Saturday, November 8, Post Lobby was festooned with streamers, as members of GiN (Gaming Information Network) played games of all kinds for twelve hours straight, in order to give children in hospitals access to such games themselves. Students collected pledges ahead of time for the amount of hours they would play, and on Saturday gaming lasted from noon until midnight. The funds raised from pledges went to the Child’s Play Charity — run by the creators of Penny-Arcade — which donates not only games, but also books and toys to sick children.
Knox’s Charity Game-A-Thon has gone on for nearer to 24 hours in past years, but as Megan Brady, senior and president of GiN, explained, “In the past, few students have ended up staying overnight, but we will see how turnout is this year, and from there, we will discuss possibly extending the Game-A-Thon for a longer time frame in the future.”
Last year, the event raised about $250, according to Brady, and the turnout in the beginning of the afternoon this year was higher than expected. As Brady said, “More people usually show up after dinner, and many of them will be bringing their laptops; many will probably also bring Magic cards.”
Types of gaming ranged tremendously, from traditional card games such as War, to the more recent and very popular Magic card game, in addition to board games such as Settlers of Catan. The Charity Game-o-thon also featured PC gaming and console gaming, for which students brought their own TV’s, in addition to using the main TV in Post Lobby.
Brady noted that it is interesting to follow and observe the shifting popularity of games. “Now it seems that GiN’s most frequently played console games are Rock Band and Guitar Hero, eclipsing Dance Dance Revolution’s status to some extent,” Brady said.
GiN’s next big event will be Winter-een-mas, a week-long gaming holiday over winter term, that Brady said “celebrates the gaming culture itself,” although it sometimes has the misfortune of falling over midterms. After that, spring term heralds Squirrelcon, Knox’s annual gaming convention.