LAN party supports Cancer Wellness Connections

Video game charity event raises money for co-op experience

For many people, videos games such as Candy Crush Saga and Minecraft can be a fun way to pass the time. But for people living with cancer, electronic gaming has been proven an effective form of pain distraction and a way to connect with others battling the disease.

To raise awareness for video games as a diversionary activity for people with cancer and to raise money for cancer organizations, RIT’s Electronic Gaming Society has teamed up with Cancer Wellness Connections to present Fusion Fest ’15—a video game LAN party taking place Friday, March 20, at RIT and shared virtually via live-streaming.

Proceeds from Fusion Fest will support the creation of a summer co-op experience for an RIT student, who will work with Cancer Wellness Connections on creating a network and online offerings that will align video gaming with pain-reduction and diversion during chemotherapy treatments.

This will be the first known network of its kind, designed for cancer patients of all age groups. Also funding the co-op is corporate supporter Draft Sharks, an award-winning online fantasy football analysis site.

The charity LAN party is from 7 to 11 p.m. March 20 in RIT’s Student Alumni Union Davis Room. Supporters can sponsor gamers and donate at the Fusion Fest 2015 website.

About the LAN Party

A LAN party allows attendees to connect their computers over a local area network in order to play tournaments in some of today’s most popular multiplayer video games, including League of Legends, Counter-Strike and Starwhal.

“Cancer is close to home for me, because I have family members who have been affected,” said Alejandro Rivero, a second-year networking and system administration student and LAN officer of EGS. “This event is a chance for people to have a good time and use their gaming powers to make a difference.”

The on-campus event is for anyone 18 and older and cost $11 for EGS members and $16 for public.

The student-run Electronic Gaming Society is hosting the event along with RIT’s Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC), Cancer Wellness Connections, RIT’s Student Affairs Wellness team and the RIT chapter of Colleges Against Cancer.

About Cancer Wellness Connections

Founded in 2006, Cancer Wellness Connections delivers free services to more than 8,000 people each year at four different chemotherapy centers. When battling cancer through chemotherapy, many people experience unpleasant side effects and face a treatment program that is emotionally, mentally and physically taxing. Cancer Wellness volunteers provide diversionary activities and “bright moments” to help patients have a more positive experience on the way to wellness.

“I have seen a group of older women play Angry Birds while getting chemotherapy and its amazing how into the game they get,” said Betsy Twohig-Barrett, president and executive director of Cancer Wellness Connections. “Video games provide a way for our patients to connect with each other and forget about the pain. If video games can help, we need to provide them.”

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