Readers might me remember my escapades during the month of October, 2019, what some might not know, however, was that I had originally planned to plaster my twitter channel with pixel art drawings that were supposed to form one large image when put together. Given that my computer broke down, that did not happen. Still, I wanted to draw. As a Plan B of sorts, I thus drew and published a small “Ghost Mustard” animation (a pun on Ghostbusters) on Halloween that caught the attention of Later Levels who promptly asked if I could animate a couple of gifs for a charity event she is helping organize, called “GameBlast.”1
What they do is create customized hardware [for] those with disabilities
“GameBlast,” as it turns out, has been around since 2014 and is a UK-based streaming experience that takes place every year organized by Special Effect, the gamers’ charity. What they do is create customized hardware, so those with disabilities can use electronic devices with ease. One of their projects, for example, is StarGaze2, which tracks eye movements so that anyone with paralysis can operate them, whether it be changing the channel on a television set, play video games, or write texts. The organization has also provided children with motor problems specialized controllers, which help them participate in something every kid loves, play video games3.
This then brings me to the charity stream. Even though “Gameblast” is the UK’s largest charity gaming marathon weekend4, they aren’t yet as widely known as “Awesome Games Done Quick” (AGDQ) or the “European Speedrunner Assembly” (ESA), though their quest is certainly as noble and I’m more than certain that they’re going to achieve the same level of fame. Later Levels asked me to design four distinct gifs for them, namely “hello,” “new folllow,” “new donation,” as well as a “cat on stream” (the latter of which plays whenever Zelda, their cat starts meowing during the stream). The only precise requirement given to me was to center all of them around the pixel heart, similar to the one in their logo. Since there was no way I could or would turn this down, I set out to work, which is when my internet broke down and I couldn’t access their graphical resources. This was but a minor inconvenience, however, and I managed to come up with five proposals that were all accepted.
If people donate during the event, they will see a treasure chest opening up to reveal a heart5, 6, if they say “hello,” they’ll see a girl waving a flag with a heart design7, 8, Zelda’s animation is one where she jumps on a computer keyboard to take a nap9, 10, 11 (her dream bubble has a heart in it, of course), and whenever one follows the Special Effect Team channel on twitch, they’ll see a nice disco ball appearing12. Lastly, there is a rotating heart, just because I liked it13.
According to Later Levels, the streams will start on January 5th, 2020, where they will broadcast for at least one hour a day, though the main event that you definitely would want to look out for will be between February 22nd and 23rd, 2020. On these dates they will stream for 24 hours to give you all the gaming goodness (starting at 8 AM GMT, which in other time zones is 9 AM CET, 3 AM EST, 12 AM PT, 4 PM China). All participants will air on their own channels with the tag “GameBlast,” which Special Effect then will host over on https://www.twitch.tv/specialeffectteam.
the streams will start on January 5th, 2020 [and go to] February 23rd
Those seeking to participate can sign up under https://www.gameblast20.org.uk/ and Later Levels will announce the schedule on her blog at https://laterlevels.com/gameblast/. What’s more, there is a crowd funding page you can donate to, namely https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/laterlevels2020, I’m sure they would appreciate your help. If you want to check them out on social media, you can find them on twitter under https://twitter.com/gameblast, as well as https://twitter.com/SpecialEffect.
Since this is such an awesome cause, I would love it, if you, my dear reader, would drop by to check out these streams on any (or maybe all) of the available dates. Of course, I would also be glad if you donated, though I do understand that money can be tight. Still, visiting the Special Effect hosting channel will be worth it, since the twitch algorithm probably bumps the stream the more people will tune in, and chatting with the community is probably going to be loads of fun, so come on by!
- Gao Li (@GaoLiOnTheRocks), “Ghost Mustard to the tune of #ghostbusters The #8bit #pixelart for #halloweentomorrow only took a few minutes to draw and animate, but making it so twitter displays it properly was a tad annoying to figure out. I drew this, because, you know, it’s funny.”, posted 2019, October, 30, 11:23 o’clock, accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://twitter.com/GaoLiOnTheRocks/status/1189503073162584065
- Special Effect, 2019, StarGaze – You wake up after an accident. You can’t move anything except your eyes and you can’t speak. That’s when our StarGaze project can help., accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://www.specialeffect.org.uk/stargaze
- Special Effect, 2019, Who We’ve Helped – Find out more about a few of the inspirational people we’ve helped., accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://www.specialeffect.org.uk/who-we-helped
- GameBlast (@GameBlast), “SAVE THE DATE: 21-23 Feb 2020!#PlayGamesChangeLives with the UK’s largest charity gaming marathon weekend for @SpecialEffect! #GameBlast20”, accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://twitter.com/GameBlast
- Gao Li (@GaoLiOnTheRocks), “@LaterLevels @kissingthepixel This is what I was thinking of, a heart coming out of the chest. Is this good for your gameblast charity event? I can change it, if you like. I’ll draw the flag waving thing later.”, posted 2019, November, 09, 08:17 o’clock, accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://twitter.com/GaoLiOnTheRocks/status/1193080179272359936
- Later Levels (@LaterLevels), “This awesome GIF by the talented @GaoLiOnTheRocks is what you’ll see when someone makes a donation to @SpecialEffect during our @GameBlast streams. Absolutely love it! ♥️”, posted 2019, November, 09, 08:33 o’clock, accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://twitter.com/LaterLevels/status/1193084222505926656
- Gao Li (@GaoLiOnTheRocks), “@LaterLevels @kissingthepixel I think I finished the next gif. I was initially thinking that this might be good for new followers, but wasn’t considering that you may need one for “hello,” during gameblast. How is it?”, posted 2019, November, 11, 06:42 o’clock, accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://twitter.com/GaoLiOnTheRocks/status/1193781031150800896
- Later Levels (@LaterLevels), “Come say hello during our streams for @GameBlastand you’ll see this little beauty by @GaoLiOnTheRocks!”, posted 2019, November, 11, 08:12 o’clock, accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://twitter.com/LaterLevels/status/1193803750433005569
- Gao Li (@GaoLiOnTheRocks), “@LaterLevels @kissingthepixel alright, so here is what I was thinking for the cat gif you requested for gameblast. How’s this?”, posted 2019, November, 13, 15:18 o’clock, accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://twitter.com/GaoLiOnTheRocks/status/1194665965079973889
- Later Levels (@LaterLevels), “Our cat Zelda usually makes an appearance during our @GameBlast streams – and when she does, you’ll see this! Another awesome GIF by the talented @GaoLiOnTheRocks. ❤”, posted 2019, November, 13, 17:24 o’clock, accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://twitter.com/LaterLevels/status/1194667438950027264
- Gao Li (@GaoLiOnTheRocks), “Oops, I done goofed and didn’t get Zelda the cat’s cheek right. So, here’s the corrected version. If you follow gameblast 20, you will see @LaterLevels cute cat live in action and in gif form!”, posted 2019, November, 13, 17:56 o’clock, accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://twitter.com/GaoLiOnTheRocks/status/1194675408928677895
- Gao Li (@GaoLiOnTheRocks), “Hi @LaterLevels @kissingthepixel I made this discoball for when your #gameblast20 channel gets new followers. I wanted it to be something festive, but couldn’t decide for several days on what it should be. I hope this #8bit #pixelart #heart is to your liking.”, posted 2019, November, 14, 16:58 o’clock, accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://twitter.com/GaoLiOnTheRocks/status/1195023278433325057
- Later Levels (@LaterLevels), “Give us a Twitch follow during our @GameBlaststreams and we’ll give you a glimpse of our shiny disco ball! Much love to @GaoLiOnTheRocksfor creating these some GIFs for us.🎉”, posted 2019, November, 14, 17:13 o’clock, accessed 2019, November, 18, retrieved from https://twitter.com/LaterLevels/status/1195026957584519168
Thank you for reading my article. If you like, please do feel free to leave a comment. There’s no need to register or login. Also, all images shown here were drawn by me. You can also follow my reviews on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/curator/8839524-Gaos-Corner/ Have a nice day.