Video gamers hit the couch for 96 hours of charitable play

It’s typically assumed that playing video games for an excessive amount of time is a bad thing.

It’s typically assumed that playing video games for an excessive amount of time is a bad thing.

Geoff Webb and his friends are proving that the opposite is true.

Webb and a group of video-game enthusiasts are currently live streaming a 96-hour marathon gaming session while attempting to raise money for the Kelowna General Hospital’s pediatric psychiatric unit.

“I just wanted to do something different. Rather than gaming for one evening, I figured: Let’s do four days and raise money for KGH,” said Webb.

Webb and his crew started playing at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday and plan to finish at 12:30 p.m. on Monday.

Their entire video game session will be spent playing various versions of Zelda.

The games are being played on single-player mode and the group is taking turns manning the controller.

Webb doesn’t anticipate a lot of sleep in the next four days.

“There will definitely be people pulling all-nighters.”

Within the first 30 minutes of game playing, the gamers had 14 viewers watching their every move online and 50 people who were attending their Facebook event.

Most impressively, $220 had already been raised for the KGH’s pediatric psychiatric unit.

“We got the local bridge club to donate a couple hundred dollars. Whatever support we get from the Internet, that will be huge too. Anywhere that we can get the donations is really great because this is for a great cause.”

Funds raised from the event will be designated to updating the gaming consoles and games used by the youth during their stay in the psychiatric unit.

The systems provide entertainment and recreational opportunities for the patients, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“There’s a great web site called Child’s Play that’s a charity in the United States that (donates) gaming consoles. But I wanted it to affect us locally. I took that same idea, but (I’m) donating to the children of KGH.”

Webb was given a tour of the area and got to see firsthand where the money raised will be going. KGH is also allowing Webb and his friends to decide how the money is spent and what gaming consoles will be brought in for the kids in the psychiatric unit.

Webb admitted that he couldn’t have completed the gaming marathon on his own.

“I wouldn’t be able to do it without the crazy people who join me. I have the best support team I could imagine.”

You can watch the live stream at www.ustream.tv/channel/zelda-marathon-for-kgh. To donate, visit www.bit.ly/ad-psych.

 

 

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

 

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