Schilling's video game character will reside within the online world of EverQuest II (EQII) for three days during the Yankees vs. Red Sox baseball series June 5, 6 and 7, 2006 at Yankee Stadium. During this time, anyone can register for and log into EverQuest II at www.battleals.com to challenge the evil Schilling character, appropriately named "Curt Schilling."
Every time a player defeats the virtual Schilling character, Sony Online Entertainment, creators of EverQuest II, will make a donation of $5 dollars (up to a maximum of $10,000) to the ALS Association, which assists patients with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. After the three-day baseball series, Curt's character will remain within the game as a high-powered enemy that characters will have to face later in the game. At the launch of the campaign on June 5th, Schilling's 10-year-old son, Gehrig (named after the legendary Yankee first baseman), will be one of the first to battle his virtual dad in-game.
In addition, SOE will encourage its hundreds of thousands of EQII players to type /ALS within the game in order to donate money to Curt's charity of choice, the ALS Association. This program will run for the entire three-day series and will give the SOE player community a chance to help with this worthy cause.
"ALS is about as devastating a disease as you can imagine," says Schilling. "It's relentless, ruthless, and devastates entire families as one member slowly perishes. With video games exploding in popularity, I can't think of a better place to reach the masses to raise awareness."
ALS is no stranger to baseball; it's more commonly known as Lou Gehrig disease, named after the New York Yankees infielder whose Hall of Fame career was cut short by the degenerative nerve disease. Lou Gehrig played in 2,130 consecutive games before ALS stopped him, a feat matched only by Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. Curt Schilling and wife Shonda have been involved in the fight against ALS for more than a decade. Shonda serves on the board of directors of ALS Association's (ALSA) Greater Philadelphia and Arizona Chapters and advocates for ALS patients with members of Congress.
Schilling may be one of today's top athletes in professional baseball, but off the field he spends time playing with his son in the award-winning Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) video game EverQuest II -- a fully realized 3D fantasy world of mythical creatures, magic spells, majestic landscapes, and fierce dragons -- since the game's creation.
EverQuest II offers players a huge online world where thousands of players come together for shared adventure and community. This online game sets the standard for graphical realism, as players are immersed in the game's exciting locales and dangerous lands. EverQuest II has a powerful epic storyline and gives players the potential to be hero or villain in a world that never ends.
"I enjoy the anonymity and the ability to interact on a personal level with people I wouldn't normally meet or know," Schilling said. "That, and the game is a riot. There's no end to it, the world is enormous, the possibilities are endless, and above all else, it's a place to go and relax amongst friends. What I can't get enough of is your ability to interact with real live people. The game's about teamwork, and knowing the right way to pick and play your class properly in such a way that it complements a group. That's why EverQuest has stayed so popular."
The 39-year-old baseball superstar has been a long time fan of SOE games, even contributing game reviews of expansion packs to gaming magazines, and is an avid web communicator, feeling this is the best way to connect with the video game fans.
Read the Official Press Release.