WITH CALM, IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT PLAYING THE GAME. IT’S ABOUT TAKING CONTROL. IT’S ABOUT COMING TOGETHER AND SAVING LIVES. THESE ARE SOME OF OUR HEROES GAMING AGAINST LIVING MISERABLY.
CALM’S GAMER HEROES
PRESS THE START BUTTON ON YOUR GAMING
If you’re inspired by our Gamer Heroes, join us. Play against living miserably and help spread the word and raise money for our life-saving services by turning your passion for gaming into a fundraiser or awareness event for CALM.
Maybe get your mates involved in a pay-to-enter tournament? Or donate £1 from every goal you score in your weekly Rocket League session? Or (and this is the most popular one) live stream your gaming, share CALM’s message and get people donating? Whatever way you do it, you’ll be raising vital funds for our life-saving services by #GamingForCALM.
SPREAD THE WORD
Raising awareness and getting gamers, streamers and content creators talking was at the heart of The Nerd Council‘s plans when they organised their Mens Mental Health Forum in partnership with GameSpot themed on gaming and wellbeing. They gathered people from across the sector for a frank and sometimes hilarious conversation with the hope that it will encourage more of the community to have these conversations. Sometimes headset-to-headset is the perfect place to start.
STREAM AS A TEAM
“Every day you probably have a dozen crazy ideas that you think are great, but deep down you know you’ll never get round to doing it … Well it seems one of those crazy idea’s is actually happening!”
“So the backstory goes that we one day while gaming, we came up with the crazy but brilliant idea to undergo a 19hr streamed gaming marathon for charity (bonkers right!). Side note, we may bump up to 24hrs if our £300 target is reached so even more of an incentive for you to see 3 dreary eyed, sleep deprived men trying their best to stay awake at 7am the next day after no sleep.”
Andrew, William and Nathan smashed their £300 target to raise nearly £3,000 for CALM with their super-long (and super-tiring) team fundraiser. We asked them for their top tips for self care when taking on a lengthy live stream:
- Eat properly: Make sure you eat proper meals (and don’t over-snack too early).
- Avoid caffeine for as long as you can: It might be tempting to go big and early on the energy drinks and coffees – but save them until as late as possible to avoid crashing.
- Have a rough idea of what you’re going to do: Create a schedule, but don’t feel the need to stick to it religiously. Work out what you’re going to do in each game – complete a quest, beat a challenge, or just roam around and have fun.
- Be flexible: When it’s the middle of the night and you’re tired, you might want to switch up from your schedule to something a little less mentally taxing!
- Be comfortable: You’ll be sat for a long time! Make sure you’re comfortable and stretch out often.
- Have a back-up plan: Make sure you test your set up and have a back-up plan in case your streaming set up fails on the day. Most consoles have streaming integrated, so that can help if your video capture card fails!
- Get a good night’s sleep: Pretty obvious really, but if you don’t then you’ll suffer as a result.
DO IT IRL
Andy’s own journey with mental health started after multiple deployments to Afghanistan and the resultant PTSD. He has played Warhammer for years and finds multiple games over a weekend really tough, and mentally very tiring.
So when he started planning a stream for CALM he thought ‘what would I not want to do? I would not want to play for 2 days, f&*$ that.’ Instantly, he knew he had his idea. Check out a summary of Andy’s top tips for making the most out of your gaming for CALM event after his 40 Hours of Warhammer:
- Come up with an idea that you would give money to – don’t kid yourself. Make it a real challenge. After all, saving lives makes it worthwhile.
- Give your event a name and a face. Make it catchy and memorable. Make events pages, make a logo, use #’s; they work. Get them out there.
- Plan what you want and set solid goals that you can use to mark your success; fund-raising targets, interviews, page shares, people following a stream.
- Make it safe and accessible. This is key, people love interaction with events, they also want to know their money is going direct to the charity you are supporting. Just Giving will be your best friend.
- Be clear on WHY you are doing the event. “Just because” is not good enough. Be relatable and make sure the reason you give is understood by the people donating. Always link back to your why.
- Local media: ring them up, email them, tag them in your event. Spread the word any way you can. That way you will also be able to shout about CALM and their work and helpline.
- Accept help, from any and all sources. A lot goes into an event! There are a lot of people who care about you and if you are OK, even if you haven’t met them. We are stronger and better together.
*CALM recommends streaming for 12 hours or less to make sure you’re not putting your body under too much strain. If you’d like to stream for longer, consider roping in some friends to turn your stream into a relay event.
When Jamie @Bateson87 took on a 24 hour online non-stop FIFA drafts stream in support of CALM he knew it would be an epic challenge – and it was one which turned out to be a 26 hour stream (including an unexpected pause for Twitch site maintenance!) that raised £8,892 for CALM.
Alongside a donate button that linked to his fundraising page, Jamie included some additional ways to donate and incentives for those watching like: every sub went to charity as well as the standard donations, and there were giveaways throughout the stream as incentives to donate and to keep watching.
After the event Jamie tweeted to his supporters ‘it goes to something I feel very strongly about so I couldn’t be happier…we finished 68-8! Thank you for everything!’
ALL OUR HEROES
There are so many more heroes that we are going to keep shouting about; we are so bloody proud of everyone who is gaming for CALM and we’d love you to see what our gamer community has been up to.
If you’d like to see even more fundraising stories, head to our Gaming for CALM fundraising campaign on Just Giving. You can check out the various fundraising pages that other people have set up. Get ideas, be inspired and see the #GamingForCALM community in action.