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PUBG Merch Benefiting Gamers Outreach

Image courtesy of PowerUp Factory

Image courtesy of PowerUp Factory

Ever since Early Access, the demand for PUBG-related merchandise has sky-rocketed alongside the game’s popularity. Recently, the game’s developer Bluehole Inc. has partnered with two online merchandise stores — Design by Humans and Power Up Factory — to provide official PUBG clothing for the community.

If you’re wondering why we’re posting about this (besides the fact the game rules and the PUBG community organized a massive charity invitational this past spring), it’s because Bluehole has decided to donate 50% of the profits from their merchandise sales to two charities – ourselves, and Game Changer – two organizations they believe are doing a wonderful job of helping kids in need of medical treatment and special care.

Shipping is available worldwide, so grab yourself some new threads as summer starts to fade and support two great charities!

Massive thanks to the team from Bluehole for being so generous. Their crew is making a tremendous impact on kids and families going through hospitalization!

Super Smash Con is Upon Us

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Starting August 10 and continuing through the 13th, Super Smash Con will be taking over Chantilly, VA — bringing with it every tournament, panel, and cosplay contest that you’ve ever wanted (+ oh, so much more) related to Nintendo’s greatest fighting franchise – Super Smash Bros! The event is open to all ages.

If you’re interested in donating to Gamers Outreach at any point throughout the weekend, be sure to check out the campaign page! If at least $3,500 is raised, we’ll be able to construct a GO Kart on behalf of the Smash Con community! But truly, any amount helps make a tremendous difference in our quest to provide hospitalized children with access to recreation,

For those who will be at the show – be sure to visit our very own Jared Richter, who will be staffing a Gamers Outreach exhibit. You’ll also catch Jared sharing recent Gamers Outreach stories on a panel alongside the folks from Panda Global. The panel will be taking place on Sunday (8/13) around noon.

Best of luck to everyone competing, and huge thanks to the organizers of Smash Con for including us in their event!

Player 2 Volunteers Wanted at Mott Children’s!

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Edit: This article was updated on August 4th, 2017 to include revised dates for the volunteer information session organized by Mott.

This is a call to action! We’re looking for Michigan-based gamers to volunteer at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital through a program we’ve been testing called Player 2!

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog articles for the last year, you may already be familiar with the program! If not, here’s a quick summary: Player 2 is a new initiative we’re piloting at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. As part of the program, gamers have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they’ve acquired through gaming in a manner that supports patients and staff within healthcare facilities. Responsibilities may include…

  • Distributing games to patients throughout the hospital.
  • Providing minor tech support for issues that arise with equipment (game updates, connectivity troubleshooting, installing software, etc.)
  • Playing games with kids!

As a volunteer, you’ll be required to commit at least 3 hours per week to visiting with patients over the course of two academic semesters. The semesters do not need to be back to back, and scheduling is flexible. All volunteers will ultimately need to pass the hospital’s qualification process, which requires an in-person interview, background check, immunization shots, and general training to interact with patients.

While we’re specifically looking for individuals with extensive gaming knowledge, it’s important to note that responsibilities may also be non-gaming related during your time as a volunteer (i.e. cleaning toys or gaming materials, assisting kids in playrooms, helping children with arts & crafts). Day-to-day tasks vary depending on the needs of patients.

Still with us? Great! Here’s what you need to do to get involved:

  • Step 1: Fill out our volunteer application. All applications must be submitted by or before August 31st (at the absolute latest).
  • Step 2: If you meet our criteria for the program, a representative from Gamers Outreach will get in touch within 1 to 3 business days to let you know you’re eligible for participation! In the event we receive too many applications, or your application doesn’t meet our current expectations, we’ll invite you to apply again at a future time.
  • Step 3: C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital will be hosting an information session to provide you with an idea of what life is like in the hospital. Attending this session is mandatory for all applicants, but does not equate to a hard volunteer commitment. The session will be held at Ford Auditorium on September 7th, from 6:30 – 7:30 PM.
  • Step 4: A Gamers Outreach / C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital representative will follow-up after the information session to confirm whether or not becoming a Player 2 volunteer is still of interest, and if so, discuss next steps for involvement!

For any gamer who wants to give back, Player 2 is a great way to make a difference. Player 2 volunteers help normalize the hospital experience by ensuring kids have access to equipment and socialization during treatment. Player 2 volunteers become a resource for parents, patients, and hospital staff who need help from gamers to ensure kids have access to recreation and activities! It’s a great opportunity for us gamers to apply our skills, and help others level up!

