Students from Hoosier Hills Career Center and nearby schools gathered from noon to midnight Saturday at the career center to participate in Gaming for Good, a fundraiser where participants played video games, tabletop games and cards to raise money for Riley Hospital for Children.
Proceeds from Gaming for Good entry fees went to Riley through Child’s Play Charity, which buys toys and games for hospitalized children. Hoosier Hills teacher Ding Prud’homme, who organized the event, said Child’s Play allows donors choose which hospital will receive their cash and toy donations.
The fundraiser brought in about $400 by 6 p.m. Saturday, Prud’Homme said, with almost 40 students in attendance.
“Since Hoosier Hills draws into several school districts, we’ve been able to reach outside MCCSC,” he said.
Child’s Play was founded by the authors of Penny Arcade , a webcomic about video games and video game culture. Prud’Homme, who has been a fan of the comic for years, said he’s been interested in donating to Child’s Play for a while now. But students were drawn to Gaming for Good as much for fun as for charity.
“I think people are mostly here for games,” Prud’homme said.
Hoosier Hills student Adam Riggs played tournament master for the event and organized competition rounds for Call of Duty and Halo. He said Gaming for Good was a group effort from the students in Prud’Homme’s computer tech support class.
“We wanted to do a charity event,” he said. “We all brought in our consoles.”
Riggs is a professional gamer, he said, playing video games competitively in Major League Gaming since he was about 10 years old. His specialty is first-person shooter games such as the “Halo” franchise.
“It’s in my blood,” he said.
Carrying a clipboard with tournament schedules, Riggs drifted between game rooms during the event.
One room was completely dark except for two projector screens pulled down over classroom whiteboards side by side with students facing them to play “Halo” and “Call of Duty” on Xbox. Single players sat at computers along the wall playing “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and “Minecraft.”
“Everyone’s having their own fun,” Riggs said.
Gaming for Good drew all kinds of players, from non-gamers being taught complex tabletop games such as “7 Wonders: Leaders” for the first time to professional gamers such as Riggs to students who preferred role-playing games such as “Dragon Age” and “Skyrim.”
Noah Siddons, a senior at Hoosier Hills, said he’s not a gamer, but he hopes Gaming for Good can become a recurring event.
“It was a lot more successful than we thought it was going to be,” Siddons said. “We’d like to make it, instead of an annual thing, maybe twice a year.”