A massive weekend-long Donkey Kong 64 livestream has finally come to an end. It managed to raise over $340,000 for Mermaids, a UK-based charity for transgender or gender-questioning children and teenagers, as well as attracting a wide variety of big-name guests, including U.S. Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.
H. Bomberguy, aka Harry Brewis, started his stream of Donkey Kong 64 on January 18. In the announcement video for the stream, he explains his choice of game by saying how he never beat Donkey Kong 64 as a kid despite putting almost 60 hours into it. As for the charity he chose, Brewis chose Mermaids partially because the media discussion around LGBT+ issues in his country is “woefully misinformed.” However, the main reason he chose Mermaids is out of spite. When Mermaids received funding from the National Lottery, writer-director-comedian Graham Linehan, who worked on shows like Father Ted and The IT Crowd, started and promoted a (now deleted) email campaign questioning the funding, resulting in the funding falling under review.
Within the first 24 hours, the stream managed to earn $50,000. A variety of prominent people helped spread awareness of the stream, including author Neil Gaiman, voice actor Matthew Mercer, and singer-actress Cher. In addition, the stream had a good deal of special guests show up, whether via Brewis’s Discord channel or speaking in the stream itself. Perhaps the most surprising was Democratic Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. According to Polygon, her appearance on the livesteam is thanks to Aaron Sorkin, creator of television shows like The West Wing and The Newsroom. He went on CNN a few days ago and said that the new crop of newly-elected Congresspeople “need to stop acting like young people.” Ocasio-Cortez (who is 29) criticized his comments in a Twitter thread and ended with a retweet from Mermaids about the livestream. Shortly after receiving numerous requests to join the livestream, she joined Discord’s voice chat and spoke to Brewis himself. During her time there, she spoke about her experiences with her cousin’s Nintendo 64 and how trans discrimination is a “core reason” for economic hardship.
In addition, a variety of other guests showed up. Some of the other notable appearances include:
- John Romero, creator of Doom
- Mara Wilson, writer and former child actress
- Chuck Tingle, author of bizarre erotica
- Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids
- Jim Sterling, video game journalist and critic.
- Olive Brinker, creator of the LGBT humor webcomic Rae the Doe.
- Chelsea Manning, transgender activist
The stream has more or less wound down, but you can watch both parts of the stream here and here.