We hope you’ll consider joining us at the hospital!

Benefit for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

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Are you a Gamers Outreach supporter residing in SoCal, or someone making a trip out to the west coast in the next couple weeks? If either of those is a yes – we’ve got an event for you!

On August 17th, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) is hosting a soiree to raise funds in support of the Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases (CCCBD), and Gamers Outreach is sponsoring the event! The CCCBD was ranked the #1 pediatric hematology-oncology program in California and #7 in the nation in 2016. Their work and dedication helps thousands of children both at CHLA and around the world.

This fundraiser is a part of CHLA’s “emerging leaders” program, which brings together business leaders and entrepreneurs from Los Angeles in support of patient treatment.

As friends of the cause, you’re invited to attend! This event is a great opportunity to learn about Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and the role Gamers Outreach programs have at the hospital.

During the evening, you’ll have the chance to interact with some of our crew members, hospital staff, young professionals, and a number of game industry friends from around Los Angeles, all in support of fighting cancer! We’ll also be hearing from a young man named Yssa, known to his family and friends as “Ironman Yssa”. He’s 12 years old and was recently diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. Over the past several months, he’s gone through a couple rounds of chemo and a partial leg amputation. Through it all, he never loses his smile.

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Here’s how to attend! 

Visit the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles fundraising page, located here, and make a donation of $35 or more by clicking the “Donate Now” button. After you make the contribution, a representative from the hospital will contact you via email to provide more details on the event and confirm your attendance.

Date & Time:
Thursday, August 17, 2017
7:00pm

Location:
PRANK | DTLA
http://prankbar.com/
1100 S Hope St
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Organized by:
Council Members Dana Falk, Shareena Kumar, Joseph McCullough, Jimmy Tran, Meghan Roberts, Natasha Zaharov 

Featuring:
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Patient Story, Yssa Gutierrez

Star Sponsor:
Zach Wigal, CHLA Emerging Leader | Founder, Gamers Outreach 

Schedule:
7:00pm Check-In & Reception
7:30pm Program

Attire:
Business Casual

Our team is proud to support patients and families at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. If you’re in the area, we’d love for you to join us during this special evening. Should be a great night! Hope to see you there!

Streamer Spotlight: OpTic Flamesword

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Michael Chaves, more affectionately known as Flamesword, has been a main-stay in the professional gaming scene since Halo 2’s heyday and a close friend and supporter of Gamers Outreach for years. We got some time with him recently to find out where he’s been, what he’s been up to, and what’s next.

How long have you been involved in eSports for? How did it all began?

I want to say I’ve been involved since 2005 when Halo 2 was MLG’s main game — the memories just thinking back are incredible. I only started competing in 2008, went pro in 2009, and then finally started competing for the money in 2010 and a lot of good stuff has followed ever since.

Gaming for me started pretty normal: I was part of the launch of Xbox Live which — took gaming to a whole new level — and learned about MLG from running into other online gamers. I continued to work on my craft until I felt I was in top-tier shape to compete with the rest. I created my own team, did my best to lead them, and was able to foster some of the best experiences of my life.

You’re pretty well known for the physique you maintain in a career that depends on you being stationary for long periods of time. When did you first get into fitness, and what makes you love it as much as you do?

My cousin played a huge part in my love for fitness. He was this high school wrestling champ who was just always working out — I always wanted to be in the kind of shape I saw him in.

I started taking it seriously at the age of 22, which is the same time I ran into some stomach problems which actually encouraged me to take my health even more seriously. That ailment forced me to make sure that I wasn’t just in good shape, but to also make sure I was treating my body as well as I could. I think I fell in love with it all because this one body we have is the only thing that stays with us from start to finish in our time here.

When did you first get involved with Gamers Outreach? Can you tell us how it all began + everything you’ve worked on with us leading up to today?

I first learned of Gamers Outreach through fellow competitor and living Halo legend, Walshy. I saw that he was involved and wanted to know what part I could play as I truly respected the organization’s vision and message. Being a gamer myself, I know gaming can be used to help reduce stress for these kids who are confined to their rooms due to certain illnesses, so the concept of the GO Kart was something I wanted to get involved with immediately. I wanted to do whatever I could to spread the word and help build as many Karts as I possibly could.

