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Gamers fight cancer with livestream

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Aryn Plax
Copy Editor

The University of La Verne Gamers Guild hosted a 24-hour livestream to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network from noon Saturday to Sunday.

The guild partnered with Extra Life, an organization that provides a platform for individual gamers and gaming teams to film and upload their 24-hour gaming marathons. Viewers can watch a team’s livestream and donate either to a specific team or to Extra Life directly. The company raises money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, an organization that fundraises for 170 hospitals in the United States and Canada.

The Gamers Guild raised $531.69 by the end of the 24-hour marathon, and all the funds were given to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

“It encourages people who’ve been having fun with us to donate to the cause,” Jack Bowman, junior history major and Gamers Guild president, said.

Gamers Guild vice president and junior computer science major Sean Gribbin, who suggested fundraising for the Children’s Miracle Network, used to be on the board of the Children’s Miracle Network in Las Vegas, where he hails from. He worked with the organization for four years.

“I like to think I helped out a few people,” said Gribbin.

He is also a childhood cancer survivor.

“I didn’t really understand the whole thing,” Gribbin said about receiving his diagnosis. “I figured that could never happen to me.”

At age 12, he rode on a bicycle that his brother had built him a bike and crashed, injuring his leg. He was misdiagnosed with a torn meniscus. When the pain in his leg persisted, Gribbin got an MRI scan of his leg, later finding out that he had a tumor.

He underwent four months of chemotherapy before he got his femur and tibia surgically removed. The bones were replaced with a repiphysis, a metal rod with a hinge that acts as a knee. The repiphysis expands to match the length of the child’s growing limbs. His surgery was followed by eight more months of chemotherapy.

“If my brother hadn’t built that bike, and I hadn’t crashed, I’d be dead,” Gribbin said.

This was the Gamers’ Guild’s first time participating in Extra Life’s 24-hour gaming marathon.

“We were planning on doing this last year, but we couldn’t get a venue for 24 hours,” said Molly Garry, sophomore studio art major and Gamers Guild member. “This year, at the beginning, we decided we were going to do this.”

The clubs’s livestream was hosted on Twitch.tv. The livestream video includes footage from a webcam, which shows the players, and from a screen capture camera, which shows the gameplay occurring on the TV screen. Below the video, the donate button stated that the team’s goal was $200.

The Gamers Guild encouraged donations by listing incentives for viewers on the livestreaming website. If a certain amount of money was donated, one game player would have to perform a stunt. For example, if $40 were donated, a player would play Surgeon Simulator blindfolded. If donations reached $80, Gribbin would get his hair bleached. At $140, Gribbin would wear a Princess Elsa costume dress.

The final incentive was that if the team received $250 in donations, another player would don a dress alongside Gribbin and have a tea party.

Aryn Plax can be reached at aryn.plax@laverne.edu.

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