Gaming for Good: A Competitive Approach to Spreading Awareness
Games are part of modern culture in the same way television, cinema and sports are. And just like any other modern culture medium, video gaming has a community that celebrates the art form. In order to represent that community, we host an event each year: RPG Limit Break. Our event is a week-long charity marathon that celebrates “speedrunning,” a competitive approach to playing games by completing them as fast as possible.
During the event, players gather together, set up their consoles, follow a schedule and stream their playthrough of games. RPG Limit Break features role-playing games as its main genre, and is a meeting grounds of like-minded players. It started in 2015 with humble beginnings at one of our organizers’ house, and has since taken place in hotels to accommodate travelers and spectators.
After getting to know each other, I realized many of us have seen the disparaging effects of mental illness. So, we wanted to help communicate to each other and to the rest of our audience that many of us struggle with mental illness, and that it’s okay to reach out for help. We wanted to support a cause that affects all walks of life—and mental illness affects many people in some capacity, whether it’s personally, in a relationship, through a family member or through a friend.
That’s why we’re proud to hold RPG Limit Break during Mental Health Month and donate event proceeds to NAMI. NAMI, through its various programming and reactive response initiatives, is an outlet for proactive discussion to take place. NAMI’s helps many individuals get the help they need, and we like that our event helps them do that.
Last year, we raised over $75,194.33 for NAMI through our generous viewers. Funds raised supported tangible efforts, including the NAMI HelpLine, mental health education classes and awareness campaigns to stop stigma.
We have big hopes for our marathon this year! We have an initial goal of $100,000, and we’ve designed the schedule and incentives in a way to help that be achievable. This year, RPG Limit Break will take place from Saturday, May 13th through Friday, May 19th, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’re slated to have over 150 attendees. But this is a live-streamed event, meaning anyone can tune in. All you need to do is visit our Twitch channel and check out the schedule—there’s no sign-up or information required to view the stream. (You can also check it out on NAMI.org right here!)
During the event, you can donate any amount of money you’d like to NAMI via a donation button provided in the information/bio section below the stream. For transparency, 100% of donation amounts (after any processing fees, not incurred by us) are passed on to NAMI. Any donation is greatly appreciated and directly helps someone living with a mental health condition.
We’ve got a week-long schedule full of games in the role-playing game genre, spanning a large range of titles from older consoles to modern ones. And there will be opportunities for streaming viewers to get involved in the action, through naming characters, selecting various routes, choosing menu color backgrounds and more. And, of course, the potential for interesting or hilarious glitches is always abound, so stay tuned.
We’ll also be having conversations with players and community members throughout the week to talk about who they are and why community and supporting one another is important. Don’t be afraid to say hi and share your stories or feel free to just sit back and enjoy the event. We’ll see you there!
Patrick McMahon is one of RPG Limit Break's staff members. He is responsible for building out partnerships & organizing interview segments during the event, and will have a performance during RPG Limit Break 2017.