GameChanger Awards Scholarship to Patient at CHLA

The good news keeps coming! The GameChanger team recently awarded another merit-based scholarship to a spirited young person named Jonnathan Garcia.

An inspirational 17 year old, Jonnathan will be graduating high school this spring with the class of 2017. Jonnathan has spent a lifetime facing kidney disease and has remained brave as he faces the challenges that accompany his condition.

Jonnathan was selected to receive this honor based on recommendations from the CHLA Child Life Staff. Along with his family, Jonnathan was present at CHLA when GameChanger awarded him a $5,000 college scholarship.

A special thanks goes out to Noble ESports  (https://twitter.com/noblegg) for helping make this day a reality and a huge shout out to @MizzSkrillez (https://twitter.com/MizzSkrillex ) for coming by to help present the scholarship award to Jonnathan and a Noble ESports jersey!

RTX Event Recap!

Summer is in full swing! At GameChanger, what this means to us is that exciting events, our Gamers Give Back Tour and world renowned conferences seem to be happening just about every weekend

Not to be outdone by the impressive schedule of summer fun, Rooster Teeth, YouTube channel extraordinaires and hosts of RTX, partnered with GameChanger Charity to launch a campaign using the Omaze platform.

 

The idea behind the Omaze campaign was grand yet simple: Enter to win, donate to GameChanger in the process, and have the chance to win an amazing trip to RTX with a VIP experience throughout.

Many entered and, although we wish every person who entered could win, there was ultimately one grand prize handed out to a lucky entrant. Mart, the winner of the contest, and his best friend Bram were flown out from the Netherlands to Austin to attend the conference.

 

The two Rooster Teeth fans were treated like kings. Not only were the winners given a free flight and top-notch lodging by Omaze, they also received a VIP badge to RTX that gave them exclusive access to anywhere on the floor. A highlight of the trip, the two lucky winners were invited to a luncheon with the who’s who of the Rooster Teeth team! Mart and Bram got to meet and chat it up with the likes of Ryan Haywood, Jeremy Dooley, Adam Kovic, Kyle Taylor, Bethany Feinstein, and Jack Pattilo.  Want proof? See the pic below!

 

GameChanger Charity would like to give a big heartfelt thanks to the Rooster Teeth  (https://twitter.com/RoosterTeeth) Crew, Omaze (https://twitter.com/omaze ), and every single person who entered. The impact you made was massive with a final amount reaching over $113,000.00 that will all be put toward our cause. If it wasn’t for people donating and helping to spread the word we wouldn’t be able to continue doing what we do. And we couldn’t possibly say thank you enough.

Wondering where we’ll be next? Follow our Twitter profile (https://twitter.com/GameChangerOrg ) to stay up to date on all events and other game changing things we’re up to!

 

GC Scholarship Awarded in San Francisco!

Recently, on our Gamers Give Back Tour, we made a stop at UCSF Benioff in San Francisco. It was here that we had the opportunity to meet an inspiring young man who goes by the name of Polo.

Polo lives in The San Francisco Bay Area and recently graduated from Mt. Diablo High School in Concord. We took notice of this young man due to his integrity and the responsibility he bestows upon himself in order to take care of his family. Polo is soft spoken and humble, but has a big heart.

 

We received this from a member of the hospital staff at UCSF Benioff:

I spoke to my colleagues in PDU and they all agree that we should nominate Polo. He is a very kind patient- takes care of his nieces and nephews, his sibling who also has a disability and helps out his father with his landscaping business.

 

Polo graduated high school after a full year on home & hospital instruction, an incredible accomplishment. The remaining details are best described from staff themselves:

“He was on home and hospital instruction this entire year, which means that he did not go to campus at all for any of his classes. A teacher from his school district visited his home weekly to complete his assignments. It takes a lot of self-motivation to complete school in this format because you essentially get a binder full of work to complete independently and when the teacher visits you next time it is to correct the work and go over the next week’s work assignments.

Polo would bring his work to dialysis where I would help him with assignments he wasn’t able to complete on his own. He managed to successfully meet all of his graduation requirements to graduate with peers! This is a pretty big deal, considering other students in his position with his diagnosis might complete school with a GED or not complete at all.

I have also been working with him on applying for financial aid and applying to college.

The plan is that he will start at Los Medanos College in Pittsburgh this July and study automotive engineering. He will be the first in his family to attend college!”

 

Wow! We couldn’t be more impressed by Polo’s spirit and kindness! From all of us here at GameChanger, we wish nothing but the best for Polo and his family!!!!

 

 

GameChanger Brings New VR Set-up to Methodist San Antonio

Our mission to spread VR to youth in hospitals everywhere is making its way across the country!

