Penn's Social Deduction Club organized a 24-hour-long video game livestream to raise over $2,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Typically, SDC holds weekly meetings where members gather to play social deduction games, as well as larger events such as murder mysteries and an annual escape room. From 7 p.m. on March 5 to 7 p.m. on March 6, club members streamed games on Twitch with Extra Life, a program that allows gamers to raise donations for local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals by streaming.
"SDC is a club about getting away from the academic and professional pressures of college. Using our shared love of games and social deduction, we bring fun and joy to our club members and will sometimes stay up until sunrise playing games. In that way, Extra Life feels like a natural extension of SDCs mission,” Wharton senior and SDC board member Ashley Fernandez said.
The live stream consisted of 12 back-to-back time blocks scheduled throughout the entire day. During the first time blocks, groups of club members played multiplayer games, such as Fortnite, League of Legends, and Gartic Phone, a drawing game that mixes Pictionary and Telephone.
“Because the prime time for streaming is right at the start, we try to get a lot of games that are multiplayer so we can get more members of the club involved,” Wharton senior and SDC president Sam Scott said.
As the night progressed, streamers were able to play individual games that they enjoyed, such as Tetris.
“Once we hit midnight, we just let people play what they want," College senior and SDC board member Rachel Swym said. "We always want to make it fun for members, because those are the people who are going to be sitting and watching for the most part."
In order to encourage donations, the club set up a system of incentives and milestones.
Incentives were smaller, individual donations that participants could make to influence stream gameplay or win a reward. Milestones marked larger checkpoints — once target goals were met, specific actions were triggered.
“[Milestones] range from more moderate things to some very, very attention-grabbing things that we hope will bring in donations," Swym said. "Someone got a tattoo with our club logo on it. I dyed my hair for the very first time for the milestone last year. One of our members shaved his head on camera."
To conclude the event, club members gathered in Rodin College House to play Jackbox and quiz games. In total, the club raised $2,072 which will be donated to CHOP in order to “fund critical treatments, healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, and charitable care.”
The club hopes to continue hosting charity streams in future years to continue giving back to the community.
“I think the thing we were kind of missing until we started the stream was a way to give back past just to ourselves. Everything we do centers around the goals of creating a gaming space that’s accessible both to people who might consider themselves very game-versed and nerdy, and to people who are newcomers," Scott said. "I really like having a way to expand the openness and generosity that I really enjoy about the inside of the club to something outside of it as well."