Gaming For A Good Cause: Geeks Without Sleep

This post is going to be a touch different from my usual fare – if indeed I even have anything akin to ‘usual’ here on Bit Rebels. Rather than speaking about awesome artwork, detailing an epic case mod, or talking about the latest consumer product designed for those of the nerdy persuasion…I’m going to talk about myself. Well, not exactly.

Way back in 2009, I was an executive for the University of Calgary’s Video Game Club. One of my fellow volunteers came up with an absolutely crazy idea. See, we all loved gaming. For many of us, it was our passion, our pastime, our very life. Why not play to that, she said, and use our passion to further a good cause?

With that in mind, Geeks Without Sleep was born. It was a simple concept – gather some teams, meet up on campus, and plop ourselves down in front of a game for twenty-four hours straight. There would be no breaks and no pauses – a grueling digital marathon.

In participation with UNICEF, we raised over $4,500.00 for charity, and everyone had a great time, to boot.

I always regretted that we never ended up running another event like it…Until now, that is. For the last several months, I’ve had this in the works with the help of some close friends. Today, the second Geeks Without Sleep is finally happening in participation with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Habitat for Humanity, and one of my personal favorites, Child’s Play.

For those of you interested in learning more about the event, check out the website. I’ve gushed long enough.

The fact that we’re able to do something like this -successfully- is a wonderful thing. To me, it’s indicative of the fact that gaming has finally progressed beyond its roots as the sort of hobby only practiced by outcasts and shut-ins. The fact that there’s so much support for this fundraiser and events like it is a heartening thing indeed, and demonstrative of one truth above all else:

It’s finally cool to be a geek.

I’ll leave you folks with a few images from GWOS 2009, and a promise: This will happen again.

Overview of the event

Large signage for GWOS

A huge cluster of wires