Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people—including one sitting US Congressperson—gathered online to watch a marathon stream of someone playing Donkey Kong 64. The most notable thing about this, perhaps, was just how little organic interest in Donkey Kong 64 actually had to do with much of the gathering.
Let me back up a little bit. The main, ostensible purpose for Harry “Hbomberguy” Brewis’ “Donkey Kong Nightmare Stream” was that he simply wanted to beat Donkey Kong 64, as he put it on YouTube. DK64 was a game Brewis said he “never finished properly as a kid… I want to destroy Donkey Kong 64, so until that has been achieved, the stream doesn’t stop. I don’t care if I fall asleep. I don’t care if I run out of food. The stream will continue.”
But the stream was also set up as a fundraiser for Mermaids, a UK-based gender-dysphoria charity that has recently been criticized by TV writer and comedian Graham Linehan (The IT Crowd, Father Ted). And Brewis was clear that Linehan’s words also served as a direct motivation for the charity marathon.