What’s been your proudest achievement in your career to date, and what’s been the biggest roadblock you’ve had to overcome?

As I get older I see my answer to this question changing more and more often, but I think I finally have it down: I’d have to say my greatest accomplishment was taking a leap of faith and giving gaming my all. Altogether I’ve built years worth of memories and even though I retired from competition, if I could go back and hit “Play” from the beginning I wouldn’t change anything, because every single one of those moments made me into who I am today.

My biggest hurdle was probably the fact that I was constantly comparing myself to everyone because of my competitive nature, but after I learned to let that go, I just started focusing on what I had to get done. Ever since then, everything — and I mean everything in both gaming and life in general — it’s all become so much more simple.

What have you been up to lately? Can you tell us a little more about your work with OpTic?

I don’t game much nowadays! I usually will during a Halo tournament, because watching gives me the itch to get back into it all. I do plan on playing a ton of Destiny 2 (currently waiting for the beta to download as we speak)! Destiny the game itself has opened so many doors for me, it’s only right that I get back on the sticks and hang out with the homies. I honestly can’t wait to check out Trials in D2!

OpTic work is fun — we’re all independent at the house, really. Everyone has their own thing: Obviously I’m the fitness guy but I’m also the one who isn’t afraid to live on the edge; I’ve jumped out of an airplane 20 times on my own, own a motorcycle — anything that gets my heart going, I’m there. I’m currently continuing my health and fitness efforts by putting a lot of time into my second YouTube channel, OpTic Strength.

Besides that, I’ve just got to figure out when I want to grow the OpTic BEARD out again so we can have our infamous 24 Hour Live Stream at the end of the year! With the power of the #GreenWall and the entire gaming community, I’m aiming to crush our donation goal (as usual) and get as many GO Karts built as possible!

 

Want more Flamesword? You can find him on Twitch, keep up with his regular Vlog postings on YouTube, or see what he’s getting into at the OpTic House or on the road by following him on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Gamers Outreach and Child’s Play are teaming up for the kids!

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Fellow gamers, today we have some incredible news to share! Gamers Outreach is partnering with Child’s Play to construct GO Karts for kids in more than 120 healthcare facilities across the U.S. and Canada!

Holy cow, right!? Below is the formal press release with all the details!

Game Industry Charities Unite In Support Of Hospitalized Children
Child’s Play & Gamers Outreach partner to construct “GO Karts” for more than 120 healthcare facilities across U.S. & Canada.

Los Angeles – July 25th, 2017 – Gamers Outreach Foundation (Gamers Outreach) today announced a partnership with Child’s Play Charity (Child’s Play) to build GO Karts for more than 120 healthcare facilities across the U.S. and Canada.

GO Karts (Gamers Outreach Karts) are portable video game kiosks constructed specifically for the hospital environment. Each unit is equipped with a gaming console, games, monitor, controllers, and occasionally VR devices. GO Karts are secure mobile entertainment units which allow healthcare professionals to easily provide children with access to recreation at the bedside environment or during long-term treatment.

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As many as 350,000 children could benefit from the newly constructed GO Karts on an annual basis, which are expected to race forward in October of 2017.

With grant funding provided by Child’s Play, GO Karts will be produced for each hospital in the Child’s Play network across the U.S. and Canada. The partnership marks a substantial period of growth for both organizations, which respectively work to improve the lives of children through toys and games.

“This partnership is a massive win for hospitalized kids and healthcare professionals that support their well-being,” said Zach Wigal, Founder of Gamers Outreach. “Child’s Play has been a champion for pediatric care since 2003, and they’re one of the original pioneers of philanthropic engagement within the gaming community. We’re incredibly excited to be working with their team, and to see the joy of gaming be shared with so many children and families.”

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“Child’s Play is thrilled to be able to work with Gamers Outreach to provide their GO Karts to our partner facilities,” said Kristin Lindsay, Child’s Play Foundation Coordinator. “These kiosks are an ideal solution for children’s hospitals to bring the familiar fun of video games to kids while keeping things simple to use and maintain for Child Life staff. Games are a key factor in normalizing the hospital experience for pediatric patients and Child’s Play is proud to assist that mission.”

To get involved or learn more about the partnership, visit www.GamersOutreach.org and www.ChildsPlayCharity.org.

