Reed City Middle School gamers have night of fun

REED CITY – With their eyes glued to TV screens, their fingers furiously tapped controllers.

From “Call of Duty” to “Halo 4,” between 50 to 60 Reed City Middle School gamers were in an atmosphere they enjoy on Friday, playing against classmates and teachers during the first of two scheduled game nights this school year.

The gaming nights came about when four middle school teachers reminisced about what they did when they were at that age. By chance, it was video games, said teacher Gerald Langworthy.

“So, we decided would have a night to play video games, but to include the students,” he said. “It's great the students are doing what they want to do,” he said. “We seldom have disciplinary problems, because they all enjoy what they are doing.”

Langworthy said it gives the students a chance to play video games for a few hours, eat pizza and snacks and receive a student-designed T-shirt.

Sixth-grader Dakota Robinson had staked out a small area in one of the two computer labs to play his X-Box, as Corey Vader closely watched him play, wanting a chance to play the game as well.

“It's a lot of fun,” he said. “I have a smaller screen for it, but that's OK. had an X-Box 360 at home but that got fried during a power surge. I had an original X-Box but want an X-Box1.”

In the other computer lab, students were engaged in whatever game they were playing, learning new games or trying to win.

“Gamers are here to show up and show respect to each other,” Langworthy told the students. “Be willing to share with others the devices brought in.”

Langworthy said the variety of gaming systems and personal preferences allow the students to include their fellow classmates, with the possibility of finding a new friend or gaming buddy.

“The video game night is designed to build a community for students who don't fit in the typical mold of athlete, musician or other groups with after-school clubs.”

While the competition was furious, many students were busy starting new games or gathering to watch other on-screen battles going on.

“It's awesome,” seventh-grader Canyon Reed said, as he and Quentin Haslem were playing “Dead Zed 2” in the computer lab.

“It's great because you're around friends,” Haslem added. “It's fun to just sit down and play.”