Director of Esports Aaron Shockley instructs a Girls Who Game camper prior to competition. Photo by Columbia College Photographer & Graphic Designer Abigail Wade.


Beginning in 2017, Columbia College’s “Girls Who Game” summer camp allows attendees grades 6-12 to learn game design and grow skill sets with Esports professionals and fellow gamers.

Over six days inside the CC Esports Game Hut and New Hall, students engage in cooperative and competitive play while learning about career opportunities in the gaming industry.

Spearheaded by Columbia College Director of Esports Aaron Shockley and Esports Assistant Coach/Online Program Coordinator Dr. Lindsay Zeiter, Girls Who Game continues to be one of the most popular summer camps each year.

From July 24-29, 2023, mid-Missouri media members attended the camp and learned more about the growing event from CC coaches, student-athletes and camp participants:

‘Girls Who Game’ camp inspires Esports newcomers in mid-Missouri
via Columbia Missourian
by Imara Moore

Students from grades six through 12 showed off their video game prowess and learned about possible career paths in the fledgling industry during a “Girls Who Game” summer camp that recently concluded at Columbia College.

“It’s super fun seeing a new generation come in and learn,” said Allison Simmons, a gaming instructor at the camp.

The six day program focused on gaming, video game design and improving skill sets in the eSports industry. Participants were instructed by Columbia College staff and eSport coaches. Campers were able to explore different areas of interest throughout the week, and then come together for a closing ceremony that took place on July 29.

Lindsay Zeiter, lead coordinator of the camp, said female representation in this industry is critical. She said it’s important for young girls in Columbia to know each other and maintain these types of connections as they get older in order to build support.

“When they get to feel what it’s like to be in a cohesive gaming unit, there’s a drive that gets lit there. There’s enthusiasm there,” Zeiter said.

Read the full Columbia Missourian story here.


Photos by Columbia College Photographer & Graphic Designer Abigail Wade


Girls Who Game at Columbia College introduces girls to competitive gaming, game design
via Columbia Daily Tribune
by Roger McKinney

Characters chosen and weapons purchased, these middle school and high school girls got down to it.

The communication reached a fever pitch at times.

“All right, stand back, stand back,” one girl shouts.

From another: “I can’t. It’s on cool down.”

And for some unknown reason, the girls at one point break into singing the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” featured on Downy Rinse and Refresh commercials.

Some of the girls were playing Valorant and some playing Rocket League in the Game Hut at Columbia College. They’re among the 20 girls participating in the college’s Girls Who Game summer camp this week.

“We talk about killing a lot” in camp, said Lindsay Zeiter, Esports assistant coach at Columbia College. “It’s not bad killing.”

Read the full Columbia Daily Tribune story here.