Howard County gamer plays for 24 hours straight for good cause

Howard County gamer plays for 24 hours straight for good cause


It’s not unusual to find young people playing computer games for hours on end, but a Howard County, Maryland, 18-year-old did so for 24 hours straight — all for a good cause.Theo Lazarou loves to play video games, but instead of just racking up points and making it to the next level, the Long Reach High School graduate is raising money for Johns Hopkins pediatric leukemia research.”I think people are starting to realize that they can take their passion and put it toward helping the community,” Lazarou said. “I saw people playing video games — which is something that I really like to do — and I saw they were making a difference in their community. So to me, it was like a no-brainer that I wanted to do the same.”Lazarou was speedrunning a “602 race” during a 24-hour Super Mario-themed event over the weekend. Speedrunning involves players trying to break records by finishing games in as little time as possible, often using glitches in a game’s code and advanced techniques to skip ahead.But the feat wasn’t easy.”Even for someone who loves playing video games, doing it for 24 hours can be difficult, but thankfully, I had a lot of support from family and friends,” Lazarou said.He started a fundraiser on the live-streaming platform Twitch and now, thanks to his 1,000 followers, he has raised more than $700. In November, he raised about $1,000 while gaming for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.”Johns Hopkins Children’s Center is near and dear to my heart. I was born at Johns Hopkins and I’ve seen kids’ lives taken from them early because of leukemia, and anything I can do to stop that, I’ll be on board with it,” Lazarou said.Lazarou will attend the University of Maryland-Baltimore County in the fall.

It’s not unusual to find young people playing computer games for hours on end, but a Howard County, Maryland, 18-year-old did so for 24 hours straight — all for a good cause.

Theo Lazarou loves to play video games, but instead of just racking up points and making it to the next level, the Long Reach High School graduate is raising money for Johns Hopkins pediatric leukemia research.

“I think people are starting to realize that they can take their passion and put it toward helping the community,” Lazarou said. “I saw people playing video games — which is something that I really like to do — and I saw they were making a difference in their community. So to me, it was like a no-brainer that I wanted to do the same.”

Lazarou was speedrunning a “602 race” during a 24-hour Super Mario-themed event over the weekend. Speedrunning involves players trying to break records by finishing games in as little time as possible, often using glitches in a game’s code and advanced techniques to skip ahead.

But the feat wasn’t easy.

“Even for someone who loves playing video games, doing it for 24 hours can be difficult, but thankfully, I had a lot of support from family and friends,” Lazarou said.

He started a fundraiser on the live-streaming platform Twitch and now, thanks to his 1,000 followers, he has raised more than $700. In November, he raised about $1,000 while gaming for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

“Johns Hopkins Children’s Center is near and dear to my heart. I was born at Johns Hopkins and I’ve seen kids’ lives taken from them early because of leukemia, and anything I can do to stop that, I’ll be on board with it,” Lazarou said.

Lazarou will attend the University of Maryland-Baltimore County in the fall.


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