Reclaim the Fight: a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate charity stream for victims of sexual-abuse
tl;dr: I am starting a charity stream series at my Twitch channel on my birthday (August 8th) to collect money for Speak Your Silence, a non-profit that helps victims of sexual abuse through counseling and therapy.
- I’ll play World of Light (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Single Player Story Mode) on the hardest difficulty making sure to change characters to the one I most recently unlocked in the game. **There are 76+ characters**
- There will also be several hours dedicated to online matches with viewers.
- There will also be singing, costumes, and stupid gags
August 8th — August 10th:
-12pm Noon — 6pm (Pacific Standard Time) each day until World of Light is completed.
- World of Light: 12pm — 3pm
- Open Arena: 3pm — 6pm
Why: To raise funds for Speak Your Silence, a non-profit dedicated to helping victims of sexual abuse move past their trauma through counseling and therapy. This is in response to an overwhelming amount of sexual abuse cases in the fighting game community.
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In the summer of 1999, I received a copy of Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64 for my 11th birthday. This game was a unique entry in Nintendo’s library. For the first time ever, the likes of Donkey Kong, Pikachu, the Mario Bros., and other Nintendo characters would be in a game together. On top of that, it would be a fighting game where nobody would get — in stark contrast to all fighting games at the time — incapacitated or killed.
Super Smash Bros. features an innovative game mechanic. Traditional fighting games work by having your character attack your opponent to decrease their life points to zero, and thus winning the round. In Super Smash Bros. however, your attacks raise the opponent’s damage percentage. The higher a character’s percentage, the easier they are to fling off screen. Once they pass a threshold off screen, a cartoonish burst of light and confetti appears, signifying the taking of a life or “stock”. The concept for a ‘Nintendo Fighting Game’ was initially dismissed, as it ran counter to the company’s wholesome ‘Disney-esque’ aesthetic. By implementing this new style of play, concerns of children witnessing their favorite happy-go-lucky characters getting eviscerated, bloodied, or knocked out were effectively taken off the table. And Nintendo made a lot of money.
From the summer of the original’s release to the present day, some of the most fun moments I’ve had with my family, room-mates, and friends have involved Super Smash Bros. As sequels debuted on more powerful systems over the years, pondering what new characters, mechanics, and stages would be included in future installments became frequent topics of discussion with friends and family.
Over time, a community of players — spanning a large range of ages (pre-adolescents to adults) — emerged. They form friendships, participate in local play sessions, and compete in community tournaments. A slim percentage of these people take their skill in the game to such heights that they become professional e-sports athletes. These players frequently compete at international fighting game tournaments in Las Vegas and other large cities for incredible sums of money. Moreover, they enjoy all the trappings of fame that come with being a successful professional athlete: VIP status, corporate sponsorship, ad-deals, massive social media followings, etc.
TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ABUSE/VIOLENCE
Several weeks ago, it came to light that a disturbingly large number of the game’s top players have been the subject of — and in many cases have out right admitted to — allegations of pedophilia, statutory rape, grooming, and outright rape. People who would play at international conventions televised on ESPN, the same people who create tutorial videos (a number of which I’ve used to brush up on finer points of the game) are being outed for sexually preying on impressionable children — fans of theirs — they met at major and local tournaments. It’s one of the most disgusting, sickening, twisted, and demented things I’ve ever heard of.
Links to several articles about cases of abuse:
When I was a kid, I didn’t have to even remotely consider the possibility that my interest in video-games could put me in danger of scarring my perception of sex, crippling my ability to trust people, or impeding my ability to establish intimacy. These abhorrent and irredeemable betrayals have harmed children, their families, and a community of players who overwhelmingly condemn these acts.
To combat the effects of these horrible crimes, I have decided to hold a charity stream fundraiser for Speak Your Silence, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of sexual abuse. They focus on helping victims of sexual abuse move forward to live the best lives they can through a counseling program, sharing articles about authors’ battles with their abuse trauma, and arranging free sessions with professional therapists.
I will play World of Light, the single player story-mode of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, on the highest difficulty setting as part of my stream series. In the game’s story, all the video-game characters are abducted by an entity named “Galeem” who forces spirits to inhabit copies of the abductees and do its bidding.
The lone survivor of the attack embarks on a series of challenges to free each character and prepare to defeat their captor. While playing, I will switch to the newest character I unlock; a large feat as the game features 76 characters (and counting). There will also be several hours set aside for online play with viewers of the stream, which if you own the game I hope you’ll participate in.
My goal for the fundraiser is $300, but if we meet this goal, we will continually raise it in order to have the most positive impact possible. Depending on the size of the donation, backers will be entered into a raffle drawing for the following prizes:
- cute sticker packs made by super rock-star comic-artist Andrea Rosales (10 prizes)-$15
- a recording of mine of a song you’d like to use for an event like a wedding/funeral/etc. **I’m a professional opera singer** (5 prizes) — $25
- package of 3 voice lessons taught by me (5 prizes) — $50
- a simple website or web-application developed by me for your business or whatever need you have; any subsequent costs regarding hosting or domains will be on you. (2 prizes) — $200
I will begin on my birthday, August 8th, at 12pm Pacific Standard Time at my Twitch channel and will run from Noon — 6pm. I look forward to using my birthday to bring a positive impact to the lives of people who were hurt while trying to enjoy a game series that has meant so much to me and countless others.