“If I could do something awesome and for a good cause, then why not?” That’s how Michael Snyder described his experience when he had the idea for Gaming for Heroes. Snyder, who is currently active duty in the Coast Guard, has always been a fan of playing video games. When he noticed that people were using gaming marathons as fundraisers to raise awareness for great causes, he decided to reach out to Active Heroes.
While speaking to Active Heroes President, Troy Yocum, Snyder expressed ideas for a gaming event or fundraiser, and Yocum was on board right away. After a lot of planning, Snyder hosted a video gaming event at the Active Heroes Community Center and streamed for 22 hours straight. Remembering the event, Snyder said, “Kudos to Troy for letting a stranger hang out and play video games all night.” After that event, Snyder was hooked.
After more collaboration with Yocum, Gaming for Heroes was officially launched. Snyder says that the biggest goal for Gaming for Heroes is to bring gamers together. Gaming can allow you to make friends, relieve stress, and meet other veterans. He thinks that creating a social platform for veterans is a great way to help them find support and meet people who are going through the same thing. “You know that when you join this group, you’re joining a group that have veterans at heart”, Snyder says when asked what the biggest benefit of Gaming for Heroes is to veterans. Another benefit that this program will bring is awareness and fundraising by hosting gaming marathons and events.
Gaming for Heroes is currently working hard to finish up the planning process for their first large event. On June 23rd at 5pm est., Gaming for Heroes will begin its first 24-hour live stream with a Dungeons and Dragons Marathon. Snyder hopes to see success of this event, and that Gaming for Heroes is able to continue to grow into a larger community and keep raising awareness for veterans.
Gaming for Heroes plays a variety of different games and, once you have registered, you can log-in to stream at your convenience. Gamers can register for free or purchase an Ambassador Package. The Ambassador package is $50 and includes the official Gaming for Heroes t-shirt and Active Heroes online suicide prevention training that comes with a 3-year certification.
To find our more information about Gaming for Heroes or to get involved, visit gamingforheroes.org or follow the Gaming for Heroes Facebook page to stay updated.