Read up on the charity event and win an awesome prize!
I had the pleasure last Thursday to attend Ümloud!, which is a night focused on playing Rock Band to benefit the Child’s Play charity. Having never attended any of the previous events, I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect. Upon arriving at the DNA Lounge entrance, I was greeted with a ticket for one swag item at the swag table, which had items donated by numerous companies. The table had a variety of items to choose from, including T-shirts, stickers, and even a few games. Off to the side were Rock Band 3 keyboard and game packages bundled with a stand. Everyone received one of those, and I’ll be giving out the ones I obtained; see below for details on that.
After wandering past that table, I found the raffle booth where they had tickets for sale to win various prizes. All proceeds from the raffle went to Child’s Play and many of the items they were raffling off were pretty limited in availability, with a few being given to press outlets only. The bin of raffle tickets already had a healthy amount of tickets inside when I passed by, and this was at the beginning of the night.
Upon wandering upstairs and navigating through a few early crowds, I found the GameSpot area where they were broadcasting the event live to the Internet. Many spectators hovered around when various on-air interviews were taking place. Others decided to watch the DJ, who was close by in a pit of sorts, at an angle to the GameSpot booth. Hidden in the back room was a silent auction with gaming related merchandise up on the block. A signed copy of Lord of the Rings: War in the North signed by various developers, an Aliens Colonial Marines dart gun, and a 20th Anniversary Sonic set were a few of the highlights. Since the room was in the back and the event had just got going, there weren’t many bids.
Past the silent auction was an area where there was a Rock Band 3 free play area. They had three microphones, a drum set, two guitars, and a keyboard set up for use. Throughout the duration of the night, random groups would come and sign their names up to play. Since not everyone had a full group, many offered to fill in where necessary. I even saw a group or two who already played on the main stage out front come to this back area to jam.
Back on the main stage downstairs, bands were getting set up and ready to roll. Each band didn’t take much time to set up, since the instruments were all the same. The only difference I noted was the fact that the drummers were seated in front of an Ion Rocker kit. As each group came on, they had their own unique name and attire. Many groups named themselves after video game references, such as the Herobrine, who wore creeper heads from Minecraft. Others, like A Rockwork Orange, derived their names from pop culture and movies. Between each band performance came the MC for the night, Chris Kohler of Wired.com, reminding attendees to donate to Child’s Play.
As the night wound down and perhaps too many drinks were consumed at the bar, I wandered over to the silent auction area and glanced down at the Colonial Marines dart gun, which I had known would be mine before any liquid touched my lips. I placed my winning bid, and then took a look at one other item I noticed many hovering over during the night. The 20th Sonic Anniversary bundle had reached a bid of more than $2,000. According to the official Ümloud! site, from the silent auction, $3,278 was raised in the name of Child’s Play. It felt good to donate a portion of that and I invite others to do the same for Child’s Play or any decent charity.
As far as charity events go, this one was a blast. There were fun bands, energetic people, and a great atmosphere. If you’re able to go next year if it’s held once again, I suggest doing so. It’s not only a great cause, but it’s fun to simply be in the environment of many happy gamers.
As I mentioned in the impressions above, I was given the Rock Band 3 Keyboard & Game bundle that also includes a stand. This is the Wii version and you can win it simply by commenting something Rock Band or Child’s Play related here! RULES: This contest is open to those living in the US only (for shipping reasons, sorry to those living elsewhere!). One entry per person. To win, you must leave a comment as stated above and have valid contact information. If your name is drawn and I cannot contact you, your prize is forfeit and another name will be drawn. NintendoGal.com is not responsible for lost, stolen, or beat up prizes that arrive at your door and you consent to this when you enter this contest. One entry per person per contest. The contest on Facebook follows the same rules stated here, though they are separate contests. This contest is scheduled to end on December 23rd, 2011 at 10:00PM PST. A winner will be picked at random and notified within a week of the contest end.
Good luck to all who enter!