Your questions answered
Everything you wanted to know about taking part in GameBlast17. Well, nearly everything. Call us on 01608 810055 or email [email protected] if you’ve got a question.
I’m in! What do I have to do?
Simply organise and run your own gaming marathon or gaming event at your own convenience. All we ask is that you hold your event sometime during the weekend of 24-26 February if possible, and that you register with us so that your fundraising helps us reach the GameBlast target of £100,000
GameBlast is a gaming for good event, and although the focus is on gaming marathons, we’d love you to join in with any kind of fundraising activity. Tabletop gaming, pub quizzes, cake sales, game donations – pretty much anything is possible!
It’s up to you. Two hours, eight hours, 24 hours – you can game for however long you think will be a challenge. If you’re doing a marathon by yourself, we’d suggest 24 hours max, as the intrepid people who’ve completed solo 48-hour marathons for us have gone way past the point of enjoyment in the process. 24 hours is a good figure for group marathons as well, and it won’t detrimentally affect your fundraising. Some well-organised teams have pushed themselves up to and over 48 hours, but again, it’s not the norm.
Start early if you can. It kind of makes sense to start within a few hours of waking up, otherwise you’re going to be fighting sleep for a lot longer than 24 hours.
You can take part as an individual, although we’ve found that by playing as a team you’re likely to have more breaks, more fun and raise more money!. You can also rotate social media, chat and gaming duties, and it also makes for a more entertaining stream. If you’re going alone, you might want to consider forming a fundraising team or at least encourage your friends to drop by or go online for a game at some point during your marathon.
Your choice. If you’re playing different games, working through the evolutionary levels of a game series is popular. You could revisit those elusive PlayStation trophies or XBL achievements, dust off that game that you bought but never got round to playing. Or maybe you’ve got old retro systems packed away that deserve to be shown some love. If you think your audience can bear it, throw in something like Wii Sports in the early hours of the morning to move the muscles. What about a sponsored speed run?
No. We’re helping disabled people of all ages to enjoy the benefits of gaming, so the the event is equally as inclusive. If you’re under 16 though, we’re asking that you let your parents or guardians know that you’re taking part, and encourage them to support you.
We rely 100% on your support, as we don’t charge for any of the help that we give, including equipment loans. We hope you’ll understand us asking you to keep GameBlast as a special event for us.
Safety never takes a holiday, as my mother used to say. So here are a few naggy and obvious pointers to keep you healthy and and out of hospital, unlike my mother who stood on an office chair to open a window.
- Take regular breaks from your gaming; go outside, feed the cat, make a sandwich, take a shower, that sort of thing. It’ll also reduce the risk of DVT.
- Stop if strange or unusual feelings develop, or you feel ill in any way. There’s no shame in resuming your marathon the following day or weekend. If you suffer from epilepsy or seizures consult your doctor before taking part. There’s no direct link between video games and epilepsy, but photosensitive sufferers should take precautions when thinking of playing for such long periods.
- Keep as far back from the screen as possible, and look away from the screen regularly.
- Again, this sounds obvious, but don’t plan to do anything that might endanger yourself and others (like driving) immediately after the event.
- Don’t stand on office chairs to open windows.
Absolutely. You can game anytime during February (or even anytime in 2017!). It’s a challenge at your own convenience.
How do I fundraise?
You can fundraise through online donations. You can sign up to the JustGiving fundraising platform, which will automatically create your fundraising page and link it through to GameBlast17. If you’d prefer to use another online fundraising platform, that’s no problem!
Your fundraising page is at the centre of all your fundraising efforts, so give as much detail as possible on what you’re planning to do, when you’re going to do it, why you’re doing it and your fundraising target. Set a fundraising target well before you start. Some donors are happy to give well in advance.
It makes a big difference if you personalise the text and photos on your page to suit your event. Pics of yourself or your team REALLY work well. Donors are more likely to give to someone they don’t know if they can see what they look like. Look directly at the camera for the photo – it’s more engaging.
Don’t forget to include a link to your livestream or channel as soon as you can. Your donors will be able to engage with what you’re doing on the day far more easily.
It ain’t over, even when it’s over! If you haven’t reached your fundraising goal by the end of your challenge, keep spreading the good news about your event. You’ll find that friends and family may continue to donate to your page way after you’ve finished your challenge.
You know this stuff, but if you’re new to live streaming, Twitch have a helpful page at http://bit.ly/1FiN1A9. Test your kit, games, and stream well before the day you start your marathon. If you can, have a backup computer and peripherals ready as an emergency in case of the unthinkable.
Yes! Head over to our resources page for a whole bundle of stuff including donation buttons, logos, twitch templates. If you can’t see what you need, give us a shout at [email protected] and we’ll do what we can.
We’ve also got short case study videos on our YouTube channel (http://bit.ly/1GvgyUT) that you might want to run at regular intervals, so that supporters can see how their donations are helping. You could also run them during comfort breaks. We’ll give you a list of good links beforehand.
You might want to take a look at this video from Gaming for Others (http://bit.ly/2hdL4Q5), who pass on a few pointers about how they kept themselves and their marathon fresh – including dancing on camera!
Big one this – have fun with forfeits! Things like: ‘For every donation of £20 we’ll dress up/dance/sing the song of your choice.’ One gamer was sponsored to complete a couple of levels of Mario while riding an exercise bike, for example. Or you could eat fish fingers and custard if someone donates over £25.
Here’s a mixture of forfeits that #GamelyGiving and ACOG promised as their fundraising total increased:
- At £25: Phil will give a live rendition of a Rocksmith song (requests taken)
- At £50: we’ll publish our best screams from our horror gameplay videos
- At £75: we’ll all take on the cream cracker challenge (and fail miserably)
- At £100: we’ll reveal a secret video of Craig talking to his cat!
- At £125: Lisa will allow us to bleach her long dark locks to a bright shade of blonde
- At £150: want to see us spend the rest of the marathon in animal onesies?
- At £200: we’ll reveal what happened when we caused trouble in Trafalgar Square
- At £250: the entire team will wear lipstick for the remainder of the marathon
- At £300: Phil will have to try out his cheesy chat-ups in a nearby bar
- At £350: we’ll all wear our pants on our heads for the rest of the night
- At £400: want to see a video of us singing at a karaoke bar?
- At £450: in a break from gaming, we’ll put on a fitness video and do the routine
- At £500: Craig and Phil will have to face their greatest fears – crabs and squid
- At £550: we’ll be shaving the head of our Events Manager, Tom
If and when your fundraising target gets beaten, have a plan to encourage donors to extend it, eg, ‘Now we need you to raise that total to at least £500 before we’ll play Dark Souls through to the finish.’