Video games can be a lifesaver during isolation, fostering community and connection. I think many of us discovered that during the pandemic. For most of us, that kind of isolation was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. For some, however, isolation is a part of life that comes with being in and out of the hospital.

Bringing video games into a hospital can be difficult because things have to remain clean and sterile.

Gamers Outreach is a charity dedicated to getting video game consoles into hospitals, specifically children’s. They send Gamers Outreach Karts (GO Karts) and help caregivers get more familiar with the games their patients play.

Kids aren’t the only ones who use video games to escape isolation and create friendships. The Hermitcraft Minecraft server is a good example of this. Nearly thirty friends from around the world are playing in the same world. One of those “hermits” is GoodTimesWithScar, or Scar for short.

Scar has a neuromuscular disease that causes him to be in and out of the hospital, so he knows what it’s like to be separated from a community. Two years ago, he spearheaded a fundraiser for Gamers Outreach on Hermitcraft. In four hours, the hermits raised over $420,000

This weekend, they did it again in conjunction with a Local Area Network (LAN) party. It was a two day event with an auction of items important to fans and creators that started a few days earlier. The auction started a few days before the event.

Before I get into the numbers, I need you to understand what this event meant for fans. Because these creators live across the world, they almost never meet. So imagine everyone’s surprise when they opened Scar’s stream and hermits started showing up behind him.

This event, for fans, was not only a time to raise awareness and money, but also a time to see many of the people they look up to getting to spend time together in person.

Between the auction and the charity streams, the event raised almost $900 thousand dollars.

I will never forget the feeling of tuning into streams over the weekend to see how much money had been raised since I last checked. I will never forget the moment we realized that we’d raised three quarters of a million dollars and were still going.

This weekend’s charity event was incredible for what it will mean for thousands of kids and for what it meant to a community of gaming fans.

Lynn Spahr is a Hutchinson sophomore studying journalism and is the Opinion Page Editor.

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