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About Child’s Play

Founded in 2003, Child’s Play is a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in its network of over 220 facilities worldwide, including hospitals and domestic abuse shelters. Child’s Play works in two ways. With the help of hospital staff, the organization sets up gift wish lists full of video games, toys, books, and other fun stuff for kids. Child’s Play also receives cash donations throughout the year. With those cash donations, the organization purchases new consoles, peripherals, games, and more for hospitals and therapy facilities. Donations allow for children to enjoy age-appropriate entertainment, interact with their peers, friends, and family, and can provide vital distraction from an otherwise generally unpleasant experience.

About Gamers Outreach

Gamers Outreach is a 501(c)(3) charity organization that provides recreation to children in hospitals through the power of video games and the gaming community. Hospitalization can often be a lonely, isolating, and scary experience for young people. Gamers Outreach eases those burdens by providing equipment, technology, and software that help kids cope with long-term treatment.

Streamer Spotlight: VernNotice

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In this latest installment of our Streamer Spotlight series, we spoke with VernNotice! If you’re behind, you can catch up with our previous spots on TheHaleyBaby and LadyDevann here.

What made you decide to get into streaming, & how long have you been doing it for?

I’ve been playing video games my whole life. I found a love of editing montages and other gaming videos way back when I was a freshman in high school, and that led to the birth of a YouTube channel in 2007. It focused mostly on gaming montages and editing tutorials until I started recording commentary videos. This is when I found my passion for not only video games, but entertaining and interacting with people as well.

From there it was a natural progression into streaming. I don’t remember the exact day I started streaming, but I want to say I’ve been doing it for about five or six years now. I’ve only been a full-time streamer for a little over two years, though.

Could you walk us through an what a typical streaming day looks like for you? From waking up all the way to when you head off to sleep?

Keeping a schedule is without question one of the hardest things to do for me. With all the traveling and random events throughout the year, a normal sleep schedule is not something I’m accustomed to. When I am home though, and things are going as usual, I’ll typically wake up around noon — I’ll eat a light breakfast and then head to the gym shortly after. I spend a couple of hours at the gym before coming home and getting whatever random chores need to be done that day (cleaning, laundry replying to emails, etc.). That will usually take me up until stream time which I do my best to start at 7pm EST every day. Then I’ll stream for about 6-8 hours. Finally it’s shower and bed time.

That is an ideal day. Though, sometimes things don’t go as planned.

How do you stay healthy and active with a hobby or passion that requires that you game/stream a certain amount of hours every week? Do you have a workout regiment or diet you try to stick to?

Staying active and living a healthy lifestyle was such a struggle in the beginning. So much so that I completely neglected my personal health for a long time. Growing up I’ve always been a bigger dude, but I was always heavily into sports, too. When I started streaming full time and really grinding out streams and games to make things work, it was easy to forget about something as important as taking care of my body. Recently though, I’ve been taking steps and making improvements to ensure a more healthy and fulfilling life. I purchased a motorized standing desk, and I’ve developed a regular gym routine that I’ve absolutely fell in love with. I even started doing cooking streams three times a week in hopes that I’ll stop eating so poorly. It’s all a work in progress, but that’s life.

When it comes to your community, what characteristic do you like about them most?

The community that has gathered around my channel has become sort of like a little family for me. I do my best to interact and get to know every name. We laugh and joke and just have a great time with each other every stream. They are always so supportive no matter how I’m feeling or what I’m doing. It’s why I’m so comfortable branching out from the normal “gaming” streams they’re accustomed to, and streaming things like me cooking dinner or even reading a book. Streaming can take such a mental toll on a person and it provides such relief knowing that those people are going to be there for the ride no matter what.

What made you want to get involved with a non-profit like Gamers Outreach?

For one, as content creators, we have the potential to reach a lot of people. While the streams are focused on having a good time and entertaining people, it’s nice to take a step back and talk about real life situations and issues. Giving charities the spotlight on our streams is a great way to bring awareness and actually do some good on top of the everyday entertainment factor.

I’ve done a lot of traveling and events for charities throughout the years but being from Michigan, Gamers Outreach is literally in my backyard. On top of that I’ve used a GO Kart myself after a tonsillectomy and more recently my brother had one available to him during a stint in the hospital. As someone who loves games and has had extended stays in the hospital, GO hits pretty close to home.

Do you have a favorite memory from your work with us?

