On Friday 1st April, the dBs gaming society and wider student and staff community will be gaming for 24-hours to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support.
At the start of the academic year, game audio third years Matt Owen and Tom Smart began the dBs Gaming Society. Running on a weekly basis, the society brings together gamers across dBs for multiplayer competitions, VR experiences and the opportunity to run games in cinema setting in our lecture theatre.
With the Easter break fast-approaching, Matt and Tom wanted to do something a little special with the society and with the help of students and student, they will be embarking on a 24-hour gaming marathon in support of Macmillan Cancer Support at our Bristol campus.
We caught up with Matt to talk about the event, the inspiration behind it and how people can tune in and support.
Where has the inspiration come from for the 24 hour game marathon?
"I used to do a lot of obstacle course races in the past for charity, from local 10Ks to tough mudder, and I enjoyed the challenges they bring. With gaming, it is often seen as a hobby, so being able to turn something fun into a challenge seemed exciting to me! When I came across the MacMillan Game Heroes 24-hour marathon, I thought it was perfect. Cancer affects all of us at some point in life, whether personally or through friends. Being able to offer support to those who need it is very rewarding."
You did a 24-hour marathon over the pandemic. How are you hoping this one will be different?
"The pandemic definitely brought its own challenges, the biggest one having to do the full 24 hours gaming in my kitchen! This year is going to be way different, we are hosting it within dBs, and have access to the multiple TV setups and the lecture theatre.
"We are also able to extend the challenge to lots of other people joining, so the dream is to have everyone who walks by take part and have fun gaming whilst raising money for charity! This means multiple tournaments happening throughout the day, to letting people experience VR games and even some board games!"
As someone who has already done a 24-hour marathon, what are the essentials to keep you fuelled and energised?
"Having people join you through the challenge is what I pinned down to being able to complete the challenge last year. Gaming friends would join in and out as and when they could and this kept the hours ticking away. Staying hydrated, eating small but regularly and avoiding caffeine and sugar the best you can. This helps avoid any 'crashes' throughout the session. Also, playing the games you want to play! For myself and Tom, it was a great way to check out and complete a two player co-op game we had always wanted to play!"
What's it been like growing the gaming society over the academic year?
"Starting a society is definitely a challenge, but being able to give people access to games and equipment they've never been able to play and/or use before is so rewarding. Not only that, but meeting like-minded people proves what a diverse and special community dBs has. Being able to play tournaments such as Mario Kart and Smash Bros. has been great fun, and we've also been able to introduce people to industry experts within the game audio sphere."
What can people expect to see over the course of the 24-hour marathon? Are you attempting any challenges?
"The first and biggest challenge will be staying awake for the full 24-hours, and so far we have a few of us signed up for the full length! In terms of challenges throughout the day, we plan to host some tournaments, time trials and general achievement hunting."
Your course leader, Jasz, is going to be overseeing the event so it can run through the night. Is he planning on participating too?
"Definitely! Tom and I plan to challenge him to some Mario Kart and Wii Sports!"
How can people tune in and donate?
"People can donate and tune into the event all through this landing page. Here you can watch the gameplay as it happens and also keep up with the stream chat. Donations will also show through here, although you can donate anonymously if you prefer."
Keen to become a contributor to the world of video games? Check out our Game Development: Programming degree.