Gamers Give Back Across The U.S.A.

From the lush forests of New England to the rolling plains of the heartland, The Gamers Give Back Tour continues to make its way across the nation.

The final month of summer began with a stop in Burlington, Vermont at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. On August 7, our very own Brandon Llinas joined forces with Erick Blandin, who is with us on many of the Gamers Give Back Tour stops, from Childs Play, and met up with Sierra Scheller, head of the Child Life team of specialists at the hospital.

Sierra showed our team around the facilities and helped put together a free forum style event where, rather than visit room-to-room, arranged it so gifts could be distributed in one location of the hospital. The patients, many of them older kids and teenagers at this particular stop, came to us where they received gifts along the lines of Monopoly board games and Skylander action figures accompanied by Hope stuffed animals and Childs Play blankets.

A couple days later on August 10th, Brandon continued on to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine where he met with Liz Shaughnessy, her team of Child Life Specialists, and a total amount of 55 kids.

The hospital was gorgeous and serves as a wonderful example of a facility that caters to the needs of their patients. The children were appreciative of the gifts they received which included toys from Hasbro, one of our amazing donors.

The team went room-to-room handing out toys, chatting with patients and families, and were welcomed by smiling faces as they handed out GGB Tour bags filled with fun items.

Later in the month, David Arditti, one our awesome GameChanger team members, traveled to Nebraska to make a couple special stops for the tour.

After David’s visit to Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Rob Harding, Community Resource Specialist, sent us this heartfelt and genuine thank you letter:

“ I wanted to thank you effusively for Erick and David’s visit and for the lunch! What a tremendous gift you all provided for our patients and staff and we can’t thank you enough. I can only imagine the time, thought, energy and effort that goes into planning a visit like this – you all are a well-oiled machine. I’d also like to thank everyone for their overwhelming generosity in providing the bags of gifts for our patients, too! Wow!

Then, on August 24th, David Arditti, along with players from the Iowa Cubs, made a visit to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines.

David sent this write-up back to GC Headquarters as a recap of his visit:

We met Lori in the lobby of Blank’s who showed us to the room and brought the gifts a little before 9.  We started the day collecting gift bags for the patients and were joined by the Cubs shortly after who helped put the bags together.  We all chatted with the Cubs team who were eager to help and enthusiastic about the cause.  Once we were all packed we went to the rooms.

The Cubs team members and the Child life staff distributed the bags to the patients, who were all very excited to be visited by the team and their mascot.  After that, the Cubs departed and we got a tour of the facility, their PICU and a couple playrooms.  Then we finished the day having lunch with the Child Life staff and chatting about their tech questions.

Shelby, the team representative for the Iowa Cubs, wrote a wonderful note to us about their experience:

“We have been fortunate to visit Blank Children’s, but never before today were we able to have our hearts touched by the passion that GameChanger and Childs Play shared with our players. Yes, we have passed our baseballs to the kids and walked the halls- but never have we seen kids faces light up when they received the gift bags that we felt so honored to deliver. Whether the patient identified with our baseball uniforms, the baseballs, or CUBBIE our mascot… we definitely hit a home run for the kids at Blank Children’s.”

 

Our mission continues! As summer time winds down and everyone goes back to school we’re working toward connecting with more companies who share our passion to bring innovative technology to hospitals worldwide. Learn more about how you can help GameChanger Charity by clicking here and following us on Twitter!

GameChanger Day Celebrates Giving, Gaming for Children in Hospitals

GameChanger Day is a joyous occasion that represents all we hold dear as a charity. The mood is celebratory and the video games, VR, and toys are aplenty. 

More often than not, when we visit hospitals, the patients we meet are going through mental and physical strain due to the nature of the treatments they’re receiving. At each and every stop, we do our best to bring a smile to the face of the children and families we meet by supplying a break from their time in the hospital.

While we strive to bring a bit of hope to every stop throughout the Gamers Give Back Tour, there are times we feel compelled to make an extra push to create a larger than life moment. On Wednesday August 23rd, together with the good folks at Morgan Stanley Hospital in New York City, GameChanger Day was one of those moments.

Before the kids arrived in the game room, we set up an Xbox one with NBA 2K17, Minecraft, Halo 5, and LEGO Marvel Superheroes. We also had a PS4 with a Guitar Hero station ready to go so everyone could rock out as needed! Not long after we finished setting up, many different patients, along with their parents and siblings, arrived with pleasantly surprised looks on their faces. It was time to have some fun!

 

Nate, our resident VR expert, brought our virtual reality set up and shared new and exciting worlds with the children. The kids loved creating sculptures, characters and shapes using Medium. Faces across the room lit up when the kid’s realized they could create a sculpture in 3D and walk around with it. We also had the PS4 VR complete with a driving wheel and pedals with Driveclub ready to go along with Eagle Flight and Google Earth VR on our two Oculus Rift with Touch Controllers set-ups.

Sometimes, the raucous nature of a playroom at a hospital can be a bit intimidating for a child. It’s extremely important that we remain sensitive to the needs of the patients. In these cases, it’s the small things that count to make every child feel included. One of the boys we met was a bit shy and quietly mentioned to his mom that his favorite streamer had played Job Simulator in VR. We looked up the game and downloaded it on the spot. The mom and son duo, in which the young man used his right hand while his mom helped control with her left, played for 40 minutes and enjoyed every moment of it.

