BELFAST — The Game Loft, in Belfast, is launching a virtual platform for members: A Game Loft server on the free website “Discord.” The platform may be traditionally used by video gamers, but Game Loft Program Manager Chris Donley feels confident the medium will work well to fit the Game Loft’s unique needs, according to Game Loft, in a news release.
“We’ve created a server that will allow us to chat in real time while playing role play, board, and card games,” said Game Loft. “The server has ‘channels’ that are dedicated to the different activities we do at the Loft. For example, the Savage Room area has channels for all the active role play games (RPGs), the Board room has channels for board game chat and setting up on Boardgamearena,” said Donley.
The platform will also allow for the more informal interactions that kids usually rely on having during an in-person afternoon at the Game Loft with places to post memes, pet pictures, artwork, and poetry.
The project is largely informed by the Game Loft’s sister program within the Maine Youth Alliance, I Know ME, which continued it’s small group mentoring over Zoom and Discord from the onset of the COVID shutdowns.
“We’ve kept up some of our roleplay and other ongoing games over Zoom since the shutdown, but I think being able to take what the I Know ME team has learned over the last few months within their smaller program really gives us the know-how to roll out this more expansive service to the Game Loft’s broader membership of well over one hundred kids over the age of 13,” says Marketing and Development Coordinator Allison Harrell.
The Game Loft’s Virtual Launch is slated for Friday, July 17 with a virtual tour to be given to members 13+ at the close of the Game Loft’s annual End of Year Party hosted this year over Zoom. All Game Loft members ages 13+ are invited to join the Game Loft’s new Discord server. Parents and kids should contact Program Manager Chris Donley for more information and for the required parental consent form.
While Game Loft programming moves to the virtual realm for the foreseeable future, The Game Loft’s food service program has ramped up to 7 days a week and will continue through the summer. Lunch can be picked up every day, from 12 - 2 p.m., at the Game Loft located at 78A Main Street in downtown Belfast (through the green door next to All About Games). Game Loft membership is not required for youth to receive a free lunch. Families can call (207) 338-6447 ahead of pick-up to place their order.
The Game Loft is a program of the Maine Youth Alliance a 501©3 non-profit operating out of Belfast, ME for over 21 years with a mission to bring Positive Youth Development programs to Waldo County. For more information on the Game Loft and any of their programs or services, please visit www.thegameloft.org or contact (207) 338-6447 or firstname.lastname@example.org.