It was during the blisteringly cold month of October in the year just before this one that I had my first foray into the world of gaming marathons.
While scrolling through my social media news feed, as one tends to do often nowadays, I stumbled on an advertisement from Macmillan Cancer Support. However, the unique nature of this advertisement immediately steadied my scrolling hand. A full day of sponsored gaming to support those who have cancer? Needless to say, I was in no need of convincing.
The date was soon set, the marathon soon carried out, and the limitless quantities of fun working my way through the Resident Evil series soon had. So, when the year’s most terrifying month circled around for another year, I knew what needed to be done.
This year, I neglected the inclusion of Halloween-related titles. However, in keeping with the values of this site, the replayability of Macmillan’s annual event was second to none. We reached out to Macmillan to gain a more in-depth insight into Game Heroes and to spread the word far and wide.
Will – When did you start running the event and what was the inspiration?
Macmillan – Game Heroes launched in 2016 (then called Game Changers). The inspiration behind the event was from seeing the success of such events in the US and was a fantastic opportunity to engage with an entirely new group of our supporters.
W – Roughly how much money do you raise a year?
M – Last year we raised £260,000, with similar amounts raised in previous years.
W – How much support do you receive from gaming communities in the UK?
M – Many of our supporters who are from Gaming communities take on the Game Heroes challenge each year.
W – What additions have you made each year to improve the event and encourage people to get involved?
M – Each year we take our supporters’ feedback on board and action the changes to make Game Heroes the best fundraising event it can be. This year we launched a new website with fundraising pages that pull through our supporters’ Twitch streams.
W – How does the money raised by participants help those living with cancer?
M – Every penny raised by supporters taking on the Game Heroes challenge will support people living with cancer. You can check out our Game Heroes “How It Helps” page to find out a bit more info. https://gameheroes.macmillan.org.uk/how-it-helps
W – With inclusions like team fundraising, is establishing a strong sense of community among gamers important to you?
M – We’d love to create a sense of community for everyone who signs up to become a Game Hero or someone who donates to one. We have a discord group and provide social media tools for supporters to share they’ve signed up and get tips from others who are taking part.
W – How can people help the charity?
M – You can help support Macmillan by taking part in the Game Heroes challenge or you can take a look at Macmillan’s other fundraising events here: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/get-involved/fundraising-events.
Cancer is a truly despicable disease. Approximately 1 in 2 of us will be afflicted by it. Although we may not have the power to cure it at this moment, nothing will ever diminish our power to fight back.
So, let people know your story, share it loud and clear on all of your social media channels, set your date, plug in your console of choice and be a hero to somebody who needs one now more than ever. If you’re a regular twitch streamer, or new to the platform, why not get your followers involved?
Together, we will annihilate cancer. Until then, however, keep gaming and keep fighting.
If you would like to contribute to Macmillan’s mission without hosting a marathon of your own, then my page is still open for donations: https://gameheroes.macmillan.org.uk/fundraising/will-double-j.