DONKEY KONG 64 CHARITY NIGHTMARE For MERMAIDS
January 19, 2019 4:25 PM   Subscribe

After Mermaids, a UK charity that provides services to young transgender and gender variant people and their families was awarded a £500,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, some people complained and the Fund delayed the grant to review the charity. Now a UK gamer and YouTuber is playing through the entire game Donkey Kong 64 on Twitch to raise money for the charity.

He started playing Friday evening with the goal of raising a few thousand dollars in the estimated 35 hours it would take to complete. Currently, at 27 hours $75,000 has been raised.

Popular left YouTubers ContraPoints, Philosophy Tube, Folding Ideas, and Lindsay Ellis make guest appearances in the live stream.
posted by Is It Over Yet? (90 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've been watching since yesterday — it's great! Linkara was on then, too. And Jenny Nicholson will apparently be on later!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 4:49 PM on January 19


Been watching since the beginning. It's a great stream for a great cause. And a horrible, terrible, awful game.

I think what I love the most is the fact that HBomb sincerely thought he'd raise about $5,000 over the course of the stream. Turns out that people care about trans kids.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 4:54 PM on January 19 [17 favorites]


To save you a click: the UK gamer and YouTuber in question is hbomberguy, with whom some of you may be familiar. (Previously)
posted by bigendian at 4:55 PM on January 19 [6 favorites]


I've been watching this stream on and off and it's been heartwarming and engaging. Mermaids' CEO Susie Green learned this existed earlier today and dropped into the voice chat for a while, talking about the charity and the impact of the fundraiser among other topics. Laura Jane Grace (of Against Me!) retweeted the stream, too!
posted by Tha Contender at 5:14 PM on January 19 [2 favorites]


The irony of a dude going to "mumsnet" to egg on TERFs is lost on him.

(Saw who it was from the article and disappointed about this, I liked Black Books and Father Ted). I guess I know which works to boycott now.

Now - back to the POSITIVE story......
posted by symbioid at 5:43 PM on January 19 [5 favorites]


They just topped $102,000 after Graham Linehan passive-aggressively Tweeted about it. Now they are trying to get #thanksgraham trending. This is wonderful.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:01 PM on January 19 [17 favorites]


Update: And now it's trending in the UK. #thanksgraham
posted by Space Coyote at 6:06 PM on January 19 [8 favorites]


Wait why is Mario there? This game is incomprehensible. Skipping the N64 and going straight to Dreamcast was the correct decision, good work adolescent me.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:10 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


I love this kind of hate-judo. When the goodies turn the hate back on the assholes for a constructive cause.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 6:11 PM on January 19 [3 favorites]


When they hit $75k he sort of loses it and it's the sweetest thing. Sweet boy.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:17 PM on January 19 [12 favorites]


Somebody should perhaps do a sitcom about two Irish priests behaving badly or about life in a company’s IT department, because none of those things actually exist, or have ever existed, in this universe.
posted by acb at 6:27 PM on January 19 [15 favorites]


Grant Kirkhope, DK64 composer and voice of DK, popped into the stream for a little while and talked about the creation of it, and even said "Trans Rights" as DK.



TEETH GANG
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 7:25 PM on January 19 [16 favorites]


TEETH
posted by fleacircus at 8:34 PM on January 19


Hbomb is a treasure so this is definitely a chocolate in the peanut butter moment.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:43 PM on January 19


@CaseyExplosion was great co-host for many hours, and is a good twitter follow.. but probably everyone here knows that.
posted by fleacircus at 8:50 PM on January 19 [7 favorites]


Chelsea Manning is hanging out in voice chat right now. Everyone is in awe, but also, does she know how to beat Beaver Bother?
posted by gc at 9:21 PM on January 19 [10 favorites]


Beaver Bother is so horrible.
For those not watching (at the moment), it's a minigame, in which you're given a minute to chase 15 beavers into the hole in the middle of a circular stage. It feels terribly broken and I feel so bad for Hbomb right now (especially as it's half past 5 in the morning for him).
posted by bigendian at 9:32 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


He's been at it for hours. Apparently he's consulting speedrunners for advice.

God, this music.
posted by gc at 9:35 PM on January 19


The N64 is one of my many gaming blindspots, so I was like "Well massive props (fellow kid), but aren't you just having fun playing your favourite game for charity?". Didn't realise DK64 was basically Superman 64 meets Desert Bus!

