UD club plays to help local hospitalized children

By: Jenna Kaerek – Staff Writer

Although playing video games and helping a charity appear to be two different concepts, the Fantasy and Science Fiction Appreciation Club combined them Oct. 18 and 19 during their event Gaming for a Cause.

Child’s Play, the benefitting charity, strives to improve the lives of sick children in 70 local hospitals by providing them donated games and toys, according to their website. The charity, which was founded in 2003, has raised millions of dollars to help hospitalized children find distraction from “an otherwise generally unpleasant experience,” according to the website. Zac Reed, a researcher at the University of Dayton Research Institute and a club officer, said the charity donates video games, movies, portable DVD players and other toys.

Reed said the club recently donated about $1600 to the charity, and they can directly donate the money or they can go to hospitals wish lists and buy the desired items. The club “tries to keep it local” by donating to Dayton area hospitals, he said.

Reed said members of the club brought in their gaming consoles and video games, so participating gamers could play all day for $5. The club earned $517.16 at the event, and had over 100 participants.

Reed said the event started back in October 2006 and the club has been involved with the charity ever since.

Reed said the club first decided to work with Child’s Play because “it’s basically one of the only geek or nerd charities,” and it was a suggestion by one of the members of the club.

“It’s something we believe in and something we really support,” Reed said.

The Fantasy and Science Fiction Appreciation Club currently has over 50 members and has grown significantly in the past four years, Reed said. It began as a book club has evolved into a club for video games and pop culture.

“We’re huge and no one knows we’re here,” said Rachel Armstrong, a junior computer and electrical engineering major.

Reed said the club has “everything involving nerd or geek culture.”

The club meets every Thursday at 7:30 p.m., often hosting movie nights, jeopardy, role-playing games and other activities, Reed said. The club’s main event is its convention, which will take place Feb. 21, 2014.

For those interested in joining the club, Reed said they simply have to show up. There are $5 dues per semester, which Armstrong added are the “cheapest dues on campus.”

For more information about the club, interested students should contact Reed at reedz1@udayton.edu.

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