Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

A Guide to Videogaming Marathons

We’ve all had epic videogame sessions: long weekends spent blasting away aliens online or fulfilling our fantasies of being a premier league superstar. But what if you want to take your gaming sessions to the next level? How do you do that?

In recent years, videogame marathons have become more and more popular as a way for gamers to raise money for charity by doing what they love most. From personal gaming challenges for a local cause to full-on organised team events spanning the globe, playing games for extended periods is a great way for gaming to do some good in the world.

Earlier this year, I took on the challenge of playing Fifa 15 for over 48 hours non-stop in order to set a new Guinness World Record and raise money for the amazing Special Effect charity. So I thought I’d share my experience in order to help anyone who’s thinking of doing a videogame marathon in the future.

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Here’s a few of the key things that I learned to help you through your horrific ordeal awesome fun times:

1. Know Your Limits

Playing your favourite game for an extended amount of time may sound easy at first, but there’s a hell of a lot of things that you have to consider when playing for this massive length of time.

Things like fatigue and morale are massively important especially for longer sessions. The longer you play the harder it will become to maintain concentration and you will start to forget what was ever fun about playing videogames. Your reaction times will also decrease dramatically so it’s worth planning ahead in regards to what game modes you’re going to play during the later stages. I gave myself breaks from the main game by occasionally opening up FIFA packs.

Don’t underestimate the physical toll this will take on your body. Towards the end of my Fifa session my hands had swollen so badly I was barely able to hold a controller. By the second day, one of my support staff called a doctor to make sure I wasn’t permanently injuring myself (I wasn’t, but the thought of never being able to play Fifa again no longer fills me with horror).

2. Pick Your Game(s) Carefully

One of the reasons I decided to take on Fifa was that at it’s core, it’s pretty simple to play. While you don’t HAVE to be any good at the game you choose, no-one wants to spend 24 hours getting hammered by their opponents. It’s just not good for morale. So look at games that feature a non competitive multiplayer mode or maybe some co-op to get friends involved

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If you’re going for an official world record than there will be restrictions as to what games and modes you can play, but charity events like Extra Life allow you to choose whatever game you like. Take advantage and pick a game that has multiple game modes in order to provide some variety.

3. Get The Right Team

As with anything in life, it’s important to surround yourself with the very best people. This is hugely important, especially if you’re going for an official world record. Guinesses’ guidelines are very strict on just who you can have in your support team; you can’t just pick a selection of your friends and family to step in and you need at least one expert witness.

For non world record sessions it’s still pretty important to have the right people around you. For starters, an understanding partner will go a long way if you’re planning to park yourself in front of the living room TV for the best part of a weekend.

I was incredibly lucky to have a great team in place for my marathon, especially in the latter stages when things got really tough for everyone. I will openly admit that it was my team that had the most difficult job throughout, all I had to do was play games while they had to manage all of the paperwork and technical issues, as well as deal with any members of the public who wanted to get involved.

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4. Choose the Right Place

If you’re going to settle in for a long session of anything then it’s important to be as comfortable as possible – not too comfortable mind, we don’t want you falling asleep midway.

Most gaming marathons can be done in the comfort of your own home. However, world record attempts must be done in a public venue so make sure you can find somewhere suitable that is willing to host you for that amount of time. Mine took place in London’s premier gaming themed bar, The Loading Bar. Even then, make sure to think about things like decent wi-fi and enough power outlets.

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5. It’s Not All Red Bull & Pizza

It may “give you wings” but Red Bull isn’t necessary the best thing to use to keep you going through the night. For one thing it’ll dramatically increase the number of visits you’ll make to the bathroom. Alcohol, with its drowsiness-inducing effects, is obviously a no go for serious marathons too.

I tried using energy drinks throughout my marathon and had mixed results. Monster Energy made me feel ill and gave me a sore throat, despite me having no issues drinking it previously. in the end I went with a couple of large bottles of Lucozade to keep me going.

My support team constantly kept me motivated and awake far more than the energy drinks. By the end, we were quizzing each other about random things in order to keep our minds awake. That, and the the inspiring heartfelt ballads of Taylor Swift

6. Don’t Panic If things Go Wrong

Obviously, if you’re doing a personal marathon from home then there’s not much that can go wrong, bar maybe a power cut or an impromptu drop-in from the in-laws. However, if you’re doing an official record attempt then there’s a hell of a lot of planning and effort that goes into things to make sure it complies with all of the official rules (every toilet break was timed, key moments had to be filmed, volunteers had to be constantly awake etc etc etc). Nothing would be quite so heart breaking as everyone putting all that effort in over 48 hours to later be told it’s disqualified.

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7. Be Grateful

The hardest part for me was putting together my support team in accordance with Guinesses’ strict guidelines. Getting strangers to volunteer their own time for little to no reward is a big ask even for the most charitable. There’s no way I would have lasted the full time without their support, insults and general tomfoolery. I was also incredibly lucky to get this opportunity to support one of my favourite charities. Be grateful! You get to play videogames for 24 hours+ straight!

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Are you planning a gaming marathon? let us know. or maybe you’re thinking of having a crack at a world record of your own? feel free to get in touch for any advice or even if you need an expert witness :)

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GamePointsNow Named In Ingenious Britons 2014 List

600600p666EDNmain10ingenious-britons-award-245x300We here at TeamGPN are delighted to announce that we’ve been named amongst 10 Ingenious Britons by small business network Ingenious Britain

“As part of our preparations for Ingenious Britain Live!, the Festival of Small Business, in September at Millennium Point Birmingham, we began a search for ten Ingenious Britons,” explains Marlon Wolff, CEO, Ingenious Britain.

“We wanted these to be small business owners who could demonstrate a tangible impact on their business as a result of being ingenious, whether that was through the business idea itself, in their use of money or funding, through their marketing, business processes or models or some other way in which being ingenious has led to growth or success for their company. It’s fair to say that we have been blown away by the quality of our final ten.”

It is a real honour for all of us here at GPN to be recognised in this manner and we are extremely proud and humbled to be listed alongside other great UK based companies.

GPN MD's Simon Ward & Charanjeet Kondal

GPN MD’s Simon Ward & Charanjeet Kondal

Here’s a quote from MD of Game Points Now Limited Simon Ward

“I’m absolutely thrilled that the business has been chosen to represent Ingenious Britain 2014. It’s proof that if you believe in your idea and offer a service that customers really value, there’s no limit to what can be achieved. I’m extremely proud of all our team and can’t wait for the live event in my hometown of Birmingham.”

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You can check out the full press release and other Ingenious Briton’s here

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GamePointsNow nominated for National Industry Excellence Awards

MCV-2

Every year gaming industry trade magazine MCV holds it’s industry excellence awards, celebrating commercial and creative success and innovation within the video game industry.

 We are delighted to announce that this year GamePointsNow/GameKeysNow has been recognised and nominated for TWO of the prestigious awards.

 We will be up against some of the biggest names in gaming in the Retail Concept category, fellow nominees include: Game, Xbox, Nintendo and InsertCoin.

 We are also up for Independent Retailer – Online in recognition of our awesome service and commitment to our customers.

 The whole team here at GPN/GKN would like to thank all our awesome customers for their support, and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with our experience of the awards when they are held in London on April 10th.

 You can check out the full list of awards and nominees here

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GPN Stock – See where your Xbox Live codes/Xbox Gift Cards come from

Where do you think the Xbox Gift Cards/Xbox Live codes you buy from us come from? Well, the answer is physical stock. We buy in bulk and open/scratch/scan the codes in our Birmingham (UK) warehouse.

We thought you might enjoy seeing a little behind the scenes, so we’re going to take photos of some of the stock that comes through our warehouse each day:

22nd January 2014

Some poor soul had to open all these :(

Some poor soul had to open all these :(

an awful lot of WOW

an awful lot of WOW

17th January 2014

More than enough to see you through

Or if you prefer 100 years of scoring goals and virtually shooting people in the face

100 years of Xbox Live

100 years of Xbox Live

15th January 2014

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Choices, choices

13th January 2014

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A whole load of WoW cards arrived today

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Apparently these are pretty popular

 

9th January 2014

Think of all the micro-transactions you could buy with these.

Think of all the micro-transactions you could buy with these.

A whole lot of £15 Xbox gift cards

A whole lot of £15 Xbox gift cards

6th January 2014

20 Euro PSN vouchers to help you prepare for the year of gaming ahead

20 Euro PSN vouchers to help you prepare for the year of gaming ahead

20th December 2013

FF XIV cards to help prepare for 2014 and beyond

FF XIV cards to help prepare for 2014 and beyond

A box Choc(obo) full of 60 day FF XIV cards

A box Choc(obo) full of 60 day FF XIV cards

18th December 2014

Enough Guild Wars 2 cards to stock up the biggest of guilds

Enough Guild Wars 2 cards to stock up the biggest of guilds

2nd December 2013

WOW that's a lot of World of Warcraft game cards

WOW that’s a lot of World of Warcraft game cards

Even more 60 day WOW cards. Time to get adventuring

Even more 60 day WOW cards.Time to get adventuring

 

14th November 2013

£25 PSN Vouchers. They work on the PS4 too y’know

£25 PSN Vouchers. They work on the PS4 too y’know

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Yep, we’re ready for the PS4 :)

 

13th November 2013

£25 PSN Vouchers. They work on the PS4 too y'know

£25 PSN Vouchers. They work on the PS4 too y’know

12th November 2013

2100 points! Nothing but 2100 points!

2100 points! Nothing but 2100 points!

11th November 2013

These Xbox Gift Cards come in Euro flavours now

These Xbox Gift Cards come in Euro flavours now

8th November 2013

UK £35 PSN vouchers

UK £35 PSN vouchers

6th November 2013

PSN £35 vouchers

PSN £35 vouchers

We sell more PC stock on gamekeysnow.com

We sell more PC stock on gamekeysnow.com

5th November 2013

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12 Month codes. Work on Xbox 360 and Xbox One

 

4th November 2013

G-g-g--g-gghosts! This version is a code-in-a-box that gives you Ghosts on 360 and XB1. Plus, we got these free bonus stylish COD: Ghosts scarves to wear around the office :)

G-g-g–g-gghosts! This version is a code-in-a-box that gives you Ghosts on 360 and XB1. Plus, we got these free bonus stylish COD: Ghosts scarves to wear around the office :)

28th October 2013

£25 Xbox Gift cards. They work on XB360 and XB1 you know

£25 Xbox Gift cards. They work on XB360 and XB1 you know

25th October 2013

Microsoft money. Like Monopoly money but more useful :)

Microsoft money. Like Monopoly money but more useful :)

24th October 2013

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It’s FIFA time again! Let’s look at the FIFA branded 12 +1s

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More 800 points for Xbox 360/Xbox One

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Ever wondered how much it would cost to buy eveything on Xbox Live? Probably more than all these 4200 points cards!

 

23rd October 2013

We love branded points, it brightens up our day after opening 1000s of the same type

We love branded points, it brightens up our day after opening 1000s of the same type

22nd October 2013

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4200 Points still work on Xbox accounts; they give you local currency instead

 

21st October 2013

300 Xbox 1 Month codes came in today

300 Xbox 1 Month codes came in today

18th October 2013

50 years of Xbox Live. I'm totally ready for Halo 34

50 years of Xbox Live. I’m totally ready for Halo 34

More 800 points. Told ya we got through a lot

More 800 points. Told ya we got through a lot

These PSN £20 vouchers are pretty new in stock. Why Sony only just thought of making £20 ones I don't know...

These PSN £20 vouchers are pretty new in stock. Why Sony only just thought of making £20 ones I don’t know…

17th October 2013

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What would you buy with £2k of Playstation vouchers?

 

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400x 800 Microsoft Points. You’d be surprised how quickly we get through these…

IMG_2497Taking a closer look. These now give you £6.80 credit for your Xbox account

 

 

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