Two dozen gamers will be waiting expectantly in a New York City apartment Thursday night, eager to dive into the just-released Pokémon Sun and Moon games. As they explore the game for the first time, they’ll also be raising money for Direct Relief.
It’s all part of the Pokéthon Eclipse event, during which gamers will gather to play the games throughout a 48-hour video game marathon. The group is hoping to raise $10,000 for Direct Relief’s efforts around the world.
The event has been timed with the release of the Pokémon Sun and Moon games, which have been highly anticipated this year. Earlier in 2016, Nintendo released its Pokémon Go app, which garnered massive popularity among fans. This week’s game releases will be for the Nintendo 3Ds, and will be made public Friday at 12 a.m. EST, at the same time Pokéthon will begin.
The latest Pokéthon event is one of multiple gaming marathons that have raised money for Direct Relief. Gaming and charity have proved a natural partnership, and the gaming community has raised nearly $5 million over the past five years for Direct Relief’s efforts around the world.
When a gaming marathon is held, a live broadcast allows viewers to tune in and watch as the featured gamers play. The audience is able to see the screen that the game player sees while playing, and the broadcaster of the game asks those viewers to make a donation to a charitable cause, which can unlock more challenges or other games.
Friday’s Pokéthon event is similar to Zeldathon, which took place earlier this year. That gaming marathon raised more than $230,000 for Direct Relief.
Among those leading the Direct Relief Gaming initiative are Matthew “MC” Moffit and Brooke “Kampy” Malone, whose efforts over the past seven years have raised over $1 million for charities worldwide, including more than $336,000 for Direct Relief alone.
Moffit met the gamer behind the Pokéthon event, who goes by the handle “AWildAbra,” by watching Abra’s Pokéthon marathon back in 2013.
The pair bonded over their love of gaming marathons with Abra eventually joining to Direct Relief’s gaming efforts.
“His amazing attitude towards charity was the driving factor into us inviting him to raising for Direct Relief Gaming,” Moffit said.
“I truly believe that this event will do great in raising for Direct Relief, as the drive for charity is very powerful with the team.”
The marathon will run for the following 48 hours, through Saturday night and early Sunday morning, depending on time zone.
Gamers can also visit https://www.directrelief.org/get-involved/gaming/ to download a toolkit with full instructions on how to begin raising for Direct Relief, as well as follow updates on Direct Relief Gaming efforts at the Twitter account, https://twitter.com/DirectRelief_G.