Professor Broman is a gamer and a giver. He's been called the Renaissance Man of the gaming world. The Professionally Bald Gamer tells how he got into gaming, why he started fundraising, and what he loves about St. Jude.
If you had told me 10 years ago I would be building a massive online community of amazingly talented and incredibly caring people — who also just so happen to be really into streaming — I no doubt would have laughed it off.
In retrospect, it doesn’t seem like such a far-fetched idea.
As we find ourselves at the midway point of 2020, our community is in its fifth year of running a charity marathon across multiple streaming platforms in support of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, giving hope to even more families around the world.
With two weeks left in the fiscal year, we’re on pace to reach our goal of $5 million, with our biggest event under way even as I type. GCX, as the event is now called, is wrapping up its final days, with St. Jude supporter DrLupo ready to close out the streaming as only he can.
I often get asked, “Why St. Jude?” That is a simple answer: Because St. Jude is, in a word, hope.
When our gaming community went looking for a charity to get behind, we insisted certain criteria be met: It had to be a world-class organization international in its mission, large in its scope and compassionate in its goal. If even one of those attributes was missing, the organization wouldn’t pass muster.
When streamers first visited St. Jude, we saw that every little thing — from patient care and patient life, to research — every detail was thought about, considered and approached in a meaningful way.
It goes even deeper than that for me. St. Jude is an organization that represents high-minded ideas such as freely shared research, space for education and global connections. To me, St. Jude represents hope on a fundamental level, from saving people’s lives to truly showing, at the institutional level, the way things can move forward in a better way.
I started streaming seven years ago because I wanted to be involved in the charity space on Twitch. Today, streaming for me is a two-fold exercise: Entertaining people to the best of my ability, while growing a positive, tight-knit community that understands why we should help make the world a better place.
GCX is a far cry from the first fan meetup we held in 2015, when 3,000 people showed up at the Tampa Fairgrounds for what was then a Destiny-specific convention, and raised more than half-a-million dollars for St. Jude. But in those first moments, we saw the potential for what could be.
Yes, this is a community created around a digital channel in which we interact in a virtual world and may never meet in person. But none of that matters. In fact, as recent events have shown us, these communities are rising to the occasion to inspire us all. Even though we aren’t meeting in person this year for GCX, our community is more dedicated and determined than ever to make a difference for St. Jude.
Gaming is art, and in times of crisis the arts always remind us of our connection to one another, our shared humanity.
And in this community, our door is open to everyone, with no limit on the number of seats at the table.