Track & Field, video game, runners, race, track, mountains

Marathon preparations: when gaming gets real

Participating in a streaming event for charity – be it for 24-hours or longer – is no small feat and isn’t something to be entered into on a whim or without preparation. The experience we’ve picked up through previous GameBlasts has taught us that you need to be a part of a team whom you can rely on, and whose members will look out for their teammates and their well-being. You’ll all be exhausted after so many hours of gaming and will need each other for support.

The organisations that coordinate extended streams as part of their fundraising efforts usually provide safety tips and we highly recommend reading them if you’re taking part. Remember that you’re participating in a marathon and not a sprint: here are some of our top tips to help you power-up for your event and keep gaming all night long.

Don’t go it alone
Most marathon streamers recommend participating in a team. You’ll be able to rotate duties, cover each other during breaks and provide moral support when it’s needed the most. If you do decide to go it alone, you may want to consider forming a fundraising group or asking friends to join you for a game at some point during your marathon.
Get some sleep
You wouldn’t pull an all-nighter before running a marathon, so you shouldn’t skimp on the sleep the night before your live stream. Be just as disciplined with keeping up on your comatose state as you are perfecting your game.
Stay hydrated
Even breathing requires water so stay hydrated by keeping a big bottle by your side: health authorities usually recommend that you drink around two litres a day. Caffeine may seem like a good idea but should be limited, so save it for the slump at the end of your marathon.
Eat well
Stock up on energy-producing brain foods such as fruit, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and protein. We recommend not snacking on junk food as the sugar-crash will leave you feeling grumpy and tired; and eat little and often, as a massive meal will leave you sluggish. Fuel your body right and you’ll be able to perform during the long hours.
Take breaks
Don’t sit still for too long: stand up and walk around every hour, and have a good stretch every now and again. Powering through doesn’t equal toughness and you should rest your eyes from the screen if you’re feeling tired. Take a nap if you need to – your teammates can cover you.
Get fresh
Having a spare set of clothes handy so you can get changed halfway through your marathon is a great way to pick yourself up. The team have been known to put on certain outfits, if donations hit a high enough target…
Don’t sit in the dark
Playing in a dark room isn’t going to help you out when it’s 04:00 in the morning and you’ve been playing video games for 12-hours straight. Keeping the lights bright can fool your brain into making less melatonin, the sleep hormone; but if your body needs a nap, listen to it.
Thank your donors
Take the time to read out the messages that come with donations to your fundraising page. It’s an excellent way of acknowledging, including and thanking people who’ve taken the time to support you and your chosen charity.
Stay well
If you’re not feeling well, stop playing. And if you have any concerns about your health, safety or ability to participate in a marathon stream, please see the advice of a medical professional. The charity you’re playing for will no doubt be grateful for your support – but they don’t want you to get ill.
Remember the cause
You’re doing a fun thing for a worthy cause, so don’t take things too seriously and have a good time. You’ll be making memories with your teammates and helping improve the lives of others at the same time.
Share your achievements
After you’ve completed your marathon and caught up on sleep, make sure you let the world know about your efforts and how much you’ve managed to raise for a good cause.


With only a few days left to go before the start of our marathon stream, the team will be taking it easy and getting in as much sleep as we can. Join us from 16:00 GMT on Friday, 28 April 2017 for 72-hours of gaming in honour of SpecialEffect.

Published by

Kim

Since playing The Secret of Monkey Island as a kid, Kim has since been a huge fan of point-and-click adventures for over 25 years - as well as wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets. Find her on Twitter, Steam and PSN at @kissingthepixel.

8 thoughts on “Marathon preparations: when gaming gets real

  1. I skipped on most of that good advice when I did my Extra Life participation, where I ate pizza, barely slept, and so on. Really not the best way to go about it. I’ll add another recommendation: “Take a day afterwards to recover.” Don’t do what I did which was going from marathon weekend to work the next day

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