The hit of the showcase? A 4 Player version of Rocket League (think of it as soccer but with rocket-powered trucks) projected onto a jumbo screen! 4 kids at a time were at the helm clutching Xbox controllers while music from the awesome game soundtrack and sound effects emanated from a large state of the art speaker.  The matches were epic to say the least and culminated in the last game of the day where the kids were on a 4-player team against 4 CPUs.  The kids were down 4 points and came back in the last 90 seconds and won by a point!

A huge thanks to each and every team member on the Child Life staff at Morgan Stanley Hospital. We’re already in talks with their team on expanding our relationship to help build out their VR experience in the hospital and will be assisting with upgrading their teen lounge in the near future.

Like all of our efforts, none of this would be possible if not for the help of our amazing supporters who host the fundraisers that keep GameChanger Charity moving along. This past year, we had incredible efforts hosted by San Francisco Giants baseball star Hunter Pence and YouTube/Streamer star (and all around good guy) Markiplier. Portions of the funds raised from each of their efforts went toward making GameChanger Day a reality.

Engadget wrote a beautiful piece about the day. Check out this excerpt:

GameChanger takes just about anything that companies are willing to give, much of it being items that are just slightly too old for sale and are destined to be destroyed anyway. That includes tablets, gaming consoles, games and even marketing goods. Jim said GameChanger wasn’t allowed to bring tech on a recent trip to Cuba but was able to bring shirts and hats from gaming companies, which the children loved. “We’ll take anything that’s new, that’s excess material that can be repurposed that these families would love to have,” said Jim.

Click here to read the entire article.

Keep up with GameChanger Charity! Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all of our events and efforts!

Official PLAYERUNKOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS Merchandise

Official PLAYERUNKOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS merchandise is now available! The PUBG Community Team has taken note of the requests for clothing and other items and decided to not only launch an online store but to do so in a charitable manner.

PLAYERUNKOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS may turn out to be the most popular PC game of 2017. Now, with the recent announcement that a version of the game will be coming out for XBOX, this Battle Royale-themed title is only going to be receiving more attention from the gaming community and beyond.

Similar to shirts with Mario’s face or clothing featuring characters from Angry Birds, this popular game has brought with it the desire to represent the passion for playing PUBG with graphic shirts and select accessories.

The PUBG Community Team team is donating 50% of the entire proceedings from merchandise sales to two charities, GameChanger Charity (yay!) and Gamers Outreach.

The PUBG Community Team had a few kind words to say about partnering with us:

“We support their noble cause of helping those who are suffering, especially those who are facing life threatening illnesses and courageously fighting against them on a daily basis.”

Please note that the store is starting small with limited inventory and a couple variations of shirts. No need to worry, new artwork will be added soon!

Check out the Design By Humans PUBG Shop and give a nod to other PUBG gamers when you see them wearing the gear. There are currently a few branded items such as hoodies, t-shirts and snapbacks. We also have some cool shirts featuring GameChanger Charity designs as well.

A huge thank you to all fans of this wildly popular game who contribute to our mission by purchasing PUBG merchandise. We say it all the time but it can’t be said enough, we couldn’t do it without you and your support. We’ll update this page as necessary when new merchandise is released!

 

Gamers Unite for The Crystal Dynamics 25th Anniversary

Recently, we teamed up with Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix, two software companies who have been incredibly helpful in backing our mission, to celebrate The Crystal Dynamics 25th Anniversary.

When you think of a classic game, what comes to mind? Maybe its a first person shooting duel or a versus game, or maybe its something more than that. Maybe it’s a game that has become iconic in more ways than one. If that’s the case, there may be a solid chance that what got you into gaming was an adventure game along the lines of Tomb Raider.

Whether you played it as a kid when it first came out on a console or saw the blockbuster movies before you played it on a PC, the Tomb Raider universe and all the characters that inhabit it are unique and stand the test of time while being known the world over.

We had three different game bundles, all under 25.00, and added a 50.00 bundle that included some awesome GameChanger swag. All of the limited edition bundles were made available on Tiltify. The bundles were composed of steam key game codes that were emailed directly to the donor and included Legacy of Kain games, Pandemonium, Project Snowblind, and Tomb Raider games.

We also hosted a giveaway on Gleam to give a little GameChanger Charity heave-ho to the overall effort. The giveaway helped to spread the word for us, Crystal Dynamics, and Square Enix and helped in gaining new followers for all three entities along with ultimately setting more eyes on the campaign.

To say the least, the response from around the world was warm and heartfelt. Below are a couple kind notes from people who purchased the bundles –

“Greetings from Romania!
I am a huge fan of video games and those in need sometimes make my heart melt, i can`t afford to donate much more than than this amount but i am sure that together we can put a smile on their faces, every cent making a difference in their lives !”
 

“I already have half of these games but giving to this charity is worth it! :)”

“This is an awesome charity and who knows when I’ll actually get around to playing these but I’m currently going to school to become a video game developer and would love to eventually be as good as the people who work at crystal dynamics, and keep up the awesome work you’re doing for this charity!!!”

Our Twitter page saw the effects of 250+ retweets and our reach on Facebook was seen by over 110,000 users! To name a few, online publications such as IGN, Videogamer, and Gamasutra, all helped out in a big way by picking up the press release and sharing the details about the anniversary sale with their base of readers.

When all was said and done, the campaign raised 30,202.00!

We would like thank each and every publication that picked up the press release and every person who donated and supported us in our efforts. It is truly through the kindness of others that we are able to achieve our vision for the children and staff at hospitals nationally and throughout the world.

We’re always gearing up for upcoming efforts to keep up with pushing our mission in the right direction. Stay up to date on all of our efforts, including fun gaming events and great deals on games, by following our Twitter or Facebook page!