Feature

Game on

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. leonski@gmail.com or 489-4817.

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