The basic information seems simple enough: On February 26, 2013, at 2pm Eastern time, Charles Ziese is going to play the video game Metroid Prime. The gameplay will be streamed live at Twitch.tv/worldclassknucklehead, and aiming for a “minimalist” run; that is, an attempt to complete the game with the minimum necessary items, travel, etc. This is being done in promotional conjunction with the “New Wheels for Broly” fundraiser. All of this information can be found on a single promotional image on the new website of Gaming World Wide.
Yet, as usual, the real story emerges when one peels back the details. How about this player, Charles “The Bowserizer” Ziese? Who is he? Some research uncovers the fact that he is a competitive gamer that enjoys high-precision gameplay, partly because that is one way he copes with his Asperger’s Syndrome. He has a heart for charitable causes, having previously expressed a desire to use his gaming for good.
It sounds like he found a good fit, then, in partnering with Gaming World Wide. The organization describes itself on their website as “a global organization that has unified gamers around the world who wish to create video game based events that benefit society. The mission of Gaming World Wide is to harness the vast, untapped power of the global video game community and focus it into a dynamic, positive force that uplifts the human spirit through charitable events and promotions.”
One cannot help but notice that this portrait of video game players sounds like a far cry from the typical portrayal given by the current news media, one that seems to prefer somehow tying the use of guns to the playing of video games, despite a four-year-old being able to see that the two are completely different things, and attempts to legislate one will not affect the other. Seriously, blaming video games for gun violence is like blaming your dentist for a flat tire.
Subjective editorializing aside, clearly Charles Ziese and Gaming World Wide are a good fit. But, then, what of their target, this character and the new wheels he apparently needs?
Enter Broly, the competitive fighting games player who happened to be born with arthrogryposis. The condition removes much of the use of his arms and legs, leading his mastery of modern tournament-level fighting video games despite, stunningly, only using his tongue, cheek, and chin to play.
With Broly’s mobility being different from the mere average person, this does present some challenges in traveling from place to place, including not being able to use just any vehicle. This brings us to the last piece of the plot, the New Wheels fundraiser campaign that is aiming to eventually provide a van with a lift.
While the rest of the gaming world is embroiled in their usual day-to-day drama, or perhaps salivating at the prospect of the new consoles coming out later this year, a select few are trying to use their talents for the betterment of others. Hopefully, a growing number will take notice and be provoked to respond.
Eric Bailey blogs at NintendoLegend.com, where he is reviewing every American-released NES video game. He also serves as Editor-In-Chief of retro gaming features site 1MoreCastle.com, and can be followed on Twitter @Nintendo_Legend.