The subject of gaming has a lot of negative connotations that go with it, however, often ignored is the fact that gaming has one of the most charitable, kind, and united crowds in the world.
This has been proven time and again, as various gamer driven charities have gone above and beyond to give those the help who need it most.
And gamers are about to rise to the occasion again.
After the horrific Jacksonville shooting that took the lives of Taylor Robertson, 27, and Eli Clayton, 22, during a “Madden NFL 19” competition, plans were set in place to make sure that the families of the victims weren’t suddenly left in the dark.
Enter Parkland shooting survivor Cameron Kasky who has partnered with Tiltify, a livestream interactive fundraising platform. Together, they created the Jacksonville Fallen Gamers Fund that would raise money for the Robertson and Clayton families. According to Tiltify’s press release, Kasky recruited some well known names to help raise the money, including Buccaneer’s Mike Evans and top Madden player Shay Kivlen:
Leading the support efforts, Tiltify and Twitch have teamed up with professional gamer and top Madden player Shay “Young Kiv” Kivlen, Parkland High School student and Founder of March For Our Lives Cameron Kasky, and marketing influencer Michael Gruen to kickoff fundraising for the Jacksonville victims. Madden NFL 19 competitors Eli “TrueBoy” Clayton and Taylor “SpotMeplzzz” Robertson were both killed in the attack, while 11 others were injured.
Kivlen and Kasky will host their own Twitch esports livestream event starting on Monday, Sept. 3 to support the Jacksonville Fallen Gamers Fund. The event will feature special guest appearances from Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans.
Evans released a Twitter video announcing the charity livestream as well:
I’m honored to participate in this fundraiser and show my support to the families of the victims in Jacksonville.
— Mike Evans (@MikeEvans13_) August 31, 2018
Kivlen, currently the world’s best Madden player, has noted that it’s been hard for him to pick up a controller since the shooting as Clayton was one of his best friends, but is doing this live stream in honor of his fallen friend, and member of the gaming family.
“True was one of my best friends, and it’s unthinkable that someone from our own community would turn against us,” Kivlen said, according to the press release. “But, we’re a family, and this is what we do. We come together and help each other out. I’m asking everyone to please spread the word and make a contribution to help these families in this incredibly difficult time.”
Kasky, a survivor of the deadly Parkland school shooting turned co-founder of the March for Our Lives event reached out to RedState to tell us more about the livestream event. While Kasky may have his differences with many in America on how we should tackle the issue of gun violence, politics is not something he feels need be present when it comes to raising money for the families of victims.
“I have a lot of policy that I’m interested in exploring that could potentially prevent shootings like Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Jacksonville from happening,” Kasky told RedState. “That being said, during the early development of the tragedy in Jacksonville, I saw less communal and monetary support for the victims than I did after the shooting at MSD. I knew that the best thing to do in this situation would be helping the victims and their families first, talking policy later.”
Kasky, being no stranger to tragedy, sadly finds himself in a unique position of having unsought experience in dealing with the fallout of such an atrocity and wants to help support the victims, not only monetarily, but with advice on how to push forward emotionally. While having this knowledge isn’t something anyone wants, Kasky is turning the atrocity visited upon he and his community into the blessing of supportive wisdom.
“I think the most important thing is to create a constant dialogue with yourself about the reality of your situation,” Kasky told RedState. “You cannot push your pain aside- I tried to do that and failed miserably. Be honest with yourself, talk it out with people, and focus on bringing love into the world in the name of those we’ve lost. We’ve lost far too many.”
Between Evans, Kivlen, and Kasky, the livestream has a solid chance of being a success. In fact, as of this writing, the cause has already generated over $4,000 without the livestream event haven taken place yet, a testament to the gaming community’s ability to rally around their own.
If you would like to watch the livestream, you can follow the link here. The event begins at 2:30 est today.
If you would like to donate to the cause, then please follow the link here and show your support the victims of the families.