Show Some Love

Posted on Dec 1st 2015 at 12:00:00 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Blog Quest, Video Game, Game Store, Charity, Child Development Center, Tournament, Fundraising

Once every few years, I've been able to attend local gaming events. Four years ago, I was able to compete in a small King of Fighters XIII tournament. Several years prior to that, I was able to compete in a few local Guitar Hero III events. Outside of that, it's been a wasteland for local gaming events up here. With our new location, we've been able to schedule video gaming events much more frequently and have been building our competitive communities. But none of this is on the scale to which I've been craving for years.

After our bylaw issues last year, it was very interesting to see that I could use my platform of Game Quest to reach a fair-sized audience of local gamers. So with some help from friends and the community in general, I've been working to bring about the largest scale competitive video game event that my city has ever seen. Beyond just having a cool gaming event, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to show our wider community that gamers can be great citizens and break some of the stigmas that surround gamers at the same time.

Rewind to last year when a friend, who is deep into the acting community up here, approached me and said something along the lines of "it would be cool to play video games in the playhouse theater." We laughed and talked about it that afternoon and then promptly forgot about the idea. This summer we were seeing more of each other, so I approached him again about the idea to see if it would be a real possibility. We talked about it more and thought we could make it a reality this year; at the least, it seemed worth a try. We recruited a couple other friends that run businesses that are related to our idea and started planning our event which we chose to brand as "Power Up Prince George."

We decided early on that instead of marketing it as just a video game tournament, we'd attach a charity to it and donate all of the profits from ticket sales and other fundraising directly to the charity. We felt this would:
a) increase attendance; and
b) show our city that gamers can be compassionate, generous, community-minded people and not just the socially awkward self-centered individuals that many people still think we are.

purchse your ticket quickly before they are sold out!!

We all agreed that we wanted the charity to be one that directly helped people in our community, that it was an important service, and one that may often get overlooked when people are looking to donate or volunteer. Our event would help raise awareness for a much needed service, as well as whatever money we were able to offer, which we felt was of even more importance. After some deliberation, we agreed that our Child Development Center would be the ideal candidate for our first event; it's a local service that provides low-income daycare to all residents of Prince George and also has many programs to assist children with a wide variety of disabilities to achieve their academic goals.

On the gaming side of things, we wanted to keep it small and tight and not overextend ourselves, so we decided to limit it to 4 main games in our first year event. After cutting our list down, we decided the ideal line up would be: Smash Bros. 4 (Wii U), Ultra Street Fighter IV (360), Mario Kart Double Dash (GCN), and Counter Strike: Global Offensive (PC). We already had established communities for Smash Bros. and Street Fighter so those seemed like no-brainers. Mario Kart and Counter Strike offered some diversity to the lineup. Counter Strike would also highlight PC, which would benefit one of the organizers, since his business specializes in customer PC builds, tech repair, and software design.

After we had the very rough draft of the event in place, it was time for the actual work to begin. We crafted our advertising, wrote up a sponsorship package to use when soliciting donations from local businesses and citizens, figured out the overall budget, made rule sets for the 4 games, recruited local individuals to help with the event, and started hitting the pavement to promote it.

We spent a ridiculous amount of time speaking with local businesses to garner donations, both financial support and things to use as prizes. We knew as a first year event it would be an uphill battle. We didn't have solid numbers to show people so that they would be confident their money would be used wisely. Instead, all we had were promises and intentions. Luckily, we were able to convince a fair amount of people that this event would be worth investing in and even though we've still got some time before the event, we've already got enough financial donations to cover the operating costs, which means that ALL of the ticket sales and auction items will be profit that we can donate towards the CDC.

One of the many generous donations from our fantastic local gamers

We are fortunate enough to have a diverse team helping out with the event, so we've had great success with some businesses, that might have otherwise scoffed at us, donating. For instance, we had a local sign company offer nearly $5000 in advertising for free, because our tech guy was able to do a lot of the work involved in designing our ads. We have gotten a good amount of airtime on local radio and TV because of our actors connections to those mediums. And trusting that we'll put their items to good use, we've got community members dropping off items to use as prizes or for the auction at Game Quest just to help out.

As the days draw nearer to the event, we are getting nervous and excited. We've all put a lot of time and sweat into this and we are hoping it pays off. Ideally, we would like to make it an annual event and grow it in size year over year. We'll know the outcome soon after the 5th of December......

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These things have to start somewhere and looking at the effort hopefully will be a success. Hopefully in the future you can look back at this and remember the start of a successful annual event.
Looking forward to hearing how the event goes. Congratulations on doing something wonderful and giving back to your community.
Sound really great, Crabbo!  Can't wait to see pics, videos, and watch the competition live on twitch!
Great job to everyone involved.  I hope it goes well.  I want that Zelda NES!
Very cool, gentlemen. I hope for the best and look forward to hearing how it goes down!
Awesome plans, and great that you're using the event to further a great local cause.  Awesome prizes there, too.  I look forward to hearing more about it!

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