Deaths and injuries at a gaming event in Jacksonville raise the question of how to ensure the safety of future tournament attendees.
In the wake of Sunday’s tragic shooting at the GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville, Florida — that claimed two lives and left nearly a dozen others with injuries after a competitor in a Madden 19 event opened fire during a tournament — FGC tournament organizers are pledging to increase security at upcoming events. Level Up Series promises additional security and metal detectors will be in place at the upcoming SoCal Regionals 2018 in September, while Canada Cup Gaming’s Lap Chi Duong also has indicated plans for increased security at October’s Canada Cup 2018 at EGLX in Toronto.
Our thoughts and prayers goes out to the gaming community in Jacksonville, Florida on this tragic day.
We have added security and metal detectors in place for #SCR2018 to assist with event safety prior to this incident. Gaming should be safe and fun for everyone.
— Level | Up Series (@levelupseries) August 26, 2018
At #SCR2018, we will be instructing security to conduct thorough searches of joysticks, bags of all kinds, baggy clothing, and will use walk through and handheld metal detectors. This includes attendees, players, and staff. It is suggested to bring the bare minimums to the event. https://t.co/uNvl0e7pab
— Jimmy Nguyen (@ShinJN_) August 26, 2018
— Lap Chi Duong (@lapchiduong) August 26, 2018
Evo director Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar has also promised increased security for next year’s Evo event:
While Evo does not comment on security procedures (for obvious reasons), it's very clear that we need to be more proactive for 2019 and beyond. The amount of undercover law enforcement at Evo was unprecedented, and we will be installing metal detectors for ALL days next year.
— Joey Cuellar (@MrWiz) August 26, 2018
The shooting has hit close to home for the fighting game community, leaving many players rattled, saddened, and concerned about safety at future tournaments — not to mention bringing to prominence the ongoing question of how to combat gun violence in the USA.
I hate that we tolerate efficient murder weapons. I hate that anyone could be a target. I hate that there'll be more security at tournaments instead of effective government action, as if the solution to a leaky roof was to cover the floor with buckets instead of patching the tile
— The Commentattorney (@ultradavid) August 26, 2018
Schools, universities, churches, movie theaters, post offices, concerts, casinos, clubs, cafeterias, government buildings, conventions…tourneys. This is not normal. This cannot continue becoming normal.
— Rick (@TheHadou) August 26, 2018
A GoFundMe page has also been launched to aid those affected with the medical or funeral costs that follow in the wake of this tragedy.
The most important thing to take away from this tragedy, IMO, is to not give in to the fear. Do not let this stop enjoying the things that we love. Keep going to events, keep pursuing your passions. Keep doing the things you love. We can’t live life in fear.
❤️ to all.
— James Chen (@jchensor) August 26, 2018