The St Jude Play Live fundraising event starts this Friday. For the uninitiated, it’s a fundraising event where streamers play games to raise money for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The charity works to treat and cure childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The families they treat are never charged for the services they receive, which include treatment, housing, and even food. Gamers around the world are encouraged to log into Twitch and stream their games for the event to raise money.
St Jude have packed the fundraising event with prizes and incentives to encourage players to join in. Although gamers can take part in the fundraising at any time throughout the year, it’s all through the month of May that they will be able to take part in weekly challenges and win prizes for their efforts. St Jude will also offer additional support, such as guiding gamers through the process of setting up Twitch streaming on their consoles. The event is sponsored by several companies, such as GameStop, which will supply prizes. Players can earn points by sharing the event on Facebook and Twitter, recruiting new participants, and of course by raising money. Those points are accumulated to put players on the leaderboard, and at the end of the month the player at the top of the leaderboard will win the grand prize – a trip for 2 to the GameStop Expo in Las Vegas in September. Some of the other prizes include Xbox Ones, Playstation 4s, and GameStop gift cards. Streamers will be able to win an “ultra-rare” Twitch/St. Jude PLAY LIVE hoodie by earning 500 points. Players can even earn 10 academic service hours for every $100 they raise.
There are a few rules for streamers to be aware of. They can only play games which have an ESRB rating of “Teen” or lower. This is because St Jude will have the streams broadcast on their fundraising page so that the children the gamers are raising money for can watch along. So streamers will have to keep their content kid-friendly, which means no swearing, nothing illegal, nothing racist or homophobic, and no streaming while drunk. It also means keeping the chat friendly by banning any profanity.
St Jude treats children across the world for life-threatening diseases. Since the charity was founded fifty years ago, they have helped push the survival rate for childhood cancer up from 20% to 80%. Their current goal is to drive the worldwide survival rate for childhood cancer up to 90% within the next decade. But you don’t need a Twitch channel to support them. St Jude encourages people to “play games and raise awareness for the kids of St. Jude” by using social media or their email tool to let their family and friends know when they’ll be playing. So what are you waiting for? Pickup your controller and get playing!