By: Stefany Olivas, Managing Editor | Photo Illustration By: Jonathan Gamboa, Production Manager
Former student organizes second charity event
The second annual Child’s Play Gaming Tournament is projected to have a turnout of 200 individuals, said former General Studies major and event organizer Ryan Leonski.
The Dec. 2 tournament in the UNM Student Union Building will give gamers the opportunity to be crowned the champion while raising money people participated in tournaments for video, board, or card games for charity, he said.
“I really just wanted to help out in some way,” he said.
The $12 entrance from each participant is donated to UNM Children’s Hospital for the purchase of video games and systems for children to use during their hospital stay, he said.
This year, participants will be able to play in tournaments of Halo 4, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and various card and board games, he said.
Gamers Anonymous will be providing some of the prizes, selling shirts and hosting retro-tournaments, where older games like Super Mario Bros. will be played, said Leonski.
“My friend has an amazing board game collection. He has over 80 board games and he’s going to bring a ton of those for us to play,” he said.
Former Cultural Studies major Roxanne Youngblood is looking forward to the event because not only can she have fun playing games, but her entrance fee will be donated to the hospital.
“Just because you play video games doesn’t mean you can’t do something good for the community. It’s a great way to get a bunch of people together,” said Youngblood.
The event will be much larger than last, so Youngblood is most excited to see what the turnout will be, she said.
She plans on playing games at the event but also wants to volunteer with anything that may be needed during the event, she said.
“I enjoy playing video games, and it’s kind of nice to see that you can take something like that and put it into a way that is beneficial for the community,” said Youngblood.
Getting games and consoles for the children is not only beneficial for brightening their moods and some children can even benefit physically from certain video games, she said.
“It makes it a little more bearable. Never underestimate the power of positive emotions, and motion gaming can help refine motor skills,” said Youngblood.
Leonski said he is a part of the international organization Game Developers Association that is helping host the event.
In the past there was a lot of support for the event, but there is even more for this year, he said. All consoles, video, board, and card games are donated for the day to be used by participants, he said.
“The gaming community is seriously one of the best communities I know. They’re so happy to help out and give. I was able to get this together last year with about a hundred dollars. This year I haven’t invested a single dollar,” he said.
Child’s Play Charity was created by Jerry “Gabe” Holkins and Mike “Tycho” Krahulik, of Penny Arcade, said Leonski.
“They wanted to get game consoles and toys for children’s hospitals, specifically for pre-teens to teenagers because they kind of get left out whenever people buy toys,” he said.
Not only was the program boosting morale for the children at the hospital, the games proved to benefit them physically as well, he said.
“A happier patient is more likely to recover, but what they also found is that the hospitals are using them for physical rehabilitation. That was just a natural side effect that happened,” said Leonski.
The Child’s Play Gaming Tournament is still in need of volunteers, Xbox 360’s, and HD TVs, he said.
“We always need volunteers for helping run things, making sure people don’t steal things, making sure tournaments go smoothly, or just general things like people saying where the bathroom is. I believe that we can do it,” he said.
For more information contact Leonski at ryan. firstname.lastname@example.org or 489-4817.