As the school year comes to a close, so too has Trine HAC’s annual Playing for Pets. Brave souls gathered at 8 AM on Friday the 13th to kick off the twenty-four-hour game extravaganza, and every moment was livestreamed out to the public. That public, as well as anyone in attendance at the event itself, was encouraged to donate any funds they could share to the relevant GoFundMe. All proceeds would go directly to the Community Humane Shelter of Steuben County.
This year marked the fourth iteration of the fundraiser, organized and hosted by HAC department chair and professor Justin Young, and like every year before it, Playing for Pets has grown bigger and better. At one point, six rooms of different kinds of games were active. Wells Gallery was home to the main event, but there were also rooms for Rock Band, a Destiny pen and paper RPG, various tabletop and board games, the Jackbox Party Pack and Dungeons and Dragons. Each room was open to all members of the Trine community, students, faculty, and staff alike, and everyone in attendance was invited to cosplay as well.
The diversity attracted both longtime attendees and newcomers. Fernando Bauzo, a communication major and Playing for Pets veteran, looks forward to the event every year. “I’d be doing this on my own in my dorm anyway,” Bauzo says, “so why wouldn’t I come out here and do the exact same thing for a good cause?” Students, staff and faculty had a chance to play a variety of games: Overcooked, Walden, Streets of Fury, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Inversus and, appropriately, Friday the 13th, just to name a few. Viewers got the chance to catch these games and more on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter and Facebook.
In addition to students, staff and faculty, members of Trine’s newly founded e-sports teams were in attendance. Both the Overwatch and Rocket League teams made appearances to show their support. “It’s a really cool way to show that Trine is trying to keep itself modern and innovative,” Bauzo said, “Every school has sports. We have e-sports. Them coming out and supporting the event helps us get to know them a little better.”
At the end of the full twenty-four hours (and then some), the event managed to raise just over a thousand dollars – $1,102, to be exact. For Bauzo, “Playing for Pets raises money for a great cause, and helps everyone have a great time, too. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Trine HAC thanks both the Trine and Angola communities for their support.