Video games all day and all night! York father and son, 6, attempt 24-hour charity marathon

Sparky and Son, aka Mark and Liam Foster
20 Feb 2016 @ 4.12 pm
| Charity

Their thumbs will be blistered, their eyes square. But it will be worth it as a York father and son stage a 24-hour video game marathon for charity.

Sponsor Sparky & Son online here

Mark Foster and his six-year-old son Liam are attempting the feat in their home in Clifton Moor from 10am on Saturday, February 20.

They are raising funds for SpecialEffect, a charity which helps disabled youngsters enjoy video games.

The duo are known as Sparky and Son on their YouTube channel.

Mark will be playing games pretty much continuously, while Liam will be joining in for some of the time, as part of GameBlast, the UK’s largest gaming marathon weekend.

“SpecialEffect struck a nerve as I know how much fun it is to enjoy video games with my son, so I wanted to do something to help,” said Mark.

Sparky and Son’s list of sponsored challenges

£25 – We’ll play 10 mins of a game 1-handed! (achieved)
£50 – We’ll wear our clothes backwards for the rest of the stream! (achieved)
£75 – We’ll play 15 mins of the current game in the “not my arms” style!*
£100 – I’ll shave off half my beard and stay like that for the rest of the stream!
£125 – Little Spark (Or us, if he’s in bed) will apply lipstick to us blindfolded!
£150 – We’ll each (me and Andy) eat a full chilli live on the stream!
£175 – We’ll finish our full face makeup blindfolded! (by Little Spark if he’s awake)
£200 – The idea was to shave off half the hair on my head to contrast to the beard, however, Mrs Spark has said she will pay £100 for