Press Clipping
This Week in the Metaverse: Barça’s web3 play & Roblox honors Parkland shooting victim

Virtual Guacathon party celebrates the life of Joaquin “Guac” Oliver

“Guacathon” — an annual birthday celebration for Joaquin “Guac” Oliver, who was killed in the 2018 Parkland, Florida shooting — is throwing a party in in the metaverse.

Beginning in 2020, Guacathon was organized by Change the Ref, an organization founded by Oliver’s parents which aims “to raise awareness about mass shootings through strategic interventions that will reduce the influence of the NRA on the Federal level,” according to its website.

Hosted on Roblox, this year’s virtual Guacathon party will feature a performance from rapper Denzel Curry and a portrait of Oliver designed by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, who was also behind the iconic Obey brand artwork and the Obama 'Hope' poster. A virtual avatar of Oliver will also be in attendance. “We’re not having a moment of silence… We’re having a party,” Oliver's mom, Patricia, said in a statement. “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."

The Roblox event — which was developed in partnership with metaverse design studio Melon — has been designed to be “a virtual urban festival, packed with people listening to music, interacting with art, and shooting hoops,” according to a press release. It takes place today — Oliver’s 22nd birthday — accompanying an exclusive, in-person celebration in New York City.