When gamers filed into GLHF Game Bar at Jacksonville Landing last Sunday, they expected to participate in a day of competition playing the latest gaming craze, Madden NFL 19. After losing a game earlier in the day, a 24-year-old decided he would return to the tournament and senselessly kill two people, leaving nearly a dozen more wounded before turning the gun on himself.
The tragedy shook the gaming community, but the response has been anything but fear. An immediate outpouring of support has culminated in Electronic Arts, the video game developer that creates Madden year after year, is making a huge donation to the affected families.
Electronic Arts announced they will start the Jacksonville Tribute, a fund that will allow people to make donations to the families of the two men who were killed, Taylor Robertson and Elijah Clayton, as well as the other shooting victims at the tournament in Jacksonville, Florida.
All of the injured victims are expected to survive their injuries.
In addition to the tribute fund, the California-based company announced they would be uniting the gaming community even further with the Jacksonville Tribute Livestream on September 6. Specific details are in the works, but the idea will be for Madden gamers from around the world to come together in solidarity to play a simple game that brings people together and not allow this senseless event to define them.
Here is the full transcript of the company’s press release:
The events last weekend in Jacksonville will impact the gaming community forever. We can’t begin to understand the pain so many are going through, nor do we pretend to have all the answers that will help us through the healing process.
But as is so often the case, our community inspires us. The way you are coming together, and the outpouring of support for all those affected by this tragedy, is incredibly uplifting. We want to join you.
So today, we’re establishing the Jacksonville Tribute.
First, we’re making a $1 million contribution to support the victims of last Sunday’s events. We’re also working to set up a fund where others can contribute alongside our donation, and we will come back very soon with further details. Contributions will go to the victims, including the families of Taylor Robertson, Elijah Clayton, and all those who were affected.
We would also like to help by bringing the gaming community together, and uniting in play, through the Jacksonville Tribute Livestream next Thursday, September 6. We’ve heard from so many of you that you would like to support the victims, and to show that this horrific event will not define us, but only serve to make our community stronger. We’re already working with many of you to help make this happen through the livestream.
We’ll share more details very soon.
It’s an awesome show of support for something that was totally out of EA’s control, but this tribute once again shows the tolerance our society is building towards acts of gun violence and mass shootings.
There was no way for law enforcement to anticipate this kid returning with a gun in hand, and now we have to move forward while two people lost their lives for no reason.
Kudos to Electronic Arts for the awesome display. We won’t be defined by one person’s greed.