Welcome to The Hump! Podcast …. In episode 31 of The Hump! Podcast: Let’s Join a League with Bubba Gaeddert hosts Brent Bowen and Chad Beland chat video games as school curriculum as well as how implicit bias and cyberbullying can show up in gaming with Bubba Gaeddert, executive director of Varsity Esports Foundation.

The fellas continue season two (safely from the confines of their respective homes using Squadcast.fm) chatting all things inane and profound (have you actually listened to the show).
And this episode’s Triple D: gamers, this one’s about you.

The Hump! Podcast Episode 31 Show Notes – Let’s Join a League with Bubba Gaeddert

If You Missed The First Season

Miss the first season or so of The Hump! Show?

In Ep. 31 of The Hump! Podcast, Brent & Chad Chat Video Games, Virtual Sports & More

What Craft Beers Are The Fellas Drinking?

  • Chad is drinking a Stillwater Artisanal Double Mocha Affogato Nitro stout. (Try to say that five times fast.) And though it’s from Stillwater, MD, it’s not the only Stillwater product on the evening’s show …
  • Featured guest Bubba Gaeddert (with Stillwater, OK, roots) is drinking Truly Lemonade Hard Seltzer and admits that influencer marketing has indeed influenced him. 
  • Brent’s beverage of choice for the evening is a Hefeweissen. 

It’s Summer in Kansas City … But What in the World is Brent Building in His Backyard?

The fellas chat weekend plans and summer excitement. Chad’s planning to take his two inflatable kayaks (introduced in The Hump! Episode 30) out for some boating. Brent’s family bought inflatable paddleboards, but Brent doesn’t foresee himself heading out on the lake this weekend … and it’s not because he got hurt.
No, it’s because he’s awaiting a special delivery with 24 pieces of lumber. He’s putting a Ga-Ga Ball pit in the backyard.
What is Ga-Ga Ball? This clip from Bob’s Burgers will help clarify … 

Who is the One and Only Bubba Gaeddert?

Bubba Gaeddert (the “e” in “Gaeddert” is silent) is the Executive Director of the Varsity Esports Foundation. He’s got more than 20 years of experience in non-profits, and there’s a connection between non-profits and video gaming. 
Brent & Bubba knew each other from recreational sports at the YMCA. Brent was a former basketball coach and is ready to start coaching again once his kids are out of the house.

What is the Varsity Esports Foundation?

The Varsity Esports Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Kansas City. Their office is in the River Market, and they rent office space from the largest and longest-running competitive Esports league for high schools: the High School Esports League.
The league has been around for about seven years, but the non-profit was founded in December 2018. Bubba came on board last summer. As a kid who grew up playing video games and had a dad who worked at Radio Shack, Bubba feels his work at the Varsity Esports Foundation is his passion and his calling.
As an international non-profit, the foundation’s main focus is to support disenfranchised students in schools. With donations, they aim to provide students with internet access, devices, grants, and scholarships. And specifically, they focus on STEM education through Esports clubs at schools. 
And considering the state of the world … with kids out of school for months … the fellas agree that access has never been more important.

What is Bubba’s Mission and Why is it So Important?

Bubba’s mission is bridging the gap of the “digital divide.” He loves that, as a non-profit, his foundation doesn’t have to create initiatives entirely on their own … instead, they can partner with other foundations and non-profits that are already doing really cool things. 
One of the groups they partner with is based in Los Angeles — human I-T — and they “shrink the digital divide, one piece of technology at a time.” When a large company upgrades their technology, human I-T will refurbish the old computers and provide them to low-income students. 
Out of 382 million people in the United States, 50 million people don’t have internet access at their homes. There are 40 million students ages 10-19 in the U.S., and 9 million of them don’t have internet access or devices at home. 

The Fellas Evaluate the Roles of Non-Profit Organizations in Light of Current National Discussions Such as Black Lives Matter … 

Bubba shares that his ultimate goal would be for the Varsity Esports Foundation to be shut down. Not because he doesn’t love the work and find it to be important … but because he dreams of a world in which the necessity for this non-profit doesn’t exist. Brent feels similarly about the Kansas City Young Audiences organization, where he’s part of the board of directors. 
The conversation shifts to the Black Lives Matter movement. Bubba feels that based on his mission, it’s easy to use his platform in support of the movement. He shares a few statistics about racism in the video gaming world: 83% of Black teenagers play video games, but only 13% of video game designers are minorities. 
Bubba explains that even the issue of gaming console vs. PC is an example of systemic racism. Game developers create new PC games and events with big sponsors, and while suburban kids can afford these, many kids in urban areas are left out.  And many video games themselves don’t uplift diverse cultures … how many game characters out there are “just another white guy with a sword”?

How Are Bubba’s Programs and Curriculum Integrated With Schools?

Bubba says they’re “lucky” to be in Kansas City when it comes to gaming. Besides the High School Esports league in KC, there’s also the National Association of Collegiate Esports which is based out of the NAIA office. So the pipeline for Esports through different stages is strong.
The Varsity Esports Foundation aims to give kids the information they need about digital citizenship. Anything they can do to help kids have a better footprint about diversity and inclusion, cyberbullying, mental health, suicide prevention … giving them this information when they’re young will hopefully teach them lessons that stay with them as they grow older. The main goals are awareness, advocacy, education and support. 

This Episode’s Game of “Triple D” …

To close out The Hump! Podcast … the fellas play a quick round of Triple D.

What’s Triple D?

They throw out a scenario … and discuss whether it’s a DICK, DOUCHE or DUMBASS move …

This week’s Triple D move — What do you call someone who trolls in online gaming?”

We discuss and debate on the show, but feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments (keep it clean folks, as they reserve the right to delete any personal attacks or defamatory information).

Be Sure to Tune in to Part II of Bubba’s Interview … Episode 32 Coming Soon

This very special podcast is split into two parts, so consider this your official cliffhanger. Be sure to tune in to The Hump! Podcast Episode 32 for Part II of our interview with Bubba … 

You Can Catch The Hump! Live

You can watch Brent and Chad LIVE 7 p.m. CST most Wednesdays on Facebook  (and sometimes Instagram — when it works).

They’ll publish the replays on Facebook and places where good audio can be found (see below platforms — and not saying they’re good, but they’ll slum along greatness).

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