Mining for Microloans Minecraft Tournament, Gameplay Club and Business Club

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Home > Mining for Microloans Minecraft Tournament, Gameplay Club and Business Club

Minecraft TournamentOn March 14, in honor of Women’s History Month, the Upper School Business Club partnered with the Gameplay Club to host a friendly, fun, and competitive Minecraft tournament to raise money and support a Kiva Female Entrepreneur through microloans. Kiva is a nonprofit organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to entrepreneurs in underprivileged countries. The tournament winner was able to choose the female entrepreneur they wanted to support with the money raised from the tournament through Kiva.

The event was a great success and was a creative and exciting way to raise awareness for Women’s History Month. Students engaged in fierce competition in the Minecraft world, while playing a part to build a better world for those who are less fortunate. Read on to learn more from Gamplay Club President, Paulino Mercenari ‘23.

Q: What inspired you and your team to put together this event for Kiva?

A: Since starting the Gameplay Club we have always wanted to collaborate with another club at school. Throughout the year we’ve been in close contact with the Business Club and we figured now would be a better time than ever. This month especially since March is Women’s History Month, so we decided we should do something in honor of it. Not to mention, women and video games is a big topic in the world of gaming. They can still receive lots of toxicity for playing video games and can be subjected to all sorts of misconceptions. That’s something I’ve seen a lot and so the idea of raising awareness for such an issue was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

Q: What is the mission of the Gameplay Club? Can you describe your collaboration with the Business Club and are there any future events you plan to do together?

A: At Gulliver Gameplay we want to create a welcoming and inclusive space where anyone who shares a passion for video games is able to express that love. This includes any medium, be it through developing, playing, or streaming games. The idea behind the Mining for Microloans event was to be able to provide support for an underprivileged female entrepreneur through the use of Kiva. We wanted to do something that channeled the spirit of both Gulliver Gameplay and the Business Club, which is why we decided the end goal was to fund a female entrepreneur while going about it by setting up a tournament in Minecraft. We felt furthermore that by getting other clubs to sign up and pledge money in this tourney it would help push the idea of a sense of community amongst the clubs while also encouraging friendly competition. We continue to be in close contact with the Business Club and hope to collaborate again in the near future!

Q: Gameplay Club is a new club at Gulliver Prep! Can you tell us about eSports and competitive video gaming? What sort of platform are you currently providing for your fellow student gamers?

A: The eSports scene at the high school level is one that is constantly growing and is incredibly exciting. Only recently has it finally started to get it’s recognition as a varsity-level sport. The amount of engagement and attention we’ve been getting for it is mind-blowing in regards to both streaming and the community that we have built. This is something that people are passionate for whether it’s through playing competitively or simply spectating. We currently have three actively competing teams for different games where students train and compete on a weekly basis. It’s a space that’s highly rewarding for them as well, as they are able to make new friendships, all while honing in on important lifelong skills like commitment, teamwork, and communication.

Q: What are the similarities and significant differences between eSports and traditional sports?

A: The eSports and traditional sports scenes both have striking similarities. We both have dedicated spectators that show up to our games to cheer us on, of course recently for both activities this has been done through livestreaming games and such. Both activities are highly beneficial and can leave players with lifelong skills and opportunities like scholarships and sponsorships. The sense of teamwork and comradery is another major factor in both activities. I would say the biggest difference (yet one that has been massively beneficial to us) is that in uncertain times like these, the Gulliver Gameplay eSports department was the only one that could consistently compete and meet up to train for games without having to deal with social distancing or anything of the like. Since everything is conducted through an online platform, we have never had to call off practices because of covid constraints.

Q: While at Gulliver Prep, have you discovered a new passion?

A: Many. Going off of the eSports topic I’ve been heavily involved in both the Digital Mass Media and Business programs. I’ve discovered a passion for all things mass media, whether it be writing, interviewing, or flat out content creation. This has helped me greatly with Gulliver Gameplay, as I now have a knack for creating highlight reels and high quality videos showcasing the accomplishments of the organizations I work alongside with. Generally, albeit rather broad, I have also discovered a passion for connecting with people, whether it be through leading club meetings or organizing fundraisers and discovering people who are just as passionate for those things as I am.

Q: What teachers at Gulliver Prep have had the most impact on you, and why?

A: First and foremost, Mr. George Hart-Hidalgo, the Upper School Assistant Principal, is someone who I would call a mentor in my life. He has helped coach me as I grow older, and is really just someone who has cared about my growth and development while here at the Upper School. Without him, the Gameplay Club would never have been possible and I owe a lot of the passion and drive that I have now to him. It’s his confidence that he has in me that continues to fuel and inspire me to do better, and to never settle for what I’ve accomplished. I’d go as far as to say that I see him as a great friend of mine all while being an outstanding supervisor. Along with him, I have to give Mr. Kamal James a lot of recognition as another leading figure in my life. He has helped imbue many of the qualities of a leader in me, and has always been there for me when I need him. He is again, another person who constantly inspires me to do better, both in regards to myself and helping the community around me. It is never a dull day when I have his class and I admire the passion he has for what he teaches, anyone will tell you that along with the fact that he truly cares about his students and wants to see them grow and be successful.

Q: What activities and clubs are you involved in at school?

A: I am the copy editor of the Raider Voice, along with co-founder and host of the award-winning Prepcast. I’m part of the Gulliver Eurochallenge team as well. Along with that, I am the Vice President of the Business Club and finally, the Founder and President of the Gulliver Gameplay Club. I do also help out as the team manager for the League of Legends eSports team.

Watch the video below for a recap of the tournament!

This tournament was made possible thanks to the efforts of Antonia Lemann ‘22, Elizabeth Rivabem ‘22, Rania Ishoof ‘24, Fernando Ciobataru ‘23, Raissa Almeida Miglioli ‘24, Jake Getson ‘23, Noah Reiter ‘23, Miguel Murciano ‘23, and Paulino Mercenari ‘23.


Middle school student building.

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