Thank you. Let’s push for the big one.

Holy Countdown BatfolksI’m immensely proud of Sick Kids Save Point. We’ve raised over £71,000 for the Sick Kids Hospital over the last five years, by playing games for 24 hours.

It snowballed into a major event on the Scottish gaming calender, and it did a whole load of good improving the image of gamers at a time when a lot of horrible headlines were penetrating mainstream media. (Yes, I’m talking about you gamergate.)

Anyway, I took a year out last year because I was overworked by the referendum, moving house on the weekend, and I felt I’d tapped up my friends enough over the years. That said, we still had an amazing group of gamers from all over the country who raised a phenomenal amount for sick children and their worried parents. It was proof the event has a life of its own.

That said, this year I’m back, because the charity still does its amazing work, and in fact they are gearing up to move to a sparkling new hospital at Little France. This move is difficult culturally, because people have such personal and emotional memories of the building at Sciennes. But that makes the work of the charity in smoothing that transition even more important.

We want to see if we can push our total over 100,000 this year. That means we need to have our best year ever. That means we need you. Please consider joining us to undertake the challenge, on the 9th-11th October. Or if you can’t please consider sponsoring us. Every little donation will help us towards that total.

Thanks, so much, for all your support over the last five years.

Tom Freeman

SKSP 5 in the bag

As this is written our last gamer of 2014, Chris Pilkington, is finishing off his FIFA challenge which saw him play a game as every English league club in the game over his 24 hour marathon. The session saw, among other things, Scotland youngster Jordan Rhodes’ score a 40 yard scorcher against Burnley. For that alone we salute you!

Finished Sick KidsMeanwhile last year Scott Murdoch ran an actual marathon while playing games. This year he assembled an almighty crew to recreate the Sick Kids Hospital itself in Minecraft. Marvel at their handiwork, then marvel again as I tell you it was done in SURVIVAL mode… Scott tells me they still had time to kill the dragon after completing the hospital. HURRAH!

Alex Sievwright also did Minecraft creations, but some of those were a little ruder. His commentary as always was hilarious.

Added to that, Rockstar heroes and SKSP veterans Steev and Mags played over the odds again, and our very own field operative Ross tackled his list of shame in a difficult solo run. Many, many more of you took part, loads for the first time, and we thank you.

At the last count the total had shot over £8,000 which means Sick Kids Save Point has raised over £70,000 for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation. This money raised will make a real difference to the work of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation and is a true testament to all your hard work and dedication.

SKSP 4 dated!

We thought we’d pre-empt Sony’s big announcement on the 20th with an announcement of our own. Forget the fourth instalment of Playstation, we can confirm that the fourth Sick Kids Save Point gaming marathon will take place this year, on the weekend of 11th – 13th October.

Join us…

If you think you could play games for 24 hours to raise valuable money for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation then all you have to do is click the button below to make a fundraising page on Just Giving, pick a slot of 24 hours that weekend, and start collecting sponsorship.

Make a fundraising page - JustGiving

We have raised over £45,000 for the charity over the last three years. This money has gone towards helping and supporting children at the Royal Hosptial for Sick Children in Edinburgh, which treats kids from all over the country. Since SKSP has been running, they have purchased specialist medical equipment for the hospital. This year could easily be the best yet.

Stay On Target…

In 3 weeks time the dust will be settling on the third Sick Kids Save Point charity gaming marathon!

We’ll be exhausted, all gamed out, but we’ll be feeling that sense of accomplishment that you can only get from helping others.

In our case we are raising money for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, including helping them provide comforts and specialist services. We’ve previously contributed toward the cost of state-of-the-art keyhole surgery equipment, vehicles, the drop-in centre and Kidsnet, the children’s intranet throughout Lothian. 

 “we purchase state of the art medical equipment, assist extra research, raise funds for family and child-friendly facilities and provide special comforts for children in hospital.” chief exec Maureen Harrison told STV this year.  read more here.

