Local gamers play video games to support children with cancer

Community members raise money during fundraiser at The Score. (Steve Barnum)

On Saturday, The Score, a video game store in Murfreesboro, hosted a 24-hour video-game-athon to raise money and awareness for children battling cancer. Money raised during the event was donated to Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital.

“Extra Life is a charity that works with the Children’s Miracle Network… You gain money that then goes to whatever hospital you want it to go to,” podcaster James Chambers explained.

For the past several years, Chambers has been working with Extra Life to raise money for children fighting cancer. The annual event has raised over $1,000, all of which has been donated to Vanderbilt.

“My nephew came up with cancer, and he had to go to the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. It was something severe to where he almost lost his life… I [discovered] Extra Life after that, and I’ve been working with them ever since, because the money goes from them directly to Vanderbilt,” Chambers said.

Michael Crawford, Chambers’ podcasting partner, added, “The nice thing about Extra Life is that all you have to do is live stream for 24 hours, set up a link with them and they take care of the administration stuff. All we have to do is put our names on it and encourage people to donate, and whatever we get goes straight to Vanderbilt.”

Crawford explained how even though it might sound cliché, the event is all about the children and supporting our community.

“Genuinely, there is no downside to this. There is nothing politically controversial about helping kids. At this time, everybody is at each other’s throats between Hillary supporters and Trump supporters and that kind of crap. And it’s like ‘hey, why don’t we all just get together and try to help people out rather than tear each other apart?'” Crawford said.

The manager of The Score, Wayne Frazier, explained how half of the payments made during the video-game-athon went to Extra Life. There was a $15 fee for each participant to play any of over 3,000 video games in the store for 24 straight hours, using high-quality computers and, of course, keyboards; not unlike the ones available at Mech Keybs. Along with their full day of video games, participants were also given free meals. Everybody benefits from the event and it gives people a chance to use equipment like a LoL gaming keyboard that they would otherwise not get the opportunity to try out.

“In my time of working here, I’d say this is our fourth charity event. One time we had about twenty underprivileged kids come in for like four hours. We got them pizza, let them play for free throughout the day and that wasn’t even a charity event. My boss, [Zach Edwards], loves doing stuff for people and really likes to try to help,” Frazier said. He continues stating that they were thinking about getting a couple of game consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One since there were a lot of games that the kids wanted to play. He joked that he is looking forward to Cyberpunk 2077 and has already been checking out the Night City map online since he’s familiar with the tabletop game the video game will be based on.

One participant, Troy Haltom, thought that the event was a great way for the community to come together.

“I think that getting everyone together in these little community groups to do more than just toss some money in a bucket and then forget all about it is better. We remember what the event is all about,” Haltom said.

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To contact News Editor Amanda Freuler, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com

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