A stay-at-home dad is scheduled to fly to Florida from his home in New Brunswick on Thursday in a bid to turn his lifelong passion for gaming into a charitable money-maker for sick children.
Kris Jardine said his saga of turning a hobby into a fundraiser began last November when he played four different video games for 24 hours, as friends and acquaintances donated $479 to provide to the IWK children’s hospital in Halifax.
Organizers at the IWK Health Centre gathered the names of fundraisers who’d donated to the hospital and picked Jardine’s name out of a hat for the trip to Florida, where he’s scheduled to play other gamers for additional cash for the hospital starting Thursday.
“I’ve been playing games since the 1980s ... Super Mario days,” he said during a telephone interview. “I never thought 30 years later I could take a passion and do good things for kids.”
However, the Miramichi resident, who’s in his mid-30s, says he’s a bit nervous about whether his reaction time will be as good as the younger players he may face off against.
“As a 35-year-old gamer with diminishing reflexes, I’m about as good as I’m going to get,” he said. “But I’m ready to go, so bring it on.”
“My personal goal is, I don’t want to come back empty-handed,” he said.
There are about 125 participants expected at the event, and children from various hospitals will also be attending to encourage the players, said Jardine.
Players who make it to the top four of each round of games will play for money for their chosen hospital.
Jardine said his seven-year-old daughter, Rowyn, and five-year-old son, Grayson, have been taking interest in his gaming and encouraging him to practise several new games he’ll be trying at the tournament.
“A lot of the games at the tournament are easy to play and their interest has grown through this process,” he said.
Jardine said he regulates the hours his own children spend playing video games, ensuring that if they spend time on the screen that they spend equal or larger amounts of time playing with other children indoors and outside.
“We keep a close eye on what they play and how much time they play,” he said.Report Typo/Error