You Don’t Have To Be A Doctor to Help Children Get Better…

Help us do it again. This year we’ve 42 fundraising pages set up on Just Giving, and everyone is getting their sponsors in. Unfortunately the one trophy from our trophy list that eluded us last year looks unlikely to be achieved again: to get 100 fundraising pages taking part..

Can we do it? The only way we’ll get there is with your help. It’s not too late. Sign up for Scotland’s 24 hour gaming marathon now, by creating a page on Just Giving and following our instructions on the right.

If you’re already on board, see if you can persuade someone to join you!

Play Games. Save Kids. Win Stuff.

Avatar Heroes

There’s two parts to taking part in Sick Kids Save Point. Enduring 24 hours of gaming, and raising sponsorship. They are both tough tasks. Raising sponsorship can be a challenge when people don’t understand how difficult the marathon is, or the importance of the cause we are supporting.

Having a good avatar for your Just Giving page has become a bit of an art form at Sick Kids Save Point – it helps convince folks to sponsor you by showing either the quality of the cause you are raising for, The Sick Kids Friends Foundation, or the spirit with which you are approaching the task.

Robert Eastell, who raised £1,250 last year with a group of friends, has become a father since, and this year is using a picture of his baby as an avatar, reminding us exactly who we’re raising for.

Another success last year was Steev Douglas, who raised £581 after posting a series of hilarious avatars of himself or his kids:

At Sick Kids Save Point HQ we like the idea of gamers as heroes. None more so than our resident photographer Ross Aitken. As well as our Borderlands tribute for Cam Hall (see previous post), Ross has adopted a different hero persona every year as his avatar. First Superman, then Green Lantern:

 
And this year he’s adopted the Dark Knight as his avatar. Gamer, hero… Where’s he gonna stick that batarang?

We look forward to seeing some of this year’s examples! Once you’ve been sponsored once email us with your gamertag and we’ll send you a cool personalised sprite guy!

Personal Challenges

Many gamers who are challenging themselves to 24 hours of gaming this year have taken part in Sick Kids Save Point before. They’ll tell you that a gaming marathon is no walk in the park, but some are setting themselves extra challenges…

Perhaps they have been inspired by last year’s top player Neil Gow, who decided to play a list of the very worst games out there. Neil endured the tedium of Desert Bus, the broken controls of superman 64 and the terrifying banality of Coronation Street the game during his marathon, and raised around two thousand pounds for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

Try not to rage quit on the Sandcrawler Alex!

Our resident designer Ross Aitken thinks 24 hours isn’t a proper marathon, so he plays 26.2 hours of gaming.  Pedant.

This year Alex Sievewright is limiting himself to only games based on movies. This is a challenge, since most movie spin offs are terribly dull! How will he stay awake? We suggest Super Star Wars on the SNES, and PS1 title Spiderman. If you want to suggest a game for Alex, why not sponsor him here?

Another gamer taking suggestions is SKSP regular Richard Adams, or Oxygen Addict, who is undertaking a developing marathon. Using the program Gamemaker from Yoyo games, Richard will be making as many simple games as he can in 24 hours. He’s doing this on the 30th & 31st of September so anything he makes will be playable for everyone during our marathon on the 12th-14th October! Sponsor him here, and check out his site where he’ll be posting the results.

Robert Eastell is going to be playing an ‘Alphabet of gaming’, at least half an hour of a game starting with each letter of the alphabet.

We’ll all feel like this after our marathons…

Scott Murdoch is going to attempt to survive for 24 hours in Day Z. Surely impossible Scott? He’s even offered to donate £5 every time he dies, which sounds to us like a challenge to come and get him…

We understand that gamers addicted to MMORPGs have no problem playing games for 24 hours. In fact we’re told that they often do it. No problem then for Gaz Jones and his guild in Star Wars: The Old Republic, who will be defeating the republic AND saving kids.

If you like any of these ideas, please throw a couple of quid sponsorship their way. Not only will it go towards helping sick children and their families, but it will also help these brave gamers enter the SKSP prize draw, open to anyone who raises over £100 in sponsorship.

If you’d like to take part in Sick Kids Save Point yourself click here to set up a Just Giving page of your own, and read our safety guidelines