Bachir "Chiren" Boumaaza (a.k.a. Athenewins) (born June 9, 1980), also known by the online pseudonym Athene, is a Belgian YouTube personality and social activist. Boumaaza founded "Gaming for Good" which cooperates with Save the Children.
Boumaaza was born in Antwerp, Belgium to a Belgian mother and a Moroccan father. He attended Sint-Agnes, Lyceum Borgerhout and Lyceum Deurne.
Boumaaza began creating YouTube videos in 2007, playing the role of an eccentric World of Warcraft player named Athene. In addition to his regular videos, Boumaaza released a full-length movie depicting the fictional life of his character Athene, in 2008. Since then, Boumaaza's videos have broken away from strictly playing the role of the character Athene and have included personal vlogs, interviews, social and political activism, science discussions and charity work. Boumaaza has also supplemented his online video presence by creating a live video feed.
In 2011, Boumaaza formed an online YouTube initiative called "Together to the Top" (TTTT) with the objective of promoting new YouTube content creators by featuring smaller producers' videos and offering backlinks on his YouTube channel. In addition to providing backlinks, Boumaaza pledged to film a personal video (individual video responses) for each of his fans who subscribed and provided a backlink to Boumaaza's channel. The project was ultimately a failure and Boumaaza never delivered on his promises.
Boumaaza was a contributor for Razer Academy, a program started by the gaming peripherals and accessories manufacturer Razer USA. Razer Academy never left its beta stage and was instead re branded as RazerZone.
Boumaaza appeared in Big Brother 2 Belgium. In 2015, Boumaaza officially relaunched the Athene/World of Warcraft gaming series on YouTube.
In 2011, Boumaaza released a full-length documentary called "Athene's Theory of Everything" on the subject of conscious experience and perception. Although the work was not peer reviewed and neither scientifically nor philosophically rigorous, Boumaaza claims that the work could have implications for science and metaphysics, and that many of its conclusions were supported by evidence in the field of neuroscience.
In 2012, Boumaaza raised $1,000,000 through a 100-day charity campaign (called OP Sharecraft 2012) that was promoted on his YouTube and online streaming channels. The amount was donated to Save the Children, an internationally active non-governmental organization that promotes children's rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries. More specifically, his donations through the program aided distressed areas in the Horn of Africa and funded infrastructure projects in Mali. He reached his goal live on the main stage at DreamHack. After reaching his donation target, Boumaaza and his video crew travelled to rural Mali to document and stream the charity work. The aid involved infrastructure developments and medical services to destitute communities.
Gaming for Good
In 2013, Boumaaza began Gaming for Good, an online platform to raise money for the charity organization Save the Children. The platform, which includes his streaming video content on Twitch.tv/athenelive, offers donors points for their contributions, where the points can be redeemed for prizes such as access keys to computer games. All donations made through the platform are matched and multiplied by the United States Agency for International Development, an agency of the United States federal government, by a factor of 13x. As of early July 2014, Gaming for Good has raised nearly $15 million for charity
In early September 2013, Boumaaza coordinated a charity raising event through his Gaming for Good platform which involved dozens of online video content streamers centered primarily around the online video game World of Warcraft. The campaign managed to raise over $2,000,000 in one weekend, exceeding the initial goal of $500,000.
Boumaaza began participating in the online poker scene on PokerStars under the pseudonym "Chiren80." Boumaaza participated in the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and was invited to a 2010 PokerStars tournament in the Bahamas.
University of Gaming
In early 2011, Boumaaza proposed to found the "University of Gaming" in Belgium, a school which would accept applicants from around the world to attend courses taught by Boumaaza on gaming "strategy", psychology, science, finance, and other subjects. In early August 2013, Boumaaza announced he will not the pursue project and it was abandoned never having left the idea phase.