On Saturday 23rd February, Greenwich Anime and Gaming took to a new extreme; they arranged an event, which would bring light to how gaming could have a positive impact not just on physical health, but also mental health and the community.
This event was a Pokémon Go Charity Walk in aid of Special Effect Gaming charity; the walk was 20KM starting in Greenwich and ending at Avery Hill.
Now while there was a route that could have been taken just to focus on the Greenwich borough, the societies president Tommy Monkhouse (myself!) decided to step out of his comfort zone and attempt something even bigger. I contacted the Pokémon Go Bexley Group and begun working with their leader Natalie Forbes to create an event which would show community spirit. The walk would now cut through the Bexley borough and would bring two groups together that normally had no connection.
Now, while some of you may be wondering how this applies to physical and mental health, I took another step and not only arranged for the funds to go to a Gaming Charity that creates controllers for the disabled gamers, but I also decided to get in contact with as many societies as possible from the university and bring them together for one event. The majority of the societies that I contacted were sports themed, attempting to show how fitness and gaming had impacts on each other.
With this, other societies begun to come together to get involved including The Crows Nest itself, the Computing Society, the Hispanic Society and other members of the Student Union. Between the combined efforts of our societies plus the Bexley group the event was an overall success reaching a turn out of 50 people, with members joining and dropping off in different areas, showing not only dedication to the boroughs but a love for something that everyone had in common.
Greenwich Anime and Gaming is still currently raising money for the Charity but as of the event, they have raised £200 and counting. This money will be delivered to the charity at the end of April.
The events success was not just dependant on those that arranged it though, it was also dependant on those who participated, that said the members who did attend had nothing but positive feedback for the event.
Anime and Gaming’s own Treasurer, Keanu, was quoted as saying:
“I really enjoyed the walk, though it felt a bit long at times, you sort of lost track of time while you were doing it because it was just so fun and everyone was laughing with each other and just playing the game.”
While their storage manager was quoted as saying:
“we had a decent turnout, and some members even went further than anticipated originally, and the collaboration between societies and local groups was good”
Finally, the Crows Nest’s leader Nick stated,
“Yeah, it was really fun! I started playing the game again for a while when I came up to London and I’m glad I was able to go out and have a laugh with friends I already had, plus it was great to socialise and meet new people.”
In the end, this event showed that while some see gaming as a reason to sit around and be lazy, others use it to enjoy each others company, get active, and do something that they normally wouldn’t allowing for a new experience and to be able to do something that makes a difference.
By Tommy Monkhouse
The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.