Nice one!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:46 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


He keeps falling back on bad beaver botherin' behavior as he gets close to finished.
posted by fleacircus at 9:47 PM on January 19


Down to 2. He's so close.
posted by gc at 9:54 PM on January 19


HE DID IT! AFTER SO LONG.

My partner and I actually cheered out loud
posted by gc at 9:56 PM on January 19 [8 favorites]


I did too! Sadly, there's another Beaver Bother game coming up soon, apparently...
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 10:14 PM on January 19


Someone bought grahamlinehan.co.uk and set it to redirect to hbomb's twitch bwaha.
posted by fleacircus at 11:13 PM on January 19 [10 favorites]


Didn't realise DK64 was basically Superman 64 meets Desert Bus!

I mean, it's not great - it's the 90s equivalent of a mediocre AAA game like Red Dead Redemption 2, and it actually went through a pretty similar curve of popular opinion. It's hardly a trainwreck like Superman 64. The problem is that a 101% run, without stopping or really practising it that much, really serves to highlight its many flaws. If you were just playing normally, maybe you'd skip a couple of the more broken minigames or come back to them later once you're refreshed.
posted by Merus at 12:20 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


I just deliberately watching a top gear advert just to support this stream. 2019 is already weird.
posted by AFII at 2:47 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Someone bought grahamlinehan.co.uk and set it to redirect to hbomb's twitch bwaha.

Ope now it goes to mermaids
posted by fleacircus at 3:09 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


I’ve never seen so little fighting on Trans Twitter for so long.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 8:11 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


hbomb is awake but he’s taking a shower. apparently AOC might be joining the call at some point today?
posted by JimBennett at 11:31 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


He's back!
posted by pharm at 11:40 AM on January 20


He's still racing rabbits...poor guy.
posted by pharm at 11:47 AM on January 20


Oh no, the beavers are back....
posted by gemmy at 11:58 AM on January 20


This stream is great. I'm not going to be getting much done today.
posted by Hicksu at 12:09 PM on January 20


heck, seems like i slept through beaver bother #2
posted by fleacircus at 1:39 PM on January 20


WTF John Romero!?
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 2:42 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


So John Romero just showed up in the voice chat.

John said Trans Rights! And they just $200k!
posted by gc at 2:43 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Cher retweeted according to the chat.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:50 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now on the stream. Crazy thing.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 3:13 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted the stream. Rumor has it she's in the Discord.
posted by gc at 3:14 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


AOC IS ON
posted by JimBennett at 3:15 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Holy moly!
posted by lizjohn at 3:16 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


AOC is going to be the youngest president in american history, bank on it.
posted by JimBennett at 3:25 PM on January 20 [15 favorites]


Oh my, they all got so emotional with AOC on! This warms so heart so much <3
posted by Is It Over Yet? at 3:33 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


He keeps raising the fundraising target and just passed $222,222!!
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:42 PM on January 20


Just passed $240,000. This has been fun to watch.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:06 PM on January 20


Oh god more beavers.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 4:13 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Beaver Bother is BACK!
posted by Hicksu at 4:13 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


$251,100+! <3
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:33 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


They have raised almost 100, 000 since I last donated at 3pm. This is insanely good, and makes me so happy.
The kids are alright, and most people are too. Way. To. Go!
posted by gemmy at 5:57 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I can only take so much of the stream at a time before some social anxieties of mine kick in, like, DON'T DRAG OUT YOUR GOODBYE JUST GO FOR FUCK'S SAKE.
posted by fleacircus at 6:38 PM on January 20


Mama Math put together a spreadsheet of the guests! direct link to spreadsheet
posted by Is It Over Yet? at 7:35 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


This is seriously a gamer doing good work in the world. And I don't think I can remember seeing such an enthusiastic metafilter thread. It does my withered heart good.
posted by happyroach at 8:10 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Poor HBomb is fading again. He's got that glassy look in his eyes. I think this is going to go another day.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 8:35 PM on January 20


I was out a lot today and thinking how maybe he could have used a quiet hour or two, with only a friend or two of his on call, and focus pretty much just on the game, to recharge his batteries. It's probably difficult for him to ask for that.
posted by fleacircus at 8:39 PM on January 20


chuck tingle is on stream. i definitely think some levity and humor will be good for harris at this late hour.
posted by JimBennett at 8:43 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Wow >$300,000 now. I've just watched this stream raise $130,000 for Mermaids while I've been sitting here today.
posted by Hicksu at 8:48 PM on January 20


I got pounded in the feels by Chuck Tingle on stream. Amazing.
posted by tclark at 8:54 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


apparently there is one more collectable left and then the final boss.
posted by JimBennett at 9:54 PM on January 20


