Shaq to Stream eSports Live from The White House
Ashley Allen / 4 years ago
Former basketball player Shaquille O’Neal – better known as Shaq – is taking to Twitch to livestream some eSports, direct from the White House. The initiative is an oblique way of persuading Americans to sign up for healthcare coverage at HealthCare.gov; according to government statistics, millions of young adults to not have health insurance, with most not even aware that they qualify for cheaper coverage.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 20 million Americans now know the peace of mind and financial security of having health insurance,” Erik Martin, Policy Advisor at the White House, said. “Young adults had the highest uninsured rates before the Affordable Care Act and have seen the sharpest drop in uninsured rates since 2010. But millions of millennials remain uninsured, and many of those uninsured young adults could qualify for tax credits on the Health Insurance Marketplace to keep insurance affordable. In fact, most HealthCare.gov consumers can find a plan for under $75 a month, less than their cell phone bill.”
“Gamers, like everyone, deserve high-quality health care coverage,” he added. “Engaging the expanding gamer community is part of the Administration’s effort to meet people where they are to help them find a health care plan that’s best for them. That’s why last year, many from the eSports industry, including ESL, Twitch.tv and GEER, helped launch an initiative to encourage more gamers to sign up for health care at HealthCare.gov. And this year, HHS has forged innovative partnerships with digital platforms to help young adults understand that quality, affordable health care is within reach.”
“I know the power of video games first hand, and how incredible the gaming community can be,” Martin explained. “In high school, I had severe health challenges that led to hospitalization (and fortunately my care was covered as a dependent under my parent’s plan). During my recovery after the hospital, I helped lead a guild in the popular multiplayer online game World of Warcraft. Playing the game was empowering; it gave me a community where I could be myself, and I met players who became lasting friends, like Aceris the Druid, who’s also a librarian in Boston, or Chyra the Healer, who’s also a Maker in Michigan.”
There’s no word on which games will be played during the livestream, but let’s hope that one of them is Mr. O’Neal’s finest achievement, Shaq Fu: