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Streaming Games Isn’t Pie In The Sky, More Like Pie In The Face

Director of Communications for Help Hope Live Shannon Shensky has a face covered in pie and a Zeldathon Hope t-shirt as she stands in the Help Hope Live headquarters. She has light skin and brown hair.

“Taking a pie in the face was an unusual but heartfelt way for me to help express our gratitude.”

In 2015, Help Hope Live became the beneficiary of an unusual benefit: a Legend of Zelda gaming marathon called Zeldathon.

Zeldathon Hope raised over $250,000 in 147 hours.

The Nonprofit Times explained the incredible growth in charity gaming, fueled by unique events like Zeldathon and individual content creators and influencers.

We were honored to be chosen after Zeldathon’s MC Moffit found us through Charity Navigator.

Zeldathon Hope included on-screen participation from the Help Hope Live team both in-person at Zeldathon and at our offices, where Director of Communications Shannon Shensky took a pie to the face as a donation incentive.

MC’s marathons have raised more than $3.5 million for various charities.

A few stats included in the coverage about the rise of gaming:

$455.27 billion will be spent worldwide on video games in 2024, up from $200 billion in 2020.

79% of gamers in the U.S. are adults.

Video gamers spend about 25% of their entertainment time on video games versus other content like TV and music.

Overall, charity gaming streams raised over $83 million in 2020.

As MC explained in the interview, early on in the Zeldathon timeline, the team struggled to be taken seriously by nonprofits:

“There was a negative perception about gaming that was unfair to the space.”

Today, charities are not only embracing the power of gaming for good but also actively seeking to hire talent for gaming and broadcasting fundraising initiatives.

Events like Zeldathon have contributed to a new understanding of gaming and gamers as a diverse and philanthropic group with a passion for not just gaming but also giving back.

“Their actions are reshaping our understanding of the gaming community as a powerful force for global good.”

We’re grateful to everyone who made Zeldathon Hope and subsequent gaming marathons for Help Hope Live a huge success, not just in raising funds but also spreading awareness about our mission.

“The cause is extremely important to all participants from hosts, players, broadcast crew, audience and beyond.”

A screenshot of a Zeldathon gaming marathon reads Helping Others by Playing Games and features an image of four Zeldathon team members playing instruments on stream. Written by Emily Progin