A gamer with a muscle-wasting condition raised hundreds of pounds for Muscular Dystrophy UK by taking part in a 14-hour arcade challenge.
Stephanie Castelete-Tyrrell, 25 and from Northamptonshire, has congenital muscular dystrophy.
She says gaming gives her the freedom to “complete tasks that many people take for granted in the real world”.
What was Stephanie’s fundraiser?
When the London Marathon 2020 was cancelled amid the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers encouraged people to take part in the 2.6 challenge by using that number to complete an activity and fundraise in the process.
Stephanie was inspired to fundraise for MDUK by walking a virtual 26-mile marathon on the arcade video game Crossy Road, raising £715 in the process.
“The aim of the game is to help your character cross the road without getting hit by a moving vehicle. I calculated how many steps I would have to make on the game that was equivalent to 26 miles, which was 52,000 on Crossy Road. It was difficult to tell how long it would take me to complete this challenge, but I knew it would be at least 12 hours.”
Stephanie began her gruelling gaming challenge at 10.30am and completed it at midnight – with only a couple of 30 minute breaks thrown in.
She also streamed the entire challenge on Facebook Live so others could watch and support her.
Stephanie said: “In gaming you can control your character to do gardening, change clothes, swim, go fishing and build things. I would not be able to do these things independently in real life, but the game is a form of escapism that gives disabled gamers a chance to experience doing small things that have a big impact on our lives.”
How can the gaming experience be improved for people with disabilities?
The keen gamer, who owns a production company, is now calling for voice recognition software in consoles to make the gaming process a more inclusive experience.
This is because gaming can pose difficulties for people with muscle-wasting conditions. Stephanie often struggles with the weight of the controller and being able to reach certain buttons.
She says that if all consoles had built-in voice recognition it would help more people with limited movement play to the best of their ability and make gaming more inclusive.
What can you do to help?
MDUK has launched It’s Game On – a virtual gaming challenge that anyone, anywhere can get involved with from the comfort of their own home.
So whether you want to try your hand at streaming, engage your audience with a charity event or challenge yourself to a 24 hour gameathon, why not raise money at the same time?
To find out more, visit: https://www.musculardystrophyuk.org/its-game-on