I need to go to bed - but must keep watching....
He is so tired now, it's compelling. Also exciting that donations are close to equaling pi.
posted by dawg-proud at 9:57 PM on January 20


Oh wow! Chris Kluwe just dropped in, so cool.
posted by dawg-proud at 10:16 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


NFL Guy Chris Kluwe just joined!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 10:17 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


LAST BANANA!
posted by divabat at 10:19 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Final boss!
posted by gc at 10:24 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


THATS GAME!
posted by Hicksu at 10:54 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


DONNNNNNEEEEEEEE!!!!!
posted by divabat at 10:55 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


HE DID IT!! $322k and counting!
posted by gc at 10:55 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Wow! $328K+, 57:48 of what seems like a terrible video game. Almost all small ($4.20 to $6.66) donations from what I saw, which means 60,000 or so people donated.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:04 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


This story has the clip from when AOC joined the stream, and the expression on HBomb's face is... delightful.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:14 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Secretgamergirl: everyone please just silently applaud Casey Explosion and Dan Olson for doing all the guest coordination for the DK64 stream

SGG goes on to point out that this whole thing was spontaneous, and it was never expected to gain so much attention. So the cascade of ever more famous guests is basically due to the efforts the behind the scenes people. They deserve mad props.
posted by happyroach at 12:38 AM on January 21 [8 favorites]


I haven't felt this positive about gaming as a force for good since, well, 2014. AOC and Chuck Tingle on the same Twitch stream? Maybe 2019 will be the year we return to the good timeline.
posted by YoloMortemPeccatoris at 12:59 AM on January 21 [5 favorites]


The spreadsheet is offline: Author says "after a scare" which is worrying :(
posted by pharm at 2:04 AM on January 21


This whole stream thing is very cool, but $330k is a poor replacement for £500k, and the underlying issue of Mermaids' access to more traditional funding being tenuous enough that TERFs can knock it over is frightening.
posted by Dysk at 2:52 AM on January 21 [8 favorites]


First yay and pity I missed this.

Second, could all the UK people happy with this sign the petition to allow Mermaids to keep its funding after the review that prompted this stream please?

Third should I add hbomberguy to my Youtube follows? (It already has Contrapoints, Folding Ideas, and Lindsay Ellis). For that matter it looks as if I should add everyone who turned up to that stream?

And onto gaming rambling:
The N64 is one of my many gaming blindspots, so I was like "Well massive props (fellow kid), but aren't you just having fun playing your favourite game for charity?". Didn't realise DK64 was basically Superman 64 meets Desert Bus!

DK64 isn't a bad game - as long as you just try and complete it. It was at one point, however, in the Guinness Book of Records for containing more collectables than any other game in history. To beat it you don't need a single banana coin, and certainly don't need to do that ridiculous round-up game people have mentioned in the thread. It's just a decent if padded platformer with an irritating amount of backtracking that reviewed well at the time.

On the other hand if you're trying to 101% it by collecting all the banana coins (as hbomberguy did in the stream) it's starkly and utterly ridiculous and possibly the worst good game ever made. The worst part of the game other than the horrible round-up minigame is that you can only collect certain items with certain Kongs and there's no quick and easy way to change. This makes a frustrating slog back to the change barrel in addition to the actual difficulty. The reviewers didn't pick up on this (they didn't have time to 101% it) but in 2019 there's no point playing DK64 any other way as there are lots of better 3d platformers out there while DK64 has a grandeur in its 3d platforming collectathon that as far as I'm aware only 2017's Super Mario Odyssey on all moons + all purple coins surpasses in the genre.

Wait why is Mario there? This game is incomprehensible. Skipping the N64 and going straight to Dreamcast was the correct decision, good work adolescent me.

Yes DK64 is incomprehensible but on console wars everyone always forgets the Sega Saturn which was meant to be the N64's rival, and skipping that was a good idea. The Dreamcast was meant to be the same generation as the Gamecube but the PS2 crushed it before the 'Cube arrived. The N64 was groundbreaking; its utterly ridiculous controller basically introduced console gaming to both the thumbstick and to rumble - and managed to define the 3d platformer with Mario 64 and the 3d Action RPG with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, with Goldeneye 64 being the template for console FPS games on which Halo built.

