On-campus gaming tournament takes charity to the next level
Video game and comic book cartoonists Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins founded the charitable organization Child’s Play in 2003 to assist terminally ill children by donating toys and games to hospitals worldwide.
Child’s Play has received universal recognition throughout its existence, gaining sponsorships from several consumer electronic corporations, and donating more than 25 million books, toys and video games as of 2014.
The success of the organization elicited Krahulik and Holkins to create International Tabletop Day in 2013, a worldwide gaming tournament where proceeds go to Child’s Play.
Originally celebrated in Europe and Asia during its inaugural year, the event entered Silver State territory during spring break on March 15 in room 208 of the Student Union.
The executive members of the UNLV Game Club advertised International Tabletop Day via the club’s Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as by plastering posters throughout campus, attracting approximately 200 participants as a result.
The event offered League of Legends, Divekick and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tournaments sponsored by 8-Bit as its main events.
The UNLV Game Club executive members began celebrating International Tabletop Day in order to advertise the school’s social gaming organization and to help raise donations for Child Play.
“It tears my heart to know that there are unhealthy children in the world who cannot experience the joy that games deliver,” said UNLV Game Club President Salvador Villa. “Not only does this event advertise the school’s gaming club, International Tabletop Day provides toys and games to kids who need them.”
Prior to the commencement of the tournaments, gamers were required to pay an entry fee of less than five dollars.
The first tournament began at 2 p.m., each lasting approximately two hours.
Players who participated in the League of Legends tournament were required to bring their own computers and had to defeat their opponents in a massive free-for-all battle.
A group of 35 gamers registered in this tournament, and competed for a computer keyboard autographed by the members of Curse Gaming, a popular Los Angeles-based gaming team.
The Divekick and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tournaments, however, required players to knock out their opponents in a similar style to popular fighting games, such as Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter.
The grand prize of the Divekick tournament was the first 20 comic book issues of The Avengers, while the winner of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tournament received the first 40 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man.
Those who chose not to participate within the gaming tournaments were presented with a vast selection of electronic games including Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Party 7, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and tabletop games such as Star Wars Chess, Boxcars and Marvel Heroes.
Electronic games and consoles were provided by the UNLV Game Club library, and tabletop games were supplied by Cosmic Comic and Maxim Comics.
International Tabletop Day was also sponsored by SaboKhan, a Las Vegas-based anime convention, which held a booth retailing their bead art creations, bottle necklaces and key chains created by Dani Galden.
UNLV Game Club executive members also raffled off posters, CDs, Blu-Ray Discs and video game console controllers to lucky participants.
International Tabletop Day at the UNLV had a positive reception from the electronic gaming community.
“International Tabletop Day contains everything gamers would want,” said UNLV kinesiology major Paul Shepherd. “This event offers great food, artwork, a crowd of energetic players and an impeccable variety of video and computer games.”
The event was also well received by the tabletop game community.
“I am so glad that this event offered board games aside from the Monopolies and the Battleships of the tabletop world,” said UNLV undergraduate Basil Boslon. “International Tabletop Day offered a plethora of obscure board games I never realized could be a blast to play, and I cannot wait for this event next year.”
The UNLV Game Club was able to raise $551 for Child’s Play, while simultaneously increasing their club membership.
The success of the first International Tabletop Day at UNLV has persuaded Villa to host this event again next year.
“We are thrilled that we have met our financial objective for our first Tabletop Day experience,” said Villa. “I am certainly going to conduct this event again in the future, and hopefully we will 1-Up our standard by next April.”