Stand Up for GamesAid – year 12!

Stand Up for GamesAid; my pipedream charity project has been going for 12 years, with all the London shows at The Comedy Store, one show online during lockdown, a sister-show in Brighton which has been going 5 years, and new ones that will happen up in the north of the country this year too.

I have been a patron of GamesAid for 12 years too, and each year it is my honour and privilege to book the acts and host the show. I always reach out to comedy pals of mine who are a joy both on and off stage, so that we can all enjoy the event together. The show attracts many professionals from the games industry to attend, from young budding hopefuls like I once was, to industry stalwarts like Ian Livingstone and Jo Twist. Lots of comedy fans come out too and join in on the games themed night, although the comedians perform broad material, a few nods to their favourite games is especially appreciated. Also, this year the sound engineer at The Comedy Store is a big gamer, and provided video game and anime music to a much appreciative audience.

Many moons ago, I worked in the games industry and was determined to become a world famous games designer. However, life had other plans, and all my efforts were derailed and my passion squandered. During a tough period in which I was very depressed and feeling hopeless, I vowed that I’d somehow help alleviate someone else’s suffering through two of my favourite things – comedy and video games. Back then, I was also a budding open spot comedian who was learning the craft of stand up, but had neither the clout in video games or comedy to really do much with it. About 5 years later, I was an Edinburgh Festival Comedy Award Nominee, and had featured on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, and so I got in contact with the trustees at GamesAid, and Stand Up for GamesAid was born.

Each year, our show raises thousands for GamesAid who in turn help smaller British charities in the UK who focus on disadvantaged and disabled children and young people. You can learn more about their work here – Not only do we all have a good time together, but the lives of those who endure great challenges, are assisted through our show, and this is a great source of soulful joy for me and all of those who are involved.

Video games have had a huge impact on my life, not only am I a keen gamer who has been playing video games since I was a child, I am a huge Nintendo fan in particular and still play games to this very day. Currently I am playing The Legend of Zelda; Tears of The Kingdom, building up my inventory of super-powered fused weapons before I take on the final boss. Video games are a great form of escapism, where we can live out our fantasies to be heroes with amazing super powers, developing our problem-solving skills against enemies who test our intelligence, dexterity, courage, and ultimately our higher self-awareness. Video games have served me as a great art form to discover more about myself, and has been a great social bonding experience with friends, be it online or together in the same room. And working in the games industry was a great educational and humbling experience for me, as I may have failed to become the games designer I had dreamt about becoming, but I met and made friends for life in the industry who come to the show each year and continue to show me support like they did when we were starting out together.

I may not have got my dream to become the next Shigeru Miyamoto, but I still got to have some form of positive impact in the games industry, one that helps a lot of people, so perhaps in the great karmic machinery of life, I’m doing okay. In the years I’ve been a patron of GamesAid and been responsible for these shows, I also got to do other exciting video game-related things too, like appearing in EDGE magazine –

and in 2018 I was invited out to Japan by my ex-employer SEGA Europe, to cover the relaunch of Shenmue and Shenmue 2 for PS4, Xbox, and PC! I was joined by Shenmue super-fan and mega-famous YouTuber; Adam Koralik as we attended the official announcement in Tokyo, and then went to Dobuita Street in Yokosuka to check out the similarities between the first game and the real world.

I love that I still get to be part of the games industry like this, and I hope for more adventures as the gameplay of life unfolds for me in my life adventure to be the best I can be in whatever I do (despite my failures) and make the world a little better than how I found it. And perhaps, if we all focussed on doing that, imagine what this world could be like for the next generation?

Share :
Web design by LUA