April showers bring May flowers, but big-hearted gamers bring forth good deeds any month of the year! And May was no different. Generosity with time and money was highlighted throughout the month during a major fundraising effort on Twitch for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Support for our fellows came in other ways as well, with PRIDE celebrations throughout June, including the annual Running of the Trolls charity event in World of Warcraft and celebrations on the City of Heroes rogue server Pleiades/Reborn. And even though no one knew her real name, folks came together to mourn the loss of a Lord of the Rings Online friend.
Supporting St. Jude through streams
Over the course of May, a number of streamers, groups, and even companies jumped in and livestreamed to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The initiative is called St. Jude Play Live. Each time slot had multiple shows running for viewers to choose from. And while there were many giveaways, the real winners are the families who can cross medical bill stress off their list of worries; when their children receive care at St Jude, they do not pay. Costs are taken care of by donations. Over $2M were raised throughout Play Live, and every bit of that money goes to pay for care so families don’t receive the bill.
We are blown away and humbled by your steadfast and incredible support. The $2M+ raised this month will help ensure that no family receives a bill from @stjude. You all have joined our mission that “no child should die in the dawn of life.” Thank you, thank you! ❤ pic.twitter.com/3oK5JbmadI
— St. Jude PLAY LIVE (@StJudePLAYLIVE) May 31, 2019
Outside of gaming media, it seems rare to hear positive gaming news. That’s why I get pretty excited to see the uplifting stories being covered out there in the rest of the world! The University of North Texas highlighted a student who was a part of the St. Jude Play Live initiative. Michael Mairs, a freshman at UNT majoring in communication studies, participated for a second year in the fundraising event, streaming his game -of-choice, Toontown. Mairs was also invited to the kickoff event at the hospital. Of that experience, he said,
“This experience was seriously life changing. I got to walk the hospitals and see the smiles on kids’ faces. When you think of hospitals, people think of it as kind of sad and gloomy. But St. Jude is like a family and people were happy and laughing and supporting one another. Even though I was the youngest attendee at the summit, I learned that I can make a difference.”
June is PRIDE month, celebrating the LGBTQ community, and games and communities show their support through different events. In WoW, the 2019 Running of the Trolls will be on Saturday, June 29th. Those who want to participate need to make a troll on the Feathermoon and Scarlet Crusade servers; the run will begin in that starting area and head toward Sen’jin Village.
One of the CoH rogue servers is also hosting PRIDE events throughout the month. The kickoff event was a costume content in Atlas park on May 31st. Each weekend through June will have special events (and even some weekday events sprinkled in). Fridays will be costume contests, Saturdays will be PvP tourneys, and raids will happen on Sundays. During the week you have story creation contests: Submit your story on Mondays and folks can play through and vote all week, and awards will be on Sundays. More random in-game events are expected.
It’s happened to me many times: when you suddenly don’t hear from a dear online friend in game for a while and you start to worry. For the Grand Order in Lord of the Rings Online, members’ worst fear came to pass. LOTRO has lost another Hobbit that touched the lives of many around her. The kinship chief penned a touching farewell letter to Rubysue, a beloved member who had been ill. Her kinsmen and friends also held a farewell event in her honor on May 25th, doing the things she loved to do: fishing, adventuring, and enjoying ale at her favorite inn.
We had a few other uplifting stories throughout the month of May too: