GameBlast21 has officially been completed. Last weekend, hundreds of dedicated gamers all over the UK streamed themselves playing video games for 24-hours and managed to raise over £200,000 for the amazing SpecialEffect.

I’ve participated in the GameBlast events since they started back in 2014 and every marathon has taught me something new: tips about streaming in general, ideas for creating content and understanding how supportive our friends within the community are. I like to share a round-up of the lessons learnt each time so we can keep track of our experiences and benefit from them every year so, in normal Later Levels’ style, here’s an overview of what happened during GameBlast21.

Lesson one: accept that something will always go wrong

One of the lessons we’ve discovered in previous years is that something will always go wrong during a marathon stream. But it’s not so much being prepared to fix it that matters; what’s more important is that you accept it’s going to happen and are able to roll with it when it does. The regular streams we’ve been doing over the past year have given us a lot of experience with our streaming software and hardware so for the first time during GameBlast history, there was no stress in the Later Levels’ household.

Lesson two: an awesome mod makes your life easier

This year was the first time we decided to get ourselves a mod for the marathon stream and we can’t be more grateful to Ellen from Ace Asunder for stepping up to the challenge. She kept her eyes out for bots (thanks to Darkshoxx for giving us a giggle by creating a fake one so she’d have something to ban), posted links in chat when they were needed and welcomed new people to the channel. It meant that some of the ‘admin’ work was taken off our shoulders so we could focus more on the stream itself. Thanks so much, genniz0rz!

Lesson three: FMV comedy games work at 02:00

The section of the stream we’ve always struggled with is from 02:00 to 05:00. It’s incredibly difficult to pick a game to play during this period: you want something which is going to be exciting enough to keep you awake when you’re starting to flag, but not one which requires a great deal of coordination or concentration. It was General Horse and the Package of Doom which stepped up to the challenge. The easy gameplay and crazy humour kept us laughing during the early hours and pushing on through.

Lesson four: Pete doesn’t like Pikachu

At some point before the GameBlast21 event, GD from Gaming Diaries managed to talk Pete into wearing a Pikachu onesie for the whole 24-hours. I think there was a part of him which believed he wasn’t going to have to do it but there was no way our stream-friends were going to let him get out of it. He said afterwards that it was horrible having to wear it for so long because it was far too hot under our key lights – but in my mind it was worth the discomfort, after Fed from Fed’s Life persuaded him to do a Pikachu impression.

Lesson five: stream-friends can work together to break a record

We set up a pun-counter after last year’s marathon and this is something which has featured in our streams since. Mr. Wapojif from Professional Moron bravely said he was going to break the record of 76 puns in one session – and he managed to smash that by reaching 184 with a little help from some stream-friends. We’d like to say a big thank you to the following people for their pun-efforts, staying up for all or most of the 24-hours, helping us when we got stuck during games and just being generally awesome:

Friend Blog Puns contributed Notes
Mr. Wapojif Professional Moron 47 puns The pun champion
the_Ghost_Owl 37 puns The best detective ever
Darkshoxx Darkblox 22 puns General Horse expert
Phil 22 puns Impressive Viking skills
Nathan and Worried Cat Gaming Omnivore 14 puns Kept us awake
Vox_AB 12 puns Provided plenty of jokes
Ellen Ace Asunder 7 puns The most marvellous mod
Gao Li Occasionally Reviews 4 puns Creator of our GameBlast GIFs
Luke Hundstrasse 4 puns Donator of Pop-Tarts
GD Gaming Diaries 3 puns Taker of all the best clips
KiaraHime 1 pun Stayed up for all 24-hours

With your support, we’ve managed to raise an amazing £4,515 for SpecialEffect so far. They’re a wonderful charity which aims to put fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with physical disabilities by helping them to play video games, using technology ranging from modified joypads to eye-control software to find a way for everyone to play to the best of their abilities. Head over to their website or YouTube channel for more information and to see examples of their work.

The fun isn’t stopping just yet though. Your donations unlocked a series of rewards, part of which now involves us streaming to the Later Levels’ Twitch channel every day for at least an hour right up until Saturday, 29 May 2021. Our JustGiving page will remain open until that date in case anyone would like to make a contribution to SpecialEffect and we’ll reveal the games we’re streaming every Monday on social media.

GameBlast21: lessons learnt

11 thoughts on “GameBlast21: lessons learnt

  1. That pun record will go down in legend! Although I eye Ghost Owl warily as a challenger to my crown. May have a few sleepless nights bout that young upstart.

    And I feel the X-Files game should have been criticised more heavily in this post. Otherwise, bon! Mega event.


    • Don’t worry: The X-Files game is being sent to Luke today so who knows, we may see a review on Hundstrasse at some point in the future. Zombies? Where were the aliens?!

      I’m not sure we would have made it through the entire 24-hours without your puns. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel totally ashamed I knew nothing of this event! =( will definitely look into participating closer to the time. What a fantastic site? Blog? I’m very new to this so please excuse my noobness =) will be spending the evening having a noosey at more of your content.

    Do Take Care


    • Nothing to apologise for. We were all new here once and you’re in good company. 🙂

      GameBlast takes place every February and it’s so much fun to participate in. It’s even better when you know you’re doing something to help such a worthwhile cause and enabling physically-disabled people to play video games. There’s loads of information on the SpecialEffect website if you’re interested in finding out more!


  3. Thanks for trusting me with the almighty banhammer! Mwahaha 😈

    It was so much fun bugging you guys for an entire 24 hours. The time actually flew by! Bring on GameBlast2022 😁


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