No, you’re not dreaming.
Notice: Feel free to take political jabs at Ms. Ocasio-Cortrez, but any and all hate speech involving transphobia will be moderated accordingly.
Is a 24/7 charity stream dedicated to 101% completion of Donkey Kong 64 — a Nintendo 64 game notorious for insanely convoluted collect-a-thons — absolutely crazy? Perhaps, but for UK streamer Harry Brewis — better known to the online gaming world as Hbomberguy — it was for a noble cause. As it happens, transgender awareness/charity group Mermaids UK was subject to suspended funding following an opposition campaign by comedy writer Graham Linehan, and so Hbomberguy stepped up to the plate with a Donkey Kong 64 charity stream. Even if a humble goal of $3000 couldn’t entirely make up for Mermaids UK’s woes, nabbing all 201 Golden Bananas was but the least he could do.
Here’s what he — and by association the gaming world — wasn’t expecting: not only would he raise $280,000 (and counting!), but that US Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would call into the Twitch stream and share her love for Nintendo 64. Don’t believe us? See for yourself:
— New Super Blood Wolf Moon Bros. U Deluxe (@GenePark) January 20, 2019
The rising liberal superstar wasn’t the only celebrity popping in: actor Jack Black, American activist Chelsea Manning, Matilda child star Mara Wilson, The Guardian columnist Owen Jones, and even Mermaids UK CEO Susie Green appeared to grant their Donkey Kong 64 tips and/or advocate for transgender rights. Naturally, figures from the gaming world also joined in, including freelance journalist Jim Sterling, designers Josh Sawyer (Fallout: New Vegas) and John Romero (Doom, Quake), and Donkey Kong 64‘s own composer in Grant Kirkhope. Did we mention Twitter endorsements from writer Neil Gaiman to singer Cher?
As of this writing (January 20th), Hbomberguy’s still at it, having cataloged 53 hours into his 101% completion quest. Personally, we don’t know what’s more astonishing: that Donkey Kong 64 is now forever immortalized as a transgender icon, or what began as modest — if not slightly over-ambitious — goodwill gradually transformed into an international outpouring of support for the disenfranchised. Regardless, we salute Hbomberguy for pulling off this once-in-a-lifetime miracle.
Oh, and as for Graham Linehan? The aptly-named hashtag”#thanksgraham” is currently trending on Twitter, so make of that what you will.
How much will Hbomberguy ultimately raise? Will he collect every last Donkey Kong 64 knick-knack? What other improbable guests will join the stream? Let us know your predictions in the comments below!