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Press Release

truth Elevates Gaming Experience With Minecraft Creator Tournament on Twitch

Empowering young gamers to lead nicotine-free lives through charity and gaming collaborations culminating at The Game Awards

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truth®, the nationally recognized and proven-effective youth smoking, vaping, and nicotine public education prevention campaign by Truth Initiative, recently organized a charitable gaming tournament that united some of Minecraft's most popular creators and pro players. This event, which took place on November 18th, is part of a broader initiative by truth to support young gamers in living a healthy, nicotine-free lifestyle, featuring a dedicated Discord server, exclusive Minecraft in-game cosmetic items, and a grand finale with new truth content premiering at The Game Awards on December 7th.

The Minecraft Creator Twitch tournament garnered nearly 450,000 views on the truth Twitch channel and brought together 40 players for a charity competition. This initiative was a collaborative effort between truth, GALE, and Moonrock Labs and was hosted by professional Minecraft players JoJo Solos and Lewis Fulham. Top players such as Tubbo, Captain Sparklez, BadBoyHalo, Punz, and others participated. The competition was promoted on the front page of Twitch and a custom Minecraft Interstitial video aligned with truth messaging was played during the session. The total prize pool was $50,000, with $25,000 split between the top four teams. The first-place team won the chance to give the remaining donation to the Trevor Project, one of three organizations pre-selected by truth. Following the event, the Minecraft maps were opened up to the community so anyone can play.

“The gaming community prides itself on coming together to support each other in our play and our lives,” said professional Minecraft player JoJo Solos. “That’s why I’m excited to work with truth to help gamers find healthy ways to cope with stress and stay vape and nicotine-free.”

In its commitment to engage with young gamers and contribute to the gaming community, truth launched a dedicated gaming Discord server on November 1st. Gamers who joined the Discord received codes for an exclusive Minecraft in-game cosmetic items, accessible for free during the activation period. Since the server’s launch, more than 20,000 people have joined and the custom cosmetic items have been downloaded nearly 162,000 times.

The efforts in the gaming community from truth will culminate at The Game Awards on December 7th. The annual award show, sponsored in part by truth, is the gaming industry’s biggest night and celebrates the best in video games. During the awards, truth will premiere two new 15-second spots developed with Mojo Supermarket that subvert gaming tropes and aim to educate gamers that nicotine addiction can make stress worse. Following The Game Awards, the new creative will be rolled out in targeted gaming media placements.

In addition to these initiatives, truth is engaging with gaming influencers and college students across the country. Coinciding with The Game Awards, popular gaming influencers including Khleo Thomas, Boze, Lough, and Sydneon will share information about nicotine addiction, gaming tips, and ways to de-stress across their channels. The influencers will also receive custom Cooldown Crates from truth providing items including exclusive gaming hoodies and stress-relieving tools like candles, fidget game pads, therapy putty, and cordless hand massagers. Additionally, as part of the Major League Gaming events on college campuses nationwide, in-person competitions will be hosted this coming spring on college campuses inviting young people to participate in healthy gaming and educating participants about the risks associated with vaping and nicotine addiction.

With nearly 96% of Gen Z teens and young adults actively engaged in video gaming, according to YPulse research, this demographic represents a rapidly growing audience to educate about vaping and nicotine usage. The recently released 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey revealed that nearly 2 million high school and middle school students had used nicotine vaping products in the past year alone. Simultaneously, according to the U.S. Surgeon General, youth mental health continues to be a pressing concern. Mental health and nicotine addiction are linked in ways that many people do not realize, with nicotine addiction being shown to increase feelings of stress and anxiety. Many young people turn to gaming as a form of stress relief, which is why they are a critical audience to reach with information about nicotine use and mental health.

truth gaming efforts are being done in collaboration with Moonrock Labs and GALE. Moonrock Labs has specialized in game design and development for a decade. GALE is the media planning and buying agency for the truth campaign. truth collaborated with creative agency partner Mojo Supermarket on the custom spots airing during The Game Awards.

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