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Bachir Boumaaza

Bachir Boumaaza
Born (1980-06-09) 9 June 1980 (age 39)
ResidenceForst (Lausitz), Germany
NationalityBelgian
Other namesChiren, Athene
OccupationYouTube personality
Activist
Ex-Razer USA representative
Years active2007–present
Websitegamingforgood.net

Bachir Boumaaza (born 9 June 1980), known by the online pseudonym Athene, is a Belgian internet personality and Twitch.tv streamer. He is best known as a World of Warcraft content creator. He is the founder of Gaming for Good and has been involved in numerous charity gaming events to raise money for charities such as Save the Children.

Early life

Born in Borgerhout, Antwerp, Belgium, Boumaaza is the son of Moroccan-Belgian couple. Both his parents worked in the Justice Department. Boumaaza claimed, in his book Mijn Egotrip, that his childhood was chaotic due to the cultural differences between his mother and father. Being confronted with social issues, including racism and poverty, he says he was instilled with a sense of responsibility to change these conditions.[1] Boumaaza was introduced to video games at a young age.[2]

Political career and activism

Boumaaza entered politics in 2000, and joined the progressive party, Young Green.[3] The party was the youth organization of Groen, formerly known as Agalev. He was, at the age of 20, chosen as a political candidate for Agalev and participated in the Belgian local elections, 2000.[4]

In 2005, Boumaaza co-founded the Dutch political organization, NEE. Boumaaza operated as the official spokesperson and lead the organization. NEE was a political movement aimed at voters who felt dissatisfied with the political climate.[5] As voting is mandatory in Belgium, NEE provided people with the ability to cast blank votes in dissatisfaction. NEE would therefore not occupy their seat in case of election.[6] NEE participated in both the Belgian local elections, 2006 and in the Belgian federal election, 2007 but did not receive enough votes to earn a seat in the city council or senate.

YouTube career

Boumaaza began making YouTube videos in 2007. He initially focused on World of Warcraft videos. In his earliest video, he played a character called Athene, an arrogant, conceited gamer. Boumaaza has also supplemented his online video presence by broadcasting himself live on Twitch.[citation needed]

The original Athene series was created in 2007. Boumaaza played the role of a conceited World of Warcraft player named Athene. His YouTube video "Best Paladin of The World pwning nubs on My Heart Will Go On from Celine Dion" marked the beginning of the series. The original series revolved around the strange and fictional character, Athene, and included in-game commentary of World of Warcraft as well as a personal storyline that followed Athene's everyday life.[citation needed]

During his time playing World of Warcraft, Boumaaza attained four world records for reaching the game's level cap, and was the first person to reach levels 80 and 85.[7][8] By 2013, Boumaaza's YouTube videos had been watched more than 382 million times, and his channel had reached nearly 600,000 subscribers.[9]

The series also featured a mockumentary named Wrath of the 1337 King which followed Athene's everyday life.[10] In 2008, Athene created videos with a group called iPower, primarily focused on his World of Warcraft character. The videos made frequent use of misleading titles such as "Sex and Porn is fun" and "Get free sex". Boumaaza's then girlfriend Tania appears in many of the videos and their corresponding thumbnails. Spokesman Reese Leysen said "The way to get lots of views on YouTube is to have a mix of sexiness and total absurdity." The channel's first 20 videos were viewed more than 20 million times.[5]

Boumaaza had been making some videos as part of a contract with Machinima. In 2013, Boumaaza posted a video to YouTube announcing that he would be leaving Machinima in response to its treatment of YouTube creators.[9]

Charity work

As part of the Sharecraft 2012 Save the Children Challenge, Boumaaza partnered with Razer and DC Entertainment to raise more than US$1 million for charity organization Save The Children.[11][12] In 2013, Boumaaza created the charitable project "Gaming for Good" to raise money for Save The Children.[13] The project partnered with video game publishers and developers to offer games in exchange for donations to the charity.[14][15] Through streams on his Twitch account, Boumaaza raised more than US$10 million.[16] By March 2015 the project had raised more than US$20 million in total, and Boumaaza was an official ambassador for Save The Children.[13]

In September 2013, Gaming for Good coordinated a fundraising event called "The Siege". The Siege was a World of Warcraft event where two top guilds, Midwinter and Method raced to complete a raid. The campaign raised over U$2 million over the weekend, quadrupling the initial goal of $500,000.[17] Boumaaza travelled to Liberia to film a documentary on the Ebola crisis.[18] In 2015, Boumaaza assembled a team of livestreamers called The Avengers - a reference to the Marvel superhero team The Avengers - who, over the course of 10 days, raised more than 320,000 euros.[19]

The Singularity Group

Boumaaza is currently the face of an organization called The Singularity Group. In 2019, video game journalist Chris Bratt published the result of a year-long investigation into Boumaaza and the organization in which he claimed Boumaaza was responsible for emotional abuse and manipulation of its members.[20]

References

  1. ^ Lasonrisa. "Mijn Egotrip". LaSonrisa's boekentips. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  2. ^ "My Life As a Gamer". YouTube. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  3. ^ Boumaaza, Bachir. "Draw My Life #4". YouTube. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  4. ^ Gollin, Rob. "Fatima houdt wel van Borgerhout". de Volkskrant. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b Sarno, David (7 May 2008). "Here's how to game the system". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  6. ^ "NEE FAQ". NEE-Antwerpen. 2007-12-25. Archived from the original on 2007-12-25. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  7. ^ Hamilton, Kirk (24 July 2012). "Athene, The 'Best Gamer In The World,' Is Taking Your Questions Right Now". Kotaku. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  8. ^ Kollar, Phil (7 December 2010). "And The World's First Level 85 Character In World Of Warcraft Is..." Game Informer. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  9. ^ a b Stuart, Tessa (9 January 2013). "Rage Against the Machinima: YouTube's Stars Battle Networks". SF Weekly. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  10. ^ Talamasca, Akela (6 January 2008). "Wrath of the 1337 King: seriously, wtf?". Engadget. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  11. ^ Mitchell, Richard (2 July 2012). "Razer, DC Entertainment and Athene raise over $1 million for African hunger relief". Engadget. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  12. ^ Devore, Jordan (2 July 2012). "ShareCraft 2012 brings in over $1M for Save the Children". Destructoid. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  13. ^ a b ""World's Best Gamer" takes on a new mission: charity". CNN. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  14. ^ Gera, Emily (25 July 2013). "Gaming for Good charity offering download keys for donations". Polygon. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  15. ^ Cowan, Danny (28 December 2013). "Gaming for Good raises over $10m for Save the Children". Engadget. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  16. ^ Pitcher, Jenna (27 December 2013). "AtheneLive raises more than $10M for Save the Children charity". Polygon. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Gaming For Good's Siege raises over $2M for Save The Children". Engadget.com. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  18. ^ "'World's Greatest Gamer' Takes Up The Ebola Fight". Bloomberg. 5 March 2015. Archived from the original on 8 March 2015.
  19. ^ Wuilbercq, Emeline (14 March 2016). "Les « gamers », ces nouveaux philanthropes". Le Monde. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  20. ^ Grayson, Nathan (7 October 2019). "Investigative Report Digs Into The Strange Story Of A YouTuber Who Founded A Religion". Kotaku. Retrieved 8 October 2019.

External links


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