The Internet service provider for Eastern Michigan University’s Student Center scheduled maintenance last Saturday that disrupted the 7th annual Gamers for Giving LAN party fundraiser.
The Gamers Outreach Foundation, a non-profit founded by EMU student Zach Wigal, hosted the event in cooperation with the Intel LANFest series and EMU. This year, the event filled up the ballroom and mezzanine of the Student Center, due to its record attendance.
The foundation’s Project Go Kart initiative creates mobile video game carts for children’s hospitals, and is one of the charities benefiting from the fundraiser. Wigal stated that by summer, the initiative will be serving 10,000 children.
Despite the problems the event was still able to exceed its goal of $20,000 for charity, and award prizes to winners of its console-based “Killer Instinct,” “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” “Peggle 2” and “Halo 4” tournaments.
Gamers Outreach Foundation PR manager John Sphier, who also acted as “League of Legends” tournament manager said that, due to these issues, his event was not able to occur.
“We have, as far as player go, one of the larger events, it’s so long it takes two days,” Sphier said.
“Because we weren’t able to get internet until 5:30 on Sunday, it was a much smaller tournament.”
Sphier went on to say that a lot of people were understanding, even though he was not able to provide the event that they paid for.
The event’s live stream on Twitch was also disrupted due to the shutdown, which limited the event’s viewership and potential online donors. The 1:00 p.m. scheduled start time for the stream ran into issues that evening and took the stream off the air several times into the night.
The Twitter account for GFG tweeted early the next morning, “We received word from our networking team that it appears Eastern’s ISP issues have been resolved. Hoping for a smooth ride today! #GFG2014”
On Tuesday, the incident was dubbed “the great bandwidth blackout” on the event’s blog page, and it was announced that Gamers Outreach would be offering a free meme sticker commemorating the event to all attendees.
“It should also be noted that since 2008, in the span of time we’ve hosted Gamers for Giving within Eastern Michigan University,” the post reads, “this was the first time internet bandwidth was an issue for our event.”
Zach Wigal said that the foundation is in talks with EMU and will find a way to make things right for players who were affected by the outages.
“We actually have the data to prove it was not our equipment that caused the issue,” Wigal said. “We had a preliminary talk on Monday and it sounds like they’re on board to help us.”
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