Sitting in front of your monitor you might not realize the world is quite a rotten place. We live our average lives, wasting away on games and watching television, while other parts of the world are not so lucky. You can choose not to think about them or not to care about them, but taking the extra step, going out of your way to help those in need, that's what perhaps should be the norm. After all, we have the facilities and opportunities, even with minor help, to improve the lives of other people drastically.
Kieron 'ReKoill' Davies, a hardcore gamer from Stafford, has decided to combine his love for gaming and charity into one for this reason. In an attempt to raise money for orphaned children in India, Kieron will play on deathmatch continually for 24 hours. 24 Hours of deathmatch, who in a right state of mind would even do that?
Kieron, a gamer at heart, rolled into doing charity work a few years back. Hearing from close friends and relatives how fulfilling and gratifying charity work can be, he eventually became involved in actively helping people in poverty stricken areas. Kieron works together with a charity called the "Chennai Challenge", an organization which puts together a team of volunteers yearly to help and support a local community in India.
Located in the Southern district of the country, Chennai is one of the largest cities of India. The city and it's urban surroundings house over 8.5 million people, with a city center of about 4.5 million inhabitants. In itself the city is quite modern, however it has also accumulated some of the poorest and least fortunate in the slums outside of the metropolitan. These people, who have the hardest of times getting the bare necessities to make their lives livable, are the main focus of Kieron's mission.
This picture, featured on national geographic's 2011 photo contest, shows the discrepancy between the slums and the newly built flats in the inner parts of the city.
However, doing charity work individually is near impossible with all the organizing and fund-raising involved. That's where the help-forces of the "Chennai Challenge" comes in. This organization assembles a squad of some 20 volunteers yearly and helps them handle travel, accommodation and if possible, set up events inside and outside of India, to either raise awareness or help the poor. Starting off as early as 1990 the people behind Chennai Challenge, namely Rob Short, Cathy Short and Isaac Jones, had the dream of not only providing the poorest parts of Chennai with financial support, but also structural help in the form of education, sanitary, clothing and water filtering systems.
However, one place in the team visits every year is the Kottivackem orphanage in the center of the city. This orphanage houses some 150 boys who either lost their family, or who had no family able to support them financially. This prevents them from going on the streets and becoming beggars, being subjected to so called "beggingmasters" taking their money or much worse. The organization focuses on this orphanage specifically, helping the kids not only in material goods but also in keeping the kids emotionally occupied. The kids are offered education, clothing, food and most importantly entertainment and games. For example the kids are taken on a 4 day trip outside of Chennai, filling the days with activities, games and crafts for the children to play and learn from.
The kids of the orphanage opening their presents on last year's trip.
Even in a poverty-stricken area like India, everything has it's price. The charity requires each of it's team members to raise a sum of at least 1400 pounds to provide the project with materials and presents (for educational purposes) to give to the kids. Gamers can make themselves look like good-for-nothings quite convincingly, however Kieron Davies believes in the fact that gamers can do good as well. In an attempt raise his share of the money for the charity, he has combined his passion for gaming and charity to run a 24 hour deathmatch event.
Now for most of you on here the perils of deathmatch must be all too recognizable, the unforgiving and incredibly irritating nature of this game mode makes his 24 hour stretch more than worth paying some attention to. Plus it's an original ways of putting emphasis on the discrepancy that currently exists between the orphans and the homeless in Chennai, and heavily commercialized billboard signs in the streets opposing them. For those who have some cash to spare for those who are in desperate need, you can donate to Kieron's charity page here.
Following his trip to India there will be a precise blog, which will be maintained daily and will include all the activities and support that the team of 20 volunteers will be conducting.
To support Kieron in his endeavors a sizable group of professional and known players have agreed to play on the deathmatch at points throughout the 24 hour session that Kieron will have. The server will also be free to access for anyone who would like to show their support to Kieron.
The group of players includes:
HudzG - mTw
Weber - mTw
Steel - mTw/Fully Torqued
NBK - Team VeryGames
Angeldust - ROCCAT
CISU - ROCCAT
Nico - Copenhagen Wolves
Cajun - Copenhagen Wolves
Neilzinho - Fragmasters Toxic
Whindanski - Fragmasters Toxic
Jakem - Rasta.Xd
xlo - 3DMAX
falkizh - 3DMAX
Rak - Team ALTERNATE
mnL - Team ALTERNATE
kRYSTAL - Team ALTERNATE
SolEk - Team ALTERNATE
Igor - Team ALTERNATE
GugLi - THE ITALIANS
zn0pe - Teamless
PIMP - MoD-eSports
HUNDEN - Tt.dragons
b1ll_n0se - NetcodeSource
jKa - NetcodeSource
Ghoul - NetcodeSource
Rickeh - Cadred.org
Mvick - Cadred.org
Rob - Cadred.org
rizC - Gamecast.tv
Some final words from Kieron himself:
I'm hugely grateful to Mvick and cadred for supporting this cause and helping make this event as successful as possible. Also I'm overwhelmed with the enthusiasm of the pros who I've approached and their willingness to help my cause. An event like this is something I hope can show everyone that gamers are more than just offensive, aggressive, unsociable and unlikable except by other gamers. Being a gamer myself I find the stereotyping of gamers tiresome and hope that my charity event will show people that gamers are normal people too. I would encourage anyone to donate anything they can to the cause, and follow the great example that the pros have set out, the fact that they are willing to give their time is more than amazing to me as when I first thought up this event, I never imagined it going this far as to be featured on cadred.
For further details on the charity please click here.