The fact that this year (2017) was my first ever Gamers for Giving event is actually disappointing. It’s been so close for so long and just now things have finally worked out to where I was able to attend… And I had an absolute blast the entire weekend. My favorite part had to be the Bob Ross challenge. It was an insanely fun challenge where the streamers had to follow along with a Bob Ross video and try to paint with him (me being ignorant to any sort of creativity made it a little intimidating). The “challenge” part was trying to do this painting with the basic colors and one paint brush we were provided with. Throughout the event your stream was able to donate to unlock different colors, brushes etc. “Sabotages” were also introduced, as a way to mess with the other streamers participating. It was an amazing part of the the event that was filled with laughs and some backstabbing and ultimately raised a ton of money for the cause.

The question on everyone’s mind… What are you currently playing? And in addition to that, what game have you had the most fun streaming to date + why?

As a variety streamer, I bounce around a lot of different games and try to keep things interesting in the channel. We are currently playing games that range from Outlast 2 and The Walking Dead, to Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and LawBreakers. As far as picking favorites it really depends on the day. The Gears of War franchise always provides for some good times with friends — though, I’m a very competitive person so things can get pretty heated. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is also one of my favorite games to stream. I’ve logged so many hours in that game that I could practically play it with my eyes closed which makes it perfect for “chill” days or when I just want to hang out with chat while still providing some sort of gameplay. I’ve also logged a ton of hours into GTA V which have provided some amazing memories throughout the years.

 

Want more Vern? You can find him on Twitch here, and keep up with his Twitter musings here.

Player 2 Initiative: Catching Up With Volunteer Jon Shim

Jon Shim playing LEGO Batman with a patient at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Jon Shim playing LEGO Batman with a patient at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For roughly two years now, our Player 2 program has provided a way for gamers across the country to support local children’s hospitals by volunteering to offer both their expertise in gaming as well as their working knowledge of the hardware itself — two things which help the hospital and its patients in a multitude of ways.

Around this time last year we sat down with Jon Shim, a Player 2 volunteer, to get a first hand account of what his experience with the program had been like. We caught up with him last week to hoping to hear about any new experiences or stories that had taken place since the last entry, and while he’s recently moved on to a full-time career that’s made it difficult to continue to volunteer regularly, he was able to walk us through was like watching the program grow and evolve from its inception all the way up to the present day.

What are some of your favorite aspects of doing volunteer work?

I think a few of my favorite things about this type of work are seeing the impact that it has on not only kids, but their friends, family members, and the community in general. The other thing is seeing others wanting to get involved in that same cause and watching how much happiness it brings to everyone who’s involved in it in some way or another.

How has the Player 2 program changed at all over the years? 

Although I’m not currently active with the Player 2 program, it has definitely changed in few ways since its beginning. When it was first starting out, it was challenging to get a lot of people involved with it — that was the biggest hurdle. In time, more and more people started becoming aware of it and began reaching out to see if they’d be able to participate. What’s changed the most, in my opinion, is the awareness within the hospital’s environment itself. All of the Child Life Specialists I’ve come across are completely, 100% on board with it, and make it a point to tell every new kid that comes into the hospital all about it. The Child Life Specialists are the real difference makers with the Player 2 program; without them, we would not have had as wonderful of a experience as we have with the kids.

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Any new stories you can share with us since the last time we spoke?

One of the things a lot of people don’t know is the amount of time Player 2 volunteers spend with the kids outside of just gaming. Whether it’s arts and crafts, playing musical instruments in a child life room, doing laps around the floor while pulling one of them in a wagon, or countless other things, the bond that forms between the child and the volunteer is memorable for both of them.

For those want to volunteer but worry it may interfere with school or work, could you ballpark how much of a time commitment volunteering for Player 2 was for you?

By and large, as a member of the program you were limited to only 4 hours a week of volunteering. 4 hours doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but it only takes a quick joke told in a few seconds to make someone’s day worlds better than it may have been earlier that day, so if you think about it, all those jokes add up to a lot happy days over the period of months you spend helping out.

Last but not least, what was your favorite game to play with these kids & why?

Definitely LEGO Star Wars. The LEGO games are a huge hit with all age groups really, and with all of the Star Wars movies that have been coming out, a lot of kids loving nothing more than the opportunity to play as the characters in that universe. One really fun thing about it is that game requires teamwork… You really do have to be a great Player 2 through and through to get past a lot of tasks that you need to overcome.

