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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Charity unites gamers

Friday, December 7, 2007  
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By Alana Duffle

Oklahoma Christian University students are striving to make this holiday season the best possible for many children. Some students are purchasing books for children at Western Village; others are donating money to ensure that hospitalized children have a good Christmas.

Eagle Gaming Group, IT Services and Alpha Gamma Omega have partnered to raise money for Child’s Play this holiday season. 

“Child’s Play is a non-profit organization created by the web-comic Penny Arcade, and sponsored by several companies primarily from the gaming and computer industries.  Its main goal is to provide video games and other similar forms of entertainment for children in hospitals across the nation,” senior Michael Duncan said.

Child’s Play has been improving Christmas for children nationwide since 2003.  This is the first year Oklahoma Christian students have been officially involved with the organization.

“We saw a need for this kind of program at Oklahoma Christian and thought we could fill it.  There are a lot of people on campus who we knew would help out.  We didn’t have much time to plan and advertise our participation in Child’s Play this year.  We hope next year will be bigger,” junior student sponsor Michael McTee said.

Child’s Play is not a typical toy drive.  Because the toys will be going to hospitals, they are unable to accept used items.  Instead, they encourage participants to donate money so new toys can be purchased.  Child’s Play is partnered with Amazon, so students who wish to donate an actual toy can purchase an item off the wish list found online.

“I think it’s neat that the kids have picked these toys out and they put them on their wish lists.  This way, they are guaranteed to like the toy, instead of getting stuck with toys nobody else wants,” Chief Technology Officer John Hermes said.

Child’s Play also helps improve the negative stereotype of gamers.  Video games have been getting a lot of bad media representation lately and are being blamed for lots of crime and violence.  However, gamers are improving this negative reputation by participating in positive programs like Child’s Play.

“Child’s Play not only benefits children by making their stay in a hospital a little less painful, but it also helps dispel some of the negative attention gamers have been receiving lately,” Duncan said.

Donations will be accepted at the IT HelpDesk until December 14, 2007. 

“We will be taking the money that is donated and purchasing toys that are listed on the wish lists,” sophomore student sponsor William McBroom said.

Students can also help by spreading the word.

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