Illuminated by the glow of five projectors and two TVs, Sigma Alpha Epsilon began the first of 24 consecutive hours of gaming in Kilcawley Center’s Ohio Room.
Buttons were mashed in a four-man “Super Smash Bros.” brawl. Passes were being sent deep to win the Super Bowl in “Madden NFL 12.” Plastic guitars were strummed, sending virtual crowds into a frenzy.
And it was all done in the name of charity.
Friday marked the first SAE gaming marathon, which raised money for the Akron Children’s Hospital of the Mahoning Valley. Jon Guy, SAE’s philanthropy chairman, said the fraternity selected the hospital because of SAE’s affiliation with the Children’s Miracle Network.
He explained that when money is donated to the Children’s Miracle Network, it is given back to the area from which it came.
“It all stays local,” Guy said.
“We don’t really have a set amount — just as much as possible because it all goes to a good cause,” said Patrick Baskins, the recorder for SAE.
SAE President Josh Intagliata said fraternity members chose to play video games because they knew gaming was something people could get excited about.
“I think it’s because of our generation. A lot of us played video games, even just for fun, so I think a lot more people will be interested,” Intagliata said.
Intagliata said he expected about 50 people to show up during the eight-hour session in the Ohio Room on Friday. After Kilcawley Center closed at 9 p.m., Intagliata said, the marathon continued at the SAE fraternity house and with those playing at home.
As of 12:30 p.m. on Monday, the event had raised more than $1,300, Guy said.
Among those in attendance was Jeff Bash, president of Hardcore Urban Gaming, a student group that meets once a week to discuss and play video games. Bash said the group attended in order to help the cause and to loan equipment to SAE. The Hardcore Urban Gaming club loaned SAE several gaming consoles and four TVs.
“It’s great. It helps us get out and get involved in the community,” Bash said.
Senior Frank Loffredo said he went to the event because he knew members of the fraternity. He also wanted to see what “it [was] all about.”
“I think it’s a pretty good idea to get people on campus, and if people want to donate, it goes to a good cause,” Loffredo said.
This is the first year that SAE has hosted a gaming marathon, but Guy said he hopes to hold more in the future.
“We tried to come up with something that could create interest and something we had the resources for,” Guy said. “Now that we’ve done it, we think we could do it pretty easily again.”