Third annual Playing for Pets uses video games to fundraise for animals

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Who knew hours of video games could help man’s best friend?

The third annual 24-hour Playing for Pets video game marathon will kick off at 8 am on April 12 in Wells Theater in Taylor Hall. All proceeds benefit the Community Humane Shelter of Steuben County. The entire marathon will be live-streamed at PlayingforPets.com, where viewers can also make donations to the cause.

The event is put on each year by students in HAC professor Justin Young’s honors seminar, Video Games: The Art, Culture, and History of a Medium. Throughout the day (and night) students, faculty and staff from around campus will play a wide variety of games, including classics like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., as well as more obscure titles like Ultimate Chicken Horse, Mount Your Friends, Overcooked and Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes.

This year, additional game rooms have been added to the main action in the theater. Once classes end in the afternoon, Taylor Hall’s upstairs classrooms will host party games, Rock Band, League of Legend and even board games.

For Young, the event combines the best of both worlds: hands-on education and working together for a good cause. Students in his Web Content Management and Digital Media Creation courses, who have also signed up for shifts, get to see firsthand the challenges of producing a live broadcast. Meanwhile, students in his video game class, who have learned all semester about the medium’s art, culture and history, get to see its incredible diversity.

“This is one of the fastest growing media industries, and fastest evolving art forms in the world,” Young explains. As soon as one Playing for Pets ends, he begins work planning the next one, searching out titles to add to the next event’s roster. Tune in April 21 – April 22 to see what’s in store this year. And don’t forget to donate to a very good cause.

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