Dafydd and friend Will recently raised more than £1000 for Martlets by playing computer game Terraria for 24 hours. Dafydd talks about the challenges and the high points of the gaming marathon and why it was worth it.
“Martlets does a lot of great work and, to us, the staff there are some of the most selfless people in society,” he explains. “Those carers who literally put others before them, make the world a happier and more hopeful place. It was also Martlets that cared for Will’s father when he was terminally ill.”
The friends were aware that Martlets relies on the local community for the majority of its funding. They thought it would be fun to stream a 24-hour gaming session from home to the online gaming community. Also, with the coronavirus preventing public events that might usually fundraise, this seemed like a good option.
Terraria is an action-adventure game where players take on a variety of foes and use exploration, creativity and crafting to shape their experience. And the ‘the journey and the destination are as unique as the players themselves’.
“I said that if we managed to raise £250 I’d shave my hair into an arrow, like Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender!”
“During the 24 hours, we kept the viewers entertained with jokes and gameplay,” says Dafydd. “We had a variety of guests, did karaoke and spoke about an array of different topics. Since I had a camera on, people had a good laugh at my reactions to different things, such as weird songs and funny moments (in-game). A bunch of our usual viewers said they loved the content. Even people who don’t like gaming were saying that it was just fun to hear us sing and joke around.”
Before the session, Dafydd and Will discussed setting a fundraising goal and found it difficult to decide on a realistic figure.
“Eventually we settled on £250, which we knew that we would never achieve,” he continues. “I even said that if we raised £250 that I would shave my hair into an arrow, like Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender. A few hours in, we hit our goal of £250, it was an incredible feeling! And I knew the clippers would have to come out!”
“We had donations from the UK, Australia, America, and all over Europe. Everybody banded together after hearing about the work Martlets does.”
The donations kept coming in and with an hour to go the duo had raised more than £800.
“We assumed that this would be the end and thanked everybody, but after a quick influx of donations we hit £1000. It was extremely emotional,” he adds. “I remember having to pull my hat over my eyes as it was completely unreal. Neither of us expected to get to half of what we achieved. I still can’t get to grips with it. The most amazing thing about it is that we had donations from the UK, Australia, America, and all over Europe. Everybody banded together after hearing about the work Martlets does. It showed how much carers are universally loved for everything they do.”
So would they take on another 24-hour gaming marathon?
“The stream was a lot of fun, but it was draining having my face and voice on display for so long,” says Dafydd. “It was all worth it though. My co-host and I enjoyed ourselves and were extremely happy to help such a good cause. I would do it again, but maybe closer to Christmas. I’d want to be rested and fully prepared, ready to smash it again. Everybody who stayed in chat, jumped on as a guest, or just gave us words of encouragement helped. I’m not sure we would have been able to do as well as we did without that support.”
If you’re considering a similar gaming challenge, Dafydd’s advice is to stay positive and stay hydrated:
“There will be times where you’ll be tired, hungry or snappy, but you need to remember how much carers do every single day. A 24-hour stream is a glimpse into the hard work carers are putting in. The most important thing is this: If you manage 24 hours and earn just £10 for Martlets, that’s £10 more than Martlets had yesterday. Every amount makes a difference and helps them continue to provide essential services for local people affected by terminal illness.”