How Gaming Gives Back to Chardon High School

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Gaming gives back with Games Done Legit

Gaming gives back to us in many ways. Videogames take us on amazing journies, give us goals to achieve, help us make friends, and teach us in a way that isn’t totally boring (anyone learn how to spell “dysentery” thanks to Oregon Trail?).

Our favorite videogames are also there for us when things aren’t so easy in real life. We feel like we have a friend in the characters we love, and the comfort of playing our favorite games can help us through tough times.

Chardon Gaming Gives Back - Games Done LegitChardon Gaming Gives Back students enjoying some Melee

As fun as videogames are, though, we know there’s no cure-all for our problems. Chardon High School’s community and faculty have experienced something no gaming therapy session can ever heal: a school shooting, in 2012, in which 3 students were killed and 3 more injured.

Out of that senseless tragedy, the Chardon Living Memorial Park is being constructed to remember the lives lost in that event and recognize the community that came together to support each other through healing. It will be a place for reflection and re-creation for the entire community.

Chardon Gaming Gives Back - Games Done Legit
Chardon Cafeteria Memorial Banner

Ben Stephans has seen how gaming gives back. Ben, a Chardon high school senior, is a huge fan of the Super Smash Bros. tournament scene (many tournaments raise large sums of money for great causes).

As Event Director and Final Boss of Games Done Legit entertainment, I’ve seen time and time again the the good that videogames can bring to our lives, if we only harness it! Extra Life and Stack-Up are two videogame-related charities we are proud to support.

Chardon Gaming Gives Back - Games Done Legit
Chardon Gaming Gives Back Project Team – Ben Stephans (left), Coco Griffis, and Chris Hatala

Ben wanted to use his love of Smash to do something great for his Senior Project, and I (through Games Done Legit) was happy to provide a Chardon Gaming Gives Back tournament and fundraiser to benefit the Memorial Park.

Chardon Gaming Gives Back - Games Done Legit
Thanks to Sam’s Etched in Time for donating and customizing these trophies!

Our event was a success, with a local pizza shop donating food for the kids, and Sam’s Etched in Time donating two customized trophies!

Chardon Gaming Gives Back - Games Done Legit
This little contestant reminded me of me when my mom and grandparents used to take me to local tournaments in grade school!

The park will consist of an renovated walking trail, children’s playground and fitness center along with a reflection pavilion. A committee of citizens and officials have been working over the last few years to raise the $300,000 budgeted for the park.

There’s still time to contribute to help the Chardon community create something beautiful out of that horrible day.

Upcoming events are hoped to be the final push needed to reach the Park’s fundraising goal: a 5K and Half Marathon race on May 1 and raffle to win a new car! Register today, or purchase a chance to new your new vehicle!

Park site http://chardonlivingmemorialpark.org/
Race site https://run4chardon.racedirector.com/
Car raffle info http://chardonlivingmemorialpark.org/car-raffle/

Chardon Gaming Gives Back - Games Done Legit w/ Chris HatalaHow do I work this thing!” group shot!

I tell people who are concerned about the violence depicted in some videogames that videogames are a tool we can use for good things or for bad things. They don’t make someone good or bad.

But no one can deny that videogames engage us like no other form of entertainment the world has seen.

We’re just now realizing the immense impact videogaming has had (and will have, especially with Virtual Reality here) on our lives.

It’s up to us to find new ways gaming gives back to us all in fun ways that can also impact the world around us.20160415_195135_001GDL approved

Here’s the links again for the May 1 Chardon 5K & Half Marathon, if you’d like to join, as well as the car raffle!

Park site http://chardonlivingmemorialpark.org/
Race site https://run4chardon.racedirector.com/
Car raffle info http://chardonlivingmemorialpark.org/car-raffle/

Do you have a story of how videogames helped you deal with loss or a rough patch in your life? Or a tale of how videogames created a little sunshine in an otherwise black scenario for you or someone you care about?

I love that everyone has a gaming story – even sad ones – as it helps me remember the why of Games Done Legit, and has me excited for the impact we can have on the world.

Let us know in the Facebook comments, or share this story online with the buttons below to keep the conversation going to gamers everywhere!

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