Video games can be more than entertainment. They can help us see the world through another person’s eyes and experience their stories, as well as giving us the opportunity to meet new friends with similar interests. They have the power to do a whole lot of good and change lives.
That’s why I support SpecialEffect, a UK-based charity which helps people with physical disabilities to play video games using technology including modified controllers and eye-control software. Along with hundreds of other gamers all over the country, my other-half and I take part in their annual GameBlast gaming marathon every February to help raise funds and awareness for the amazing work they do. Check out this post to find out more about them and how I became involved seven years ago.
Following on from our 50-day challenge for GameBlast20 this year, we’ve been thinking up ways to make GameBlast21 even better and can’t wait to announce the format for our next marathon. The only problem is that SpecialEffect haven’t yet opened registration for the event (at the time of writing)! It’s a little difficult to set targets and timescales for ourselves until we’re able to sign up and publish our fundraising page – but that doesn’t mean we can’t give you a sneak preview of some of our plans.
Pete is stepping up to the challenge for GameBlast21: after receiving a suggestion during one of our streams about dressing up as Pikachu, he’ll be donning a lovely yellow costume if we reach our fundraising goal. The target hasn’t yet been set where registration isn’t open right now and he’s not entirely happy about the idea, but together we can make this happen. Just be sure to be there when it does and to get as many clips as you can so I can turn them into a montage video afterwards.
Crit Me With Your One-Shot
Kevin from The Lawful Geek has offered to put together a one-shot tabletop-RPG for our GameBlast21 plans. Anyone who has ever joined us on his Twitch channel for one of our fortnightly Shadowrun sessions will know how much fun this is going to be – and just how much trouble this games-master is likely to get our characters into. If it sounds like the sort of thing you’d like to be involved in, please do get in touch and we’ll send you more details as soon as we have them.
The Great Biscuit Break-Off
Anyone who’s watched us on Twitch will be aware of just how much Pete likes sweet treats. But is his knowledge of baked goods up to the test? We’ll be finding out during a special gameshow called The Great Biscuit Break-Off where he’ll have to guess which biscuits are being broken in half from sound-clips alone. Will he get the answers right and be allowed to gorge on cookies for the rest of the evening or will he fail spectacularly? This might be a tenuous idea dreamt up on title alone but we’re going to roll with it.
Welcome to the Punderdome
Phil has been making himself known this year by popping up during everybody’s streams and throwing out dad-jokes in chat as though they’re going out of fashion. He may now be known as the Pun Master to many – but just how strong is his wit? It’s time to challenge him to Welcome to the Punderdome, another special gameshow where we’ll putting him to the test with several rounds of fast and furious pun-based action. Will he claim victory and be crowned King of the One-Liners?
Cats, Cross-Stitch and Conversation
After all the excitement of the other shows we’re planning, why not join me for something a little more relaxing? I’ll be attempting to create a pattern based on our very own Zelda during a cross-stitch stream one evening. I can’t guarantee that the sewing itself will actually be any good, the star will stay on camera throughout the whole session or Pete won’t fall asleep on the sofa. But I can promise that there’ll be lots of tea and conversation, and probably a few wrong stitches too.
Plenty of video games
GameBlast21 wouldn’t be a marathon event without an extended gaming session, so we’ll be live on Twitch for 24-hours during the official weekend from 08:00 on Saturday, 27 February 2021. But that’s not all: after this year’s 50-day challenge, it would be a shame to limit the event to one day only! We’ll be announcing further plans once we’re able to register and set up our fundraising page, hopefully by the time our next update is due to be published at the end of November.
There’s plenty more to come and we’ll keep you all updated in our regular monthly updates. In the meantime, give us a shout if you’d like to join in with anything we’ve got planned or have suggestions for other streams with pun-based titles! Alternatively, if the GameBlast marathon sounds like something you’d like to take part in yourself, check out this year’s website for further information and keep your eyes peeled for updates when registration opens.
Also be sure to follow the official GameBlast account on Twitter for the latest announcements and visit at the SpecialEffect website to find out more about the work of the charity. It’s time to get everybody back in the game.
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.