Last night in Hollywood, CraveOnline and STiKS Gaming presented the very first STiKS Arcade Gaming Gala alongside event co-sponsor Boost Mobile.
But this was not simply about putting on a party: the primary goal of the event was disaster relief.
“STiKs gaming is an organization that has married together the love of playing video games and raising money for charity,” said CraveOnline’s Nash Herrington. “Tonight in particular is the first annual STiKS Arcade Gaming Gala event. This year, because of the tragedy of the east coast, to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy.”
To support the cause, several celebrity gamers were in attendance, including Nick Cannon, Lamore Morris, Chrishell Stause, Jamie Gray Hyder, Kimberly Caldwell, Alana Grace, Lamore Morris, Brandon T. Jackson, Hannah Cornett, Ashley Mattingly, Eric Bledsoe, Ronny Turiaf, Ashley Mattingly, Sandra Vergara, Riley Smith, Carlos Ramirez, Drumma Boy, Janina Gavankar and Terrell Owens.
DJ Cobra set the tone early with a mix of songs from the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Several lighting fixtures throughout the Boulevard 3 Night Club were arranged to honor classic games like Super Mario Brothers, Galaga and even an amusing Pac-Man maze that featured the title character being pursued by a ghost as moving spotlights on a wall.
After an introduction, The Papermates — Jason "J Holla" Hollowell and Mario Jackson — opened the event with a performance. Then KRS-One took the stage to voice his support for Sandy victims before offering up a rap about disaster preparedness, which impressed the audience by actually having accurate information about what to do in order to get ready for an emergency.
All along the walls of the main room, there were several classic arcade games like Donkey Kong, NFL Blitz 2000, Outrun, Ninja Gaiden, Gauntlet II, NBA Hangtime, Cruis'n World, Marvel Vs. Capcom, Tekken 3 and Bad Dudes.
“The coolest thing about the arcade is that they’ve got all of these classic games set up,” noted Herrington. “And I know personally that going inside and seeing all of these classic arcade cabinets that I remember going into the arcade room of a miniature golf course back home. To be able to see those games and know that when I throw the coin in tonight it’s actually helping people who have been suffering on the east coast.”
At one point, Cannon took over as guest DJ and entertained the crowd while gaming and dancing continued on the club floor. Outside, Herrington and co-host Taryn Southern hosted red carpet coverage for CraveOnline and live streamed interviews with the attendees.
“It’s a really cool event,” related Herrington. “They’ve had a lot of big celebrities come out and donate money. Hopefully they’ll be doing it every year the day before the VGA awards that Spike does.”
For more information about donating to the cause, visit STiKSGaming.com.