Good Vibes — Gamers Outreach

The Good Vibes this week come via a very well written article I read over on Engadget.

Gamers Outreach is a US based program that supplies hospitals with what they call ‘GO Karts’. The ‘GO Karts’ are self contained, hospital regulation carts that allow kids to play games while they’re sick and, as you may have guessed, they’re the most popular toy available in the wards. When GO founder Zach Wigal was 17, he wanted to host a Halo 2 tournament at his High School. After some hustling, he and his friends had rounded up 300 registrations for the event. However, unfortunately, this event got shut down by the police — for seemingly no good reason other than ‘too many gamers doing the games’. This obviously caused a lot of backlash, including from Halo 2 developer and Bungie’s former in-house composer, Marty O’Donnell. Reacting to the outpouring of online support, Wigal decided to organise another Halo 2 LAN party and tournament–this time for charity. “Let’s donate the money to a charity cause, and we’ll be able to show the police all the good things that can happen when [gamers] come together for an event,” Wigal recalled.

Around 400 people attended this first ‘Gamers for Giving’ event back in 2008. This became the Gamers Outreach Foundation’s debut fundraising event and from this event they donated $4,000 to a local chapter of the Autism Society of America.

There’s been an event every year since then, but things have changed somewhat. For starters, last year’s Gamers for Giving tournament had around 600 people LANing, and around 1,500 spectators over the two day event. Wigal had what he considered a lofty goal to raise $100,000 over the weekend to fund new custom ‘GO Karts’ for hospitals, instead of refitting existing hospital equipment as they had been doing. This would allow the organisation to bring it’s costs down over time, and to expand its reach and reinvest in itself. The foundation surpassed its goal by nearly $73,000!

Such ~Good Vibes~! But it doesn’t end there.

The full article on Engadget has some really, really lovely stories about how the program has specifically helped individuals, and goes on to talk about how Xbox’s head of marketing, Aaron Greenberg, has gotten involved too among many others. I would highly recommend you check out the full article for more good feels! And the Gamers for Giving 2017 is just around the corner, too, returning to on April 1st and 2nd, so keep an eye out for that.

Amy’s Good Vibes is first shared during Leaping Tiger Live show, 7pm Tuesdays, and 10:30am Fridays NZT over on Twitch. Tune in for gaming news, reviews, events, quizzes and much more!