Anxiety Gaming Club creates a place to connect for students

From+Left+to+right%2C+Samuel+Schirmer-Grace%2C+Anthony+Riestra%2C+and+Jovan+Orozco%2C+gathered+to+play+Pok%C3%A9mon+Sun+during+the+Thursday+Dec.+1+Anxiety+Gaming+Club+meeting.+The+club+has+230+registered+members+with+about+15+members+that+regularly+attend+the+meetings.+Photo+credit%3A+Perla+Lara

Perla Lara

From Left to right, Samuel Schirmer-Grace, Anthony Riestra, and Jovan Orozco, gathered to play Pokémon Sun during the Thursday Dec. 1 Anxiety Gaming Club meeting. The club has 230 registered members with about 15 members that regularly attend the meetings. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara

The Cerritos College Anxiety Gaming Club has just finished its first semester as a club with 250 registered members.

Club members can use the Anxiety Gaming Discord channel to game together over the holiday break.

Club President Abigail Paz said gaming and communicating over the discord channel helps those who don’t spend time with family have someone to share the holidays with.

Architecture major Jovan Orozco has been a member of the club since it started.

He described the club as being “good and wonderful, you get to know people that play the same video games together. When there’s stress with finals or we have a test, we come and play a game.

“If you just study your mind doesn’t function well. If you take off a little stress and by playing a video game and hanging out with friends it helps [when you go back to studying].”

The club provides events members can participate in, “we had our Smash Fest so many people came and hung out, played some Smash Bros., we’re a family toward each other.”

The club is the Cerritos College chapter for the larger non-profit Anxiety Gaming organization.

Samuel Schirmer-Grace is a member of both the non profit organization, which he calls the main AG and the Cerritos College AG club.

He explained, “[The Main AG is an organization that] works to help people, break the stigma behind mental health and mental illness. For people who can’t afford therapy we have a program to help them get therapy, if someone has social anxiety and they are not able to make it to a place we have members [of the main AG] who will drive that person to therapy.”

There are two events that the main AG organization has developed and the Cerritos College AG plans to be a part of, one is a clothing drive were clothing articles and hygiene products are collected and given to a nearby homeless population.

The other event is called Consoles for Kids, the organization has fundraisers to buy gaming consoles and donates them to kids who are terminally ill, donate them to a church or to a youth home.

Schirmer-Grace said, “We [the AG club members] went to a church sat down with the kids, […] we played video games for a couple of hours and left the consoles there for them to play with.”

The club donated a PlayStation 4, Xbox one, and a Wii U and several all E-rated games for children.

Schirmer-Grace also participated in the distributing clothing and hygiene products.

“We took the clothing and hygiene products down to Lincoln park in Long Beach, we set up and everyone was free to come and take what they needed. We do a lot of things of that nature,” Schirmer-Grace said.

The Cerritos College AG encourages participation with other club chapters and the main AG organization.

Through the main AG, the club hopes to participate in the next console for kids event which might take place abroad.

Paz informed club members of the possibility of the main AG paying for flights to go abroad for a week to donate the consoles to underprivileged communities.

During the Dec. 1 club meeting Paz announced the club would be participating in a a white elephant gift exchange event with Orange Coast College.

She said, “We have connections with UCI, CSLB, and the UCLA chapters of the club.”

Making connections is an important part of the AG club, Anthony Riestra, club member, said, “[The club is about] getting to play with new people, seeing new faces actually making friends, it sounds cheesy but its about that.”

The club helped him find people to play with other than his brother who is also part of the club.

“Actually finding people to play with other than just my brother, which is nice, but it’s better to have a broader horizon,” Riestra said.