The Fallout community never lets a holiday go by without a celebration, and this year they’re giving back with a special “Fallout for Hope” charity event. Rallying for a common cause — ending childhood cancer — hundreds of creators and streamers from the Fallout fandom are raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event will take place across a multitude of channels and platforms, such as Twitch and YouTube, from December 14 to December 20.
I spoke to organizer Kenneth Vigue, host of Chad: A Fallout 76 Story and the Fallout Hub podcast, about his aims for the massive holiday fundraiser.
Alex Kane: How did this particular event come about?
Kenneth Vigue: Earlier this year, a prominent role-player in the Fallout 76 community — “Doc” C. J. Martin — was injured getting his family to safety when their home caught fire. What started as a modest GoFundMe ended up going global, with donations pouring in from as far away as Japan. And we ended up raising over $12,000 for him in a matter of a week and a half.
That singular, amazing event stuck with me. With COVID-19 and everything else, it’s been a year that we’ll likely all remember for how awful it’s been. I wondered, “If we could do that for one person, what if we — as one big global community of Fallout streamers, content creators, community leaders, and players — all got together to help one cause?
So “Fallout for Hope” was born from that idea, and I figured we’d get maybe 20 or 30 people on board. But we’re looking at over 300, worldwide, taking part in the charity drive. As surprising as it is that this concept blew up, it just goes to show how caring and interconnected this community is.
I chose St. Jude because we’ve been donating privately for years, and I have a profound respect for the work they do globally to research, treat, and offer empathy and medical assistance to children battling life-threatening diseases. It was their founder who started the hospital itself, and the organization, because he believed that one person could make a difference. I believe that as well — but a big group of people? I think we’re going to do something special.
Kane: Given the size of it all, what kind of work has gone into keeping everything organized?
Vigue: A lot of work. And as we got bigger and bigger, other people started coming on board to help from an organizational, technical, or event-planning standpoint. So I started by reaching out to anyone I knew or had contacts with from the Chad: Fallout 76 Story show, and also the Fallout Hub podcast, both of which have allowed me and others to network together.
After that, it was a matter of building the marketing assets, look, and all of the branded elements that the stream team needed. I wanted to make it easy and flashy looking, so I gave them access to everything from logo stingers to overlays, some custom orchestration, and even animated alerts. The phase we’re in now is finalizing some of the large “main stage” events we’re doing.
A few of the organizers who work on QuakeCon volunteered to bring over their expertise running something that huge, and also create three big events we’re doing in Fallout 76. They’ve been immensely helpful to me, as I’ve never done event planning of this scale in the gaming community — though I’ve done it as part of my job in real life.
Kane: Everyone’s playing some version of Fallout, right? What different kinds of streams can people expect?
Vigue: People will be streaming any and every Fallout game, on all consoles and all streaming platforms, from Fallout 1 to Fallout 76 — Twitch, Facebook Gaming, YouTube. Beyond that, we also have some people who are doing some really interesting streams, such as Shia, who’s sketching some Fallout scenes and characters. Or Uxo, who leads the “Filthy Casuals” subreddit, cooking up some post-apocalyptic recipes in his kitchen.
On the Fallout Hub podcast, we’re doing a Hollywood Squares-style game show with some special guests, like Bethesda’s Lady Devann, Lone Vault Wanderer, and “Uncle” Pete Hines, who will be gracing us as the center square — along with YouTubers Juicehead and Final Render. It’s going to be a week packed with some really fun stream concepts.
Kane: What’s your ideal outcome with this event? What’s the main goal?
Vigue: I had set the goal for the week at $50,000: the equivalent of paying for two life-saving surgeries for children. But with the amount of us streaming now, I honestly think we’re going to smash that goal by mid-week. I really hope we do; it would be an amazing way to end this year. For us all to do something like that to help kids at the holidays — what could be better?
Kane: Have you talked about making it an annual tradition? Anything like that?
Vigue: We already have people asking, and I’d really like to. Everyone knows each other in the Fallout community, but we are siloed, and don’t really mix and mingle as content creators and streamers that often. Getting us all together in one group has been amazing. You have large streamers offering advice to newbies, and the energy and positivity is so refreshing. I’d love to make this happen every year and make it a tradition.
Kane: Do you have any big surprises planned?
Vigue: The big events are something really unique; anything can happen. We’re planning a “Nukashine Run,” where you drink some Nukashine — an in-game Fallout 76 drink that makes you pass out and respawn somewhere random — and then race back to camp without being killed. We’re also doing two PvP-style challenges: a unique base-raid challenge using nuclear silos to destroy your neighbor’s holiday-themed camp and a Quake-style arena where people will battle to the death.
We have some really amazing contestants, well known in the community for those events, so they’re something you won’t want to miss! Further, we’ve had some really generous sponsors offering up some giveaways, and we’ll be doing a random drawing each day for anyone who donates any amount.
The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.