As we enter late Fall in 2020, one aspect of gaming that has been missed this year is the convention scene. Although there is a good reason to not assemble in large groups this year, it is still an essential component to keeping in touch with friends, cosplaying, displaying, promoting, and selling art, showing off skills in speedruns and esports, and networking in the gaming industry. With the absence of TwitchCon EU and NA in 2020, Twitch figured out how to still have this event without the health risk: Glitchcon. Although the idea of an online convention had already been executed with events such as PAX online earlier this year, Twitch figured out a way to make it as close to the actual event as possible.
Twitch recently released the schedule for Glitchcon to take place on November 14th, 2020, and it contains many familiar events such as the opening speech and state of the platform, a cosplay contest, esports competitions, and even an afterparty. If someone wanted to watch the event, but did not speak English, they can still participate thanks to the international co-streamers that Twitch has provided. At the bottom of the GlitchCon promotional page is a list of streamers that will be co-streaming the event in various languages. Not only does this make the event more inclusive and accessible, but it also promotes those streamers that will be co-streaming. Much like its in-person version, Glitchcon provides something for everyone, including its exciting esports lineup. There are traditional esports such as Fortnite, League of Legends, and VALORANT; however, there is one that stands out on this schedule: Fall Guys.
Fall Guys has been entering the esports scene lately with successful events such as Twitch Rivals: Fall Guys (NA and EU) and GrandPooBear’s FallMania. Fall Guys is a Battle Royale game that puts players through a variety of trials before reaching the finale to compete for the crown in each show. These trials feature footraces, survival, memory games, tag, team events, and of course, the finale which can be in any category other than the team event. There can be only one that wins the crown at the end. Since Twitch wanted to take advantage of the game’s recent popularity and wanted to feature teams, they created a points system based on crowns, currency earned, and survivability of the teams (since only one player can win the crown).
Twitch decided to feature Fall Guys in an esports setting once again at Glitchcon because it is one of the easiest and fun to follow. In-depth knowledge of the game and its workings is not required from both a player and spectator point-of-view, thus the game serves as a fantastic entry into the world of esports for people who may have never watched an event before. Since Glitchcon has a focus on bringing a convention to the safety of home, there is no better esport that would define this year other than Fall Guys due to its fun, easy-to-watch, lighthearted, and ridiculously random nature. One facet that is absent from Glitchcon is its wonderful Charity Plaza featuring a variety of charities including but not limited to: St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, No Kid Hungry, Trans Lifeline, Best Friends Animal Society, and Make a Wish. Even though Glitchcon does not contain a charity plaza this year, there are still other ways to engage with the gaming community while raising money for charity.
One of the biggest charity campaigns for Wizards of the Coast, as well as for the Magic: The Gathering community is a yearly campaign in November for Extra Life. Extra Life’s donations stay local to fund treatments, healthcare, and pediatric medical equipment in Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Events and fundraisers for this campaign include a main stream, a series of content creator streams, and exclusive products from MTGProShop, Wizards of the Coast’s Secret Lair, gaming accessories from Ultra Pro, Ebay auctions for uncut sheets of MTG cards, and in-game Magic: The Gathering Arena cosmetics. To date, the campaign has raised $928,226 with a few days left to go. If a content creator’s target audience is Magic: The Gathering, this is a fantastic event to participate in as it encourages content creators to form teams to work together across a series of content creation platforms for a good cause.
As exhibited in Twitchcon’s Charity Plaza, there are many ways in which a person can raise money for charity using content creation. Play Live: St. Jude is another charity one can use their streaming skills to raise money for an awesome cause: treating and defeating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is important to note that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food. Although creators can raise money for Play Live: St. Jude any time of year, the two primary seasons are in April-May and November. While anyone can raise money doing any form of content creation, November’s season historically has taken a focus on creativity. Some of the suggestions that the website provides include sewing, crafting, music, and tabletop games. St. Jude provides content creators with an awesome message: raising money for content creation does not always have to involve video games. Prizes that St. Jude has included with the November 2020 season include a patch, apron, and a lunch box. The designs on these items include a personal touch because a child from the hospital has designed the logo for the products for this prize season.
At Ritual Motion, we will be raising money for Toys for Tots in early December with our 12 days of Streaming charity event and Gaming for Tots tournament. The mission of Toys for Tots is to collect new toys and distribute those toys to less fortunate children for Christmas. The day I have chosen for the stream is Thursday, December 10th in the evening eastern, and will feature my 2020 Mini Golf with Your Friends gala where friends of the stream will be joining me and donating two dollars every time the ball is within a certain distance of the hole, but not in. Alongside this, the day will feature other games including but not limited to Roller Coaster Tycoon, and various retro games from the NES and SNES.
Various skills can be used and streamed to raise money for a good cause. I encourage content creators of all different backgrounds to raise money for charity online as it cultivates a community and delivers a great message. We all have something to be thankful for this month, and I am thankful that organizations and content creators exist to raise money for those in need.
About the Contributor: A regular contributor to Ritual Motion, Allison “Skybilz” Waters was born in Western New York and attended Penn State (BA-English) and St. Bonaventure (MA-English). She began streaming and speedrunning in September 2013 on Twitch.tv/Skybilz and has been Hosting for Games Done Quick since Jan 2015. In 2019, Allison competed in the MTG Arena Mythic Invitational in Boston, MA and almost obtained a top 16 finish. Also, she competed in Mythic Championship VII in Long Beach, CA later that year. She currently plays for OXG Esports (MTG Arena) and is a showrunner for Games Done Quick.