For good games on the N64 there are reasons people call The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time the best game ever made (and Metacritic agrees), and fans for good reason consider its sequel The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask even better than Ocarina. Also Mario 64 basically defined the 3d Platforming genre, and Goldeneye was the first ever good console FPS (and AOC mentioned Pokemon Snap which may be the best rail shooter ever made). Oh, and Mario Kart 64 was the first good Mario Kart (going back to the SNES game is painful), Smash Bros was the first Smash, and there are plenty of other games.
posted by Francis at 3:59 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


This whole stream thing is very cool, but $330k is a poor replacement for £500k, and the underlying issue of Mermaids' access to more traditional funding being tenuous enough that TERFs can knock it over is frightening.

Yes, but the £500k would be split over 5 years, while Mermaids can use the $330k however they want as soon as the money gets transferred. I'm also optimistic that the charity hasn't lost the Big Lottery money yet,
posted by Tha Contender at 6:48 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Whoops, didn't realize I hit send and missed the edit window. Just adding that I have no particular reason for that last opinion.
posted by Tha Contender at 6:55 AM on January 21


Yes, but the £500k would be split over 5 years, while Mermaids can use the $330k however they want as soon as the money gets transferred. I'm also optimistic that the charity hasn't lost the Big Lottery money yet,

Yes, the CEO of Mermaids mentioned this in the livestream. They are optimistic they'll eventually get the funds but 1) they've had to deal with justifying their existence and harassment from bigots while being upset about the potential loss and 2) the Big Lottery money is distributed over several years and is restricted to a certain (worthy!) project while this money is unrestricted and available as soon as hbomberguy can work with Mermaids and PayPal to transfer it to them in pounds.

I hope the transfer goes okay. Hbomb seemed to start worrying about that as the amount got larger and hopefully PayPal won't cause any problems.
posted by Is It Over Yet? at 7:39 AM on January 21 [6 favorites]


This stream was such a beacon of optimism and positivity for me and for a ton of other trans folks this weekend.
posted by ITheCosmos at 7:42 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


345k....
posted by eustatic at 8:01 AM on January 21


This was so affirming and wonderful. This is what hope feels like.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 9:34 AM on January 21


Also, I'm eager to see the bit donations and subscriptions added to the total. I have no idea how much that will be.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 9:39 AM on January 21


This whole stream thing is very cool, but $330k is a poor replacement for £500k

Others have addressed this upthread, but $330K converts to about £255k, so about half. Plus I know people were donating directly to Mermaids as well, and he was encouraging that in the stream.

This money is completely unrestricted, and Mermaids can use it right away, for whatever their greatest need is. Plus the raising of their social profile generally.

Basically, in no way is this a poor replacement. In a lot of ways, its better, and they'll likely end up with a lot more at the end than they would have with just the lottery grant.
posted by anastasiav at 9:41 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


teeth? gang... oh lord
posted by eustatic at 9:58 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Did anyone catch the total before the stream went offline? I think it was at $347,200ish when I last checked. (I checked a couple of twitter feeds but didn't see the total there. I am on my phone, though.)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:33 AM on January 21


If I'm reading this aright, the Scottish Parliament will be introducing a motion to congratulate HBomb on this. I miss Scotland.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 10:54 AM on January 21 [14 favorites]


This was really heartening to see this weekend. For a brief moment, having social media united in trans positivity was nice.

Of course we're back to the regular awfulness now, but.
posted by anem0ne at 2:31 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


I was introduced to (or reminded of) so many trans, non-binary, and trans-friendly voices from this stream, too! I'm thrilled to have so many cool people to check out, and to know that tens of thousands got to hear them as well. I've been listening to Left at London, who provided the closing song for the stream. And I'm checking out trans streamers like Nikatine and Casey Explosion. Also eager to check out ally Shannon Strucci's Fake Friends series on parasocial relationships.

hmm, seems like many of the hosts and guests could be the subjects of FPPs, now there's an idea I'll have to follow up on
posted by knuckle tattoos at 3:39 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


leftatlondon also made some fine vines once upon a time. (It was driving me wild recognizing their voice but not where from.)
posted by fleacircus at 6:36 PM on January 21


This has been such a pure pocket of happiness over the last few days. I really needed it, I loved seeing all my favorite Youtubers in one giant crossover stream, and I got introduced to some great new-to-me people too.

On a darker note... Kiwifarms are being Kiwifarms and trying to dox everyone, which is why the full list of guests got removed or so I heard. Over video games and a children's charity.
posted by Gordafarin at 4:38 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


It's all so nice! How wonderful!

Not the Kiwifarms doxxing, that's the opposite.
posted by asok at 2:12 PM on January 23


Updated list of participants (limited to those who consented to being listed).
posted by knuckle tattoos at 12:57 AM on January 26


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