March 26th is Purple Day. That probably doesn't mean anything to you, which is where I come in. Purple Day is a World Epilepsy Awareness event.
Epilepsy is a condition that affects many people... in fact, the stats suggest that over 600,000 people in the UK have epilepsy. For young people, it can be particularly embarrassing... having a seizure in front of friends or classmates can be mortifying as nobody really understands what's going on.
My family was affected by epilepsy in the year 2005 when my brother Jamie, at the age of 26, died as a result of a seizure. I'd witnessed his seizures and they were terrifying but I was, and we were, in no way prepared for the possibility that this thing could take his life.
For some time now, I've wanted to do something to try and raise awareness (and funds) for a young person's epilepsy charity. With modern technology and the advent of streaming coming to the fore, I thought I could combine my passion for computer games and this book with a fundraising effort. I am therefore going to play Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum games all day (not for 24 hours!) on Sunday March 26th and stream my efforts for anyone who might be interested.
I can't promise the most thrilling commentary... I'll be on cam (I think) and will be talking as I play, but hopefully people will dip in and out at the prospect of seeing someone playing one of their old favourites or maybe something they'd never had a chance to play back in the day, and will have a warm pang of nostalgia which might lead to them chucking a couple of quid into the pot. All proceeds from the event will go to Young Epilepsy, there's a link to the charity's homepage at the bottom of this piece.
I'm not terribly au fait with Twitch, but that's where I'll be. It has a chat room facility, so I'll be taking suggestions as to what games to play... after all, I'll be on there for at least nine or ten hours so I'll be playing a lot of games! I'll be drawing up my own list and I might publish a list of highlights with set times when I might be playing some games, but that's over a month away yet so we'll see. There will be some games which will feature in the book, for sure, but whether I give away any spoilers... we'll see.