 

We want to thank Jon for his time with the Player 2 program, which no doubt involved as many smiles as it did trips to Dagobah. Soon, we’ll feature stories similar to Jon’s from volunteers who’ve been doing the same noble work all across our country.

Interested in volunteering? Check out this blog to learn how you can be a part of the Player 2 pilot!

Streamer Spotlight: TheHaleyBaby

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In the last entry in our new, on-going series featuring the streamers that have helped contribute to Gamers Outreach over the years, we spoke to LadyDevann! This week, we’ll be talking to her friend (who also happens to be another content creator at the top of their game) — TheHaleyBaby!

How did you originally get into streaming?

I have been a Twitch Streamer for almost 3 years! The first thing I got into was the Call of Duty competitive scene, and I would travel all over for tournaments. During that time, I saw so many people stream on justin.tv and always DREAMED of doing something like that. My boyfriend at the time introduced me to Twitch and suggested I should do it because of my bubbly personality. I looked into it and thought, “You know what, this could turn into a good thing. Here we go!”

What’s a typical day in the life of TheHaleyBaby look like? 

Oh boy, the life of a streamer! I’m a late night streamer, meaning I start pretty late (around 7-8pm CST) then I streamed until about 3 or 4am so I sleep a lot during the day. Most of my family and friends think I’m a vampire. Usually I wake up around 1 or 2pm, put some clothes on, do my hair and make up then I go get some food.

Depending on the time, if I have errands I will go and make sure everything is taken care of like grocery shopping, checking my PO box or even clothes shopping. Once home, I usually change into comfy clothes (since I stream long hours) and open up my emails to make sure I have everything replied to and am ready to go. After that, I make sure all my stream overlays are updated, camera is working, figure out what game to play then I go live! Afterwards is usually when I eat (that’s at around 4 or 5am) so I eat a lot of breakfast food. After that I’ll shower, watch some TV and by 6 or 7am I go to sleep. That’s the life of a nocturnal streamer!

How do you manage to stay healthy and active given the demands of your occupations?

I do a bunch of different type of things, actually. I’m not a really “healthy” person when it comes to food ’cause, well… I love all foods! I don’t go to the gym because I’ve never really been that type of person, BUT I dance A LOT! On stream, I do some Just Dance to move around and stay active. If I’m having a lazy day or have time, I’ll go in my garage and learn some choreography — mainly K-pop songs.

What’s the one thing you love most about your community?

My favorite aspect of my community is how caring they are. I try to do a lot of work with non-profits, and seeing how we can all come together and help raise money for a certain cause is just really heartwarming. I’m very blessed to have my type of community.

What made you want to get involved with a nonprofit like Gamers Outreach?

When I told my community about Gamers Outreach, they didn’t respond with a simple, “Oh yeah, lets do it!” The first thing my community said was “Why didn’t we do this sooner? Let’s raise some money!”

What’s a memory from Gamers for Giving that stands out to you?

My favorite memory is when my two closest friends and I, LadyDevann and Ms_Vixen, all hit our $10k goals. Confetti was everywhere, we were laughing, smiling, and hugging… we were all proud of each other and how our communities came together! Never been more honored and happy in my life!

And of course… What are you currently playing?!

There are always SO many games I want to play. Currently, I’ve been playing a lot of Call of Duty: Zombie Chronicles, Overwatch, Friday the 13th, and even some PlayUnknown’s Battlegrounds! But other than those I like to occasionally throw in a spooky game :3

 

If you haven’t been watching TheHaleyBaby, you should be! You can find her Twitch channel here, and can follow her on Twitter to find out exactly when she’s going live!

Streamer Spotlight: LadyDevann

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As part of a new, on-going series, we wanted to get some time on the books with the streamers that have lent a hand in making Gamers Outreach what it is today — by some measure or another.

Lady Devann is without a doubt one of those people. Hailing from the midwest (much like our organization), she’s made a name for herself in the cosplaying world on top of having built her own streaming community from the ground up. We were lucky enough to get some time with her recently to find out how she got her start in the scene, how she came to be involved with Gamers Outreach, and what she does when she’s not busy trying to hide from Jason in Gun Media’s recently released “Friday the 13th“!

How long have you been streamer for now? How did you first get into the scene?

