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Banding Together: FFXIV Eorzea Rescue Benefit Raises Thousands For Earthquake Relief

Gaming for a cause has never been this fun.
Image Via Square Enix and GamerJournalist

This weekend I attended a very special fan run event called Eorzea Rescue in one of my favorite video games, Final Fantasy XIV. The world of Eorzea is no stranger to interesting fan events. Whenever you log into the game on a Friday night shout chat will be bombarded with advertisements for nightclubs players run, gambling events and even quiz nights. The game’s community is unique due to this. I will be the first to admit that sometimes on a Friday night I’m clubbing at some random player’s house in the Mists neighborhood in the game.

Besides all the fun that comes out of this, there are a lot of endearing events that fans cook up. Last month there was a huge fishing event ran by an in game coalition of marine biologists who run an unofficial museum for the game in their player house. Besides there being dedicated biologists to the world of Eorzea there are also a group of players who are musicians in the game. Final Fantasy XIV gives players instruments and allows them to compose their own compositions. This has created a fascinating gig economy within the game and in turn has created a dedicated group of Bards and Bands. Sometimes you go to house parties on a weekend and there are musicians who are hired by the party organizer.

The Event

This last weekend though the Bard community from NA and EU came together for the Eorzea Rescue: Bard Charity event to raise money for the survivors of the devastating earthquakes that Turkey and Syria had been ravaged with in February. Teaming up with Doctors Without Borders the event set out to achieve $1,000 dollars donated. By Saturday evening the event had earned triple of what they were aiming for, bringing in a monstrous $3,000!

Image Via Square Enix and GamerJournalist

The event started Friday, March 3rd on the Louisoix server with a bombastic Flash Mob in the city of Limsa Lominsa. There were a total of eighteen bands, including the likes of The Highlander Misfits, The Meows, Troupe Toniri, Wok This Way and Zune Tunes! These amazing bands popped out and belted tunes until the night came.

Starting the day early on March 4th was a more relaxed and laid back vibe on the Zodiark server. Throughout the day Cartoon Legend, Melodies of Light, Mews, and The Beastles took turns playing relaxing tunes for the city of Limsa Lominsa all day.

Later in the day there was a Lalafel themed parade in collaboration with the squad dubbed Lalas of Light. They marched around all the major cities, hopping between servers and streaming it on Twitch to a few hundred viewers.

After the parade was the main event, the stacked Fifteen band round-robins began and lasted into the later hours of the night. This was the event I was able to attend. I made my way to the back of the large crowd who was cheering and dancing to the bands belting out classic 80’s songs and modern pop tunes. I made sure to not stand in front of anyone because of the size of my character, I play a Roegadyn who is the largest race in the game. Keeping my eye on the live stream on my second monitor I made sure to situate myself on the outside of the large group so no matter who came in via the stream or in person could have an amazing view.

Image Via Square Enix and GamerJournalist

Excitement and Joy

A highlight of the event for me was when a band played Star Walkin’ by Lil Nas X and as the song ended, the silence of the night crept over the crowd. We all cheered and kept up the good vibes but then the Blue Mages in the background used their self-destruct spell to end the song with a BANG, exploding with a cacophony of homemade fireworks. This was a moment where I couldn’t help but grin ear to ear, I just love the unique creativity this community has.

As I’m writing this story I just can’t help but to feel proud. Proud of the Bands and the Bards who attended. Proud of the organizers who worked so hard. I’m also proud to be a part of such an amazing community that is so creative made by a development team that genuinely cares about the players. It’s taken me a bit to realize this but the love the developers put into the game has trickled down into the community and something like that is what we need to celebrate these days.

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