Though Roblox fan Joaquin “Guac” Oliver passed away in 2018, he continues to be an inspiration in the fight for gun control reform in America. A victim of the Parkland High School mass shooting, which claimed the lives of 17 people and injured 17 others, his loved ones are now set to honor his legacy by partying with a purpose in the metaverse. “Guacathon,” launching August 4 on Roblox, celebrates the young man’s 22nd birthday and features musical performances by rapper Denzel Curry, interactive art from legendary street artist Shepard Fairey, and more.
Joaquin’s family and friends celebrated the first Guacathon in 2020, and the event has since become an annual tradition. Now, to raise awareness about school shootings and inspire more people to engage in gun control activism, they’re bringing the party to Roblox to share their loved one’s legacy with the world. At his family’s request, Joaquin’s avatar is set to appear at the event as part of the festivities.
“We’re not having a moment of silence. We’re having a party,” Joaquin’s mother, Patricia Oliver, said via press release. “I’m grateful for the metaverse, for having a place where my son can help people connect and share his life. I want his peers to enjoy a party in his honor and make friends with his metaverse self.”
Patricia, along with Joaquin’s father, Manuel Oliver, are vocal proponents of youth creative activism and common sense gun legislation. As part of their efforts to raise awareness, they founded Change the Ref, an organization dedicated to educating others about the realities of mass shootings. Using art, mobilization, and leadership as tools, the organization seeks to reduce the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) influence on US gun control efforts.
Guacathon features a metaverse performance from Miami-based recording artist MC Denzel Curry, who has worked with the likes of T-Pain and Rick Ross and recently appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
“There’s been a lot of misuse of guns in the United States that claim the lives of many, I’ve lost a lot of friends and family members to gun violence,” Curry said in the event press release. “Today isn’t a sad day for the family of Joaquin…today is a day we celebrate the life of Joaquin to the fullest to show his legacy will never be forgotten and that we have brighter days yet to come.”
Legendary street artist Shepard Fairey, best known for his Obey Giant depictions and the Barack Obama “Hope” campaigns, it set to unveil a new portrait of Joaquin, marking Fairey’s first interactive experience on Roblox.
“I’ve seen how art can shift the conversation and bring us together in politically and culturally meaningful ways,” Fairey said in an event press release. “I’m eager to watch this same thing unfold in the metaverse and to see if we can start a new conversation around gun safety and violence that’s led by the young people too often impacted by it.”
Guacathon also features minigames set within the backdrop of street art and basketball, which will also unlock tokens Robloxians can use to unlock digital avatar items. Proceeds from in-game sales will benefit Change the Ref.
Developed by MELON, a studio focused on building metaverse experiences for clientele across the entertainment and media landscape, the experience launches on August 4. Curry’s performance will take place starting August 5 at 3PM PDT / 6PM EDT/ 11PM BST / 12AM CEST, with encore concerts on the hour through the weekend.
To keep the party going post-Guacathon, check out our most recent list of Roblox song codes to find more music in the metaverse. You can also nab some sweet new gear with our Roblox promo codes breakdown.