I first started streaming in 2015, started off with no cam, no mic, no social media backing and started the long crawl! I previously was writing articles and video games reviews for a couple different websites, and wanted to do more with video but I hated editing for YouTube. My boyfriend suggested with how eccentric I am that maybe streaming would be a better outlet to share my love for games. He introduced me to Twitch and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Could you walk us through a day in the life of a streamer?

My days vary a lot. I try my hardest to wake up before noon and get active, but a lot of times I find myself having stayed up way too late the night before. On a good day, I wake up, go through my social media from overnight, check emails, do any errands or Discord calls, edit vlogs, and spend time with my cats (who get very cranky and demanding if they’re not given enough attention before my casts.) My boyfriend and I usually take our corgi for a long walk after lunch to get some movement, so I usually get online around 6EST and stream until midnight or 1 am. It’s hard to wind down after that and I usually turn to reddit or social media to do so, but lately I’ve been trying to read before bed instead.

How do you stay healthy and active with a profession that requires that you game/stream a certain amount of hours every week?

Honestly, this is, in my opinion, one of the hardest aspects of being a streamer. It’s something I struggle with on a daily basis. Working from home, and not really needing to leave my house often has definitely made my depression a lot worse. To counter this, I’ve been setting daily goals for myself; making sure I wake up at a certain time everyday, playing Just Dance to get some cardio in, taking my dog for a walk — little things. I have a Fitbit to track how many steps I take in a day and actively try to drink more water — but even with all that, being so sedentary leaves me naturally tired being at rest so much. I got a gym membership and a personal trainer that I meet with once a week to try and motivate myself to be more healthy, so while I still struggle to go to the gym on days I’m not meeting my trainer, having his guidance and advice on different work outs to do and having that human interaction has helped tremendously. I also created a section in my Discord where my subscribers and I can keep each other motivated by posting fitness memes, healthy food recipes, work out advice and more!

I love video games, they are my passion so playing them for long hours is the easy part — it’s the physical part and making that step to be active and move around that is hard. I wish I could say there was one simple trick to make those steps, but it’s really just determination and motivation.

What would you say is your favorite aspect of your community or following?

My community is so supportive of each other and welcoming it’s amazing! There have been times when chatters have entered my stream depressed, and my community members reached out to them to talk to and to be friends with to change that around. I distinctly remember an email I received from one individual who said he was planning on committing suicide, but the community was so kind and caring to him, he felt like he found a home and changed his mind on ending his life. This was something that really touched me, because I didn’t have much involvement in that.

I don’t recall if I saw his initial chat messages that day or not, but several regular community members went out of their way to change a strangers life and to be kind, and that’s something that I will never forget. It could have happened in any chat, in any stream, but the fact that it was my regulars was beautiful to me.

What made them want to get involved with a nonprofit like Gamers Outreach?

I am a firm believer in giving back to make this world a better place. I was volunteering at a Stack Up booth at a Halo tournament when I happened to overhear Zach Wigal talking to the other booth member about the tournament and the charities. Being the nosy person I am, I had to learn more.

After talking to Zach and hearing about Gamer’s Outreach and what it does I felt so inspired. My mother was a RN at a childrens hospital, and having previously worked in the medical field myself I knew the importance of emotional support and finding things to lift the spirits of those hospitalized.

What’s your favorite memory from any Gamers for Giving you’ve attended?

This year TheHaleyBaby and I “competed” in raising money for the children. Our stations were next to each other and our communities were trying to out-raise the other (in a completely playful way, switching from each stream to contribute to both of our campaigns.) In the end, together we raised over 20 thousand dollars for the charity. We each have two karts in our communities’ names, and we also decided to use the remainder of both of our amounts raised to make a kart together in the name of the Chipmunk Army and the Devannation!

To celebrate all of this, we played the “Pie Face” game where we took turns turning a dial that had a chance of hitting us in the face with whip cream. There’s about a 1 in 6 chance that you’ll get hit with the whip cream, so I had Haley turn the dial first — of course she doesn’t get hit, passes it to me, and I immediately get hit! I passed back over to Haley and she avoids yet ANOTHER hit, so it comes back to me and I was hit once again! I have never seen the whip cream triggered so fast, so close together. I think I still have some whip cream in my nose from laughing so hard!

And last but certainly not least, the question on everyone’s mind… What are you currently playing?

Friday the 13th! I’ve been completely addicted to it and can’t put it down!

 

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