gets to be in charge.
Turn in all those forms and wait for your application for a new student organization to be approved. Afterwards, you’re ready for the fun – planning your first meeting! Contact either your student union, or your classroom management to reserve space in one of the two places, it should be free at most universities. Next, create fliers however you feel like making them and send them to two places. First to your University business office, or wherever they accept fliers for posting, and second to the residence halls. Make sure to contact each in advance to see if they have special requirements, amounts, or disclaimers you need to include.

Your first game design club meeting is usually the hardest to setup, but can be very rewarding. You’ll want now to come up with a topic for your first presentation. Here’s a hint: contact game design companies and ask for speakers or information, and be sure to tell them you’re from an official student group at your university. It may take several attempts, but in the end they will probably provide you with something useful. Often the first meeting is simply making a list of what people are interested in. They could want to learn about Sun’s Project Darkstar, a game design platform. They could instead want to learn about Microsoft’s XNA. They could instead want you to tell them about the career, or about how creative writers and business people can get involved. This is where contacting companies especially helps – they’re always interested in more talented game designers.
Now your resume is a little polished, you’ve got a fun new activity, and you’ll already be making connections to the companies you might want to work for!

November 9, 2017
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