The year barely began when news of forest fires, persistent in Brazil last year, had already flooded the papers. The setting now is Australia, where more than 30 people died, more than 3000 lost their homes, and wildlife suffered almost uncountable losses. Amidst such reports of destruction, some students decided to act by hosting a 48-hour fundraising event of the third floor of the Library.
The Koalathon, a Lan Party (type of event whose main purpose is hosting multiplayer video gaming) thrown by the UBCO Esports Association, in partnership with the Okanagan Smash League, begun on February 7 at 6 p,m,, and ended on the ninth at the same time. The event was also streamed live at twitch.tv, which, according to Pierre Frigon, the club’s President, was the source of all funds raised. Frigon highlights that, besides the financial aspect of live streaming, doing it is also an “inherent part of gaming that can help people come together… It is a very good type of social encouragement for people to open up and talk to each other.”
It is not the first time the club hosts a fundraising event. According to Frigon, they also run an annual Extra Life event – a 24-hour long Lan Party – with the purpose of collecting donations for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. The Koalathon managed to raise $730, something that Frigon attributes to “people doing weird stuff on stream and attracting people watching [to donate].” All the funds raised will be transferred to the World Wildlife Foundation.