The NAU Language Club met on Zoom for Global Game Night where students played card, board and video games in breakout rooms. This gave students an opportunity to connect with peers who speak the language they are studying in their major. Global Game Night is an event that represents students who come from different countries and cultures around the world.
The event originally started off as Global Game Day where foreign exchange students would play outdoor games with one another during the spring semester. Global Game Day has been a tradition for the language club for many years at NAU. This social event helps students from other cultures to reach out to one another and to make new friends. The last time the event took place on campus was the spring semester of 2019, according to the NAU events calendar.
Due to COVID-19, all club activities were moved online. Students independently came up with this idea and met with their instructors to set up games on Zoom for students. Participants in Global Game Night had a variety of games to choose from in every breakout room on Zoom.
Professor Jessica Wood, who teaches German at NAU’s Department of Global Languages and Cultures, said they expected at least 200 students to attend.
“The students that we have been working with really got excited about this idea of playing online games,” Wood said. “We have most of these language clubs that are organizing these games that are simple for a student within their target languages.”
Wood also said that students and faculty came up with the plan to create activities for students to participate in so they can feel connected during a time in which everyone feels isolated.
One of the most popular board games students love to play is backgammon, which had been played a lot during Global Game Day before the COVID-19 pandemic, Wood said.
Backgammon is one of the oldest board games and dates back thousands of years in history to Mesopotamia.
League of Legends is one of many video games that students played on Zoom. According to The Washington Post, League of Legends was created by producer Jeff Jew and made its debut Oct. 27, 2009. According to gaming website Rift Herald, the objective of League of Legends is that two players from each team pick five powerful champions to face off against each other and destroy their opponent’s base.
Junior Cassidy Korn, president of the French club, talked about how these games have been accommodated for students of their language.
“We have found different games and programs online so that students can play the games they like,” Korn said. “The language club has worked together in finding the games they have interest in playing.”
Some of the games Korn mentioned are Hangman, Fishbowl, Campfire and Among Us. These games are played online and are translated in different languages. Korn also said the French club played a video game in its breakout room called A Plague Tale: Innocence. Korn said the game is about France’s fight for independence.
According to the website Xbox Achievements, A Plague Tale: Innocence takes place in the year 1348 when the Kingdoms of France and Britain were fighting during the Hundred Years' War.
The video game Among Us is another favorite title students played on Zoom. According to media and tech website CNET, senior editor Alison DeNico Rayome said Among Us is about trying to figure out which of your crew members is an alien impostor and eliminate them. Rayome said that Among Us has skyrocketed in popularity and made its official release Nov. 16, 2018 and is produced by Innersloth.
Sophomore and German club president Amy McKenna said this was her first time participating in the event.
“I find it fun to adapt to new things, especially playing games online with students, which is a whole new word for me,” McKenna said.
All students who participated in Global Game Night were able to visit other breakout rooms in Zoom and meet other students. The event will make its return in the upcoming fall semester.