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Sandy Hook arcade ‘allows kids to be kids again’

- February 22nd, 2013
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The weekend grand opening of the Sandy Hook Arcade Center. (Via Facebook)

While America debates what role, if any, violent video games played in the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, kind-hearted gamers are using the medium they love to help those most affected.

The Sandy Hook Arcade Center opened last week, thanks to two kind gamers and a lot of community support. According to Polygon, it all started on the day of shooting.

Andrew, who has always had an arcade in the basement of his home, was hosting a December birthday party for his son on the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The family sent out emails to everyone invited, leaving it to the families to decide if they still wanted to attend.

“Not only did every kid come, but a whole bunch of the neighborhood came too,” he said. “I just knew from that moment that, wow, this is something that’s bigger than us, how kids would enjoy these games and have fun with it. I thought, hey, let’s see if we can make this a bigger sort of thing for the whole town.”

The arcade — which doesn’t charge anything for kids to come in and play with their pinball machines, arcade games or Xbox 360s — is run entirely on donations.

Polygon’s Tom Connors calls it “a place where families can perhaps for a moment forget the tragedy that swept through the town and shocked the nation. A place that allows kids to be kids again.”

So save the money you were planning to spend on the dissapointing PlayStation4, and give it to the kids of Newtown instead.

Or you can donate to Gamers For Sandy Hook, which is helping to cover the costs of victims’ medical bills and funerals.

Gamers for Sandy Hook

- December 31st, 2012

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While the Mass Effect series has sometimes been blamed for the horrific massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, Commander Shepard himself is helping with a new gamer-led fundraiser for those affected by the tragedy.

Called Gamers for Sandy Hook, a group of kind-hearted gamers is raising funds for the The Sandy Hook PTA to cover the victims’ medical bills and funeral costs.

Since everyone in our group are avid video game enthusiasts, we were inspired to use our passion to help our grieving brothers and sisters. Consequently, Gamers For Sandy Hook was born. We are not affiliated with any company or organization. We are grassroots organization fueled by our own individual hearts and pockets.

They’ve already got the support of video game actor Elias Toufexis (Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell), and the top bidder gets a Skype date with Edmonton’s own Mark Meer, who voices Commander Shepared in the Mass Effect series.

As I write this, the top bid is $50. You’ve got until Jan. 25 to beat that.