The charity video game marathon is at the heart of a controversy for having chosen the GoodPlanet foundation, accused of “greenwashing”, for its next edition.
This is an event that has become a must of the year for video game fans. However, the Z Event, a charity marathon that takes place every year on the Twitch platform, finds itself at the heart of a controversy by being accused of participating in greenwashingnamely to embellish the “green” image of polluting companies.
In a very cinematic video released Monday evening, the organizers announced the date of the next marathon, long kept secret.
From September 9 to 11, around fifty streamers – producers of live online content – will meet in the Zénith de Montpellier. The goal? Entertain Internet users with video games, quizzes, karaoke, and ask them to participate in fundraising.
Financed by BNP Paribas
Created in 2016, under the name Project Avengers, it has already raised funds for the Save the Children association, the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, the Pasteur Institute, Amnesty International. Last year, the marathon raised more than 10 million euros for the benefit of Action against Hunger, exploding in passing the audience record for a French-speaking stream broadcast on Twitch, with 700,000 spectators simultaneously.
But the choice of the charity of this new edition makes cringe among the fans of the appointment. It is the GoodPlanet foundation, chaired by Yann Arthus Bertrand, and committed to ecological and climate issues, which was chosen by the streamer Zerator, Adrien Nougaret of his real name, founder of the event.
For many Internet users and video game aficionados, the GoodPlanet Foundation makes greenwashing, because it is financed by BNP Paribas, and is a partner of Garnier, EDF and TotalEnergies. Its founder Yann-Arthus Bertrand is also in the sights, for having declared that “Qatar is carbon neutrality” when the Gulf country was awarded the 2022 football world cup.
“Thank you, it will be without me”
“Why are polluting banks among the founders of your institution? Why do you have investments from Qatar? Why does your founder support the football world cup in Qatar? It makes no sense”, asks a user on Twitter.
“The Z Event wants to finance Goodplanet, this association is greenwashing for companies and for the organizers of the World Cup”, criticizes another follower on the same social network.
Some have even decided not to make donations during this edition. “Funding an ‘ecological’ association that promotes one of the most polluting industries there is… No thank you it will be without me, and choose better next time”, writes a follower.
So much so that the foundation and the organizer of the Z Event wanted to respond to these criticisms. “At the Foundation, our vision is to work with as many actors as possible – not to remain among convinced, but on our conditions and with the sole aim of engaging these actors for change,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Nothing is perfect” for the organizer
On the remarks concerning the World Cup in Qatar, the president of the foundation declares that: “The accusations are basically deserved. I found interesting what I was initially presented with, namely the idea of stadiums that can then be taken down to developing countries.”
Yann-Arthus Bertrand also specifies: “I also appreciated the fact that this event was entirely carbon offset. But I did not understand that the stadiums would be air-conditioned, which is ridiculous.”
For his part, Adrien Nougaret also defends himself by assuring that “nothing is perfect, we are just trying to get things moving in a good direction, while remaining positive”. He also indicates that he wants to conduct an interview during the three days of the marathon “with someone very involved in this foundation so that I can ask him the questions you have (positive and negative, like every year of course)”.
This is not the first time that the Z Event has been at the heart of a controversy. During the last edition in October 2021, the youtubeur InoxTag had been accused by Madmoizelle and the specialized site Gamekult of live misogynistic remarks against an actress who did not understand French. He then apologised.