We have a vision to help bring an immersive experience to children in hospitals to effectively take patients away from the stress and anxiety that can be caused from their existing conditions and the treatments they are going through by bringing them into a new world where their minds can wander and give them the ability have some fun.

Recently, our GameChanger VR experts made a stop at Methodist San Antonio to help with a new VR install. During our time at Methodist San Antonio, we had the opportunity to run through demos for many of the Child Life team members who were enthusiastic about having the new set-up for the children to experience VR while going through what can be a taxing time both emotionally and physically.

The install at Methodist San Antonio was unique this time around as it was the first wall-mounted room install. Located in the new teen room, a generous amount of space for experiencing all that VR has to offer, the set-up we installed is now an ideal space for patients and their friends and families to convene and experience VR together

Our set-up was created with some of today’s top VR products including the HTC Vive and Gear VR. The Google Tilt Brush game was a favorite with everyone who used the set-up due to the fact that it gives players a chance to acclimate to the digital world at their own pace and express themselves artistically. The Child Life staff was on board and equally excited, as the kids were about future possibilities involving 3D Printing and Live Streaming through the new VR set-up.

Even before the team was packing up you could feel the anticipation rising throughout the halls of the wings of the children’s hospital. Many of the children at Methodist San Antonio were pre-scheduled to use the new VR set up! And of course we were available the next day (and even now!) to troubleshoot and support the Child Life professionals with any pointers and tips in order to make sure the new set-up was all in working condition!

If you happen to be a Child Life Specialist and want to work with GameChanger on bringing a VR experience to kids at your hospital, please contact us (http://gamechangercharity.org/howyoucanhelp/) today to discuss how our awesome and innovative team at GameChanger can help make virtual your reality!

 

Bay Area Gamers Give Back Tour Recap

The Gamers Give Back Tour made a stop in the San Francisco Bay Area this past week at 3 hospitals – Stanford Children’s Hospital, UCSF Benioff Oakland and UCSF Benioff San Francisco.

Every time we make a stop, our team is impressed with the staff and inspired by the patients and their families who remind us why we’re continuing our mission to spread joy to children in hospitals everywhere. The stops we made in Northern California were certainly no exception.

The Child Life Specialists we met with were sharp, enthusiastic, and incredibly passionate about their work. We met Specialists who were new to their profession and others who have worked in their field for over 30 years! No matter their experience, each member of the staff we spoke with was supportive and excited about the GameChanger Mission.  

AR and VR technologies were and will continue to be a large element during our tour visits. Interest has peaked across the board for these exciting new technologies and how they can be utilized in healthcare based environments and, as always, we’re happy to show the staff and patients the ropes!

At each facility, we had the chance to show off the AR/VR platform inspired by JJ Buschard that left Specialists amused and curious about how hospitals can adapt these new breakthroughs. At all 3 locations, different discussions took place on how GameChanger could help to supply innovative tech-based healthcare solutions for children everywhere.

We took tours of each facility, had many opportunities to view current capabilities in place at the hospitals, and had the chance to discuss what team members were hoping to add to their patient’s experience. These discussions are incredibly valuable as they help us identify needs and allow us to supply expert advice on VR solutions, many of which are presently available.

We also had the honor of meeting with Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, a doctor from Stanford Children’s Hospital, who created a solution to entertain children with engaging content while they move from the comfort of their room to undergo a surgical procedure. Dr. Rodriguez has made tremendous headway collaborating with his hospital and came up with VR head straps based off the same straps being used for welding masks as they are easily kept sterile. This has now become one of the many efforts we will be supporting moving forward.

As always, being able to meet patients and staff face to face is invaluable. During our visit to the 3 hospitals in the Bay Area we donated 300+ gifts to patients (Including Skylanders, Children’s books, and stuffed animal Hope monkeys) and supplied catered lunches to around 400 caregivers.

We couldn’t be more grateful to meet all of the staff and patients during our visits. To us, these are the real heroes and should and the reason we keep pushing to help kids across the world.

 

Vidcon 2017 Hosts Crowds and Online Stars

Vidcon is one of those annual events that gets bigger by the year. It’s here that you witness in the physical what many in the country only see on YouTube and Twitch in terms of popular online personalities and their massive fast-growing fan bases.

By far, the biggest presence felt at the event was CrankGamePlays and Markiplier, another larger than life personality, both pictured here with our mascot Hope the Monkey.

 

 

As you can see in the video below, the mobs will do whatever it takes to get a flick with their favorite online star.

 

 

These days, the large media companies are definitely working on making an impact in a world that many adults have a hard time comprehending. For example, top upcoming influencers in the industry were featured at the Disney Digital booth. Luzugames, Strawburry17, and Parkergames were all in attendance and excited to showcase their self-produced digital content.

Nickelodeon was sliming its way through the audience with, you guessed it, slime, and other messy attractions designed to reel in the kid in all of us. NBC set up a replica of the chairs from The Voice and brought an American Ninja Warrior obstacle complete with a replica of their wall, the final obstacle on the course from the show, for people to challenge their inner athlete. The Tonight Show set up an experience booth where Egg Roulette was played. Our very own GameChanger team member Brandon sacrificed his clean hair for everyone’s amusement!

 

 

By far, a main takeaway from Vidcon is that the world we are living in is gearing toward online personalities that today’s kids are able to relate to. It’s not so much that these personalities look like superstars. In fact, if you didn’t know them they would look like your best friend or neighbor. To the fans, it’s a personal connection they have with the talent. They’re accessible, speak to their audience directly, and serve their content on a free medium for the public to view.

The main magnetism these personalities have? They are fun loving people who are famous simply due to partaking in what they enjoy in front of the world and, like the ones that have partnered with GameChanger Charity, are making a difference while loving what they do for a living. No restrictions. No rules. Just fun. We are truly living in the era of mobile entertainment.

 

 

Fighting for Change!! The Tekken 7 Charity Stream

 

Raise your hand if you’re excited for the release of Tekken 7!!!! Well, we can’t see your hands but we’re just as excited as you are.

GameChanger Charity and Bandai Namco are teaming up to this June to “Fight for a Change.” On June 2ndstreamers from around the country will be celebrating the highly anticipated release of Tekken 7 by participating in a 24-hour long charity stream! All proceeds will go to the GameChanger Charity, and donations of $50 or more will receive a game code for a Bandai Namco game (Games will be announced shortly). Streamers who play on PC will be provided a Steam Key to for early access of the game, but console gamers a very welcomed to participate. Match up with some friends, or kick some AI tail to show off the amazing new features and gameplay and help us raise money for an amazing cause!

When:

  • June 2-3, 2017
  • 9:00 AM PST – 9:00 AM PST

Where:

  • Live on Twitch
  • Each streamer will be going live on their individual Twitch Channel
  • Streamers will create a Tiltify Account that will drive all donations back to The GameChanger Charity
  • Thumbnail, banner, and overlays will be provided by GameChanger
  • Polls and challenges can be created on the Tiltify site to make stream more engaging, highly recommended

Donations:

  • For every $50 someone donates, they will receive a game code for Tekken 7 (While supplies last, we should have around 30 codes to distribute)
    • Other donation levels:
      • $30 Game TBD
      • $20 Game TBD

How people can donate:

  • Link to Fight for Change Tiltify Site (Link TBD)
  • Stream will take place for the 24-hour period
    • Friday 6/2 – 6/3
    • The donation site will be open until 6/4/17 to collect additional donations from viewers who could not watch the stream

GameChanger’s mission is to leverage innovation and technology to ease the pain and suffering of children with life-threatening illnesses. GameChanger focuses on improving quality of life for children, their families and caregivers by:

  • Delivering video games and toys
  • Hosting unique gaming events to connect patients and the gaming community
  • Offering meaningful services directly to patients and staff in hospitals
  • Awarding financial aid and college scholarships

If you’re interested, contact us today to learn more!

New games are the biggest news at 2017 E3

When it comes to the gaming center of the universe, E3 continues to reign supreme. Situated next to The Staples Center in the Los Angeles Events Center, The 2017 E3 event was no exception to the rule.

This year, the floor was not only open to software companies, industry execs, and gamer personalities but to 15,000 culture enthusiasts from the public as well. This helped to add a whole new feel to the event and no doubt built buzz around the new games announced to an enthusiastic crowd.

 

 

 

The big announcements were plenty and all of them were surefire crowd pleasers. Super Mario Odyssey, the new immersive game and IGN’s pick for Game of Show, generated huge excitement as Nintendo fans of all ages were anxious to see their favorite hero take on a brand new adventure.

Not to be outdone by the who’s who of classic gaming characters, the highly-anticipated web-slinging Spiderman game, set for a 2018 release, seized the audience’s attention with action packed graphics and a solid storyline.

Other mentions that drew large attention from the crowds at E3 were Metro Prime 4, Sea of Thieves, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, Star Wars Battlefront 2, Assassin’s Creed Origins, A Way Out, and God of War. To learn more about the games announced that earned the attention of the fans, check out this IGN article.

 

 

 

 

Those lucky enough to walk the floor of E3 will no doubt run into many personalities involved in the gaming world. We met with many different influencers across the board and from many different walks of life. Some, but not all, of the folks we met and talked with were – Barry Kramer from The Game Grumps, Aureylian, Hyper RPG, Rick Fox (Yes, THE Rick Fox from The Lakers) Criken2, Treesicle, ReadyUpLive, Murs, DuncanKneeDeep, CPK and Lisa Malambri. Did we mention we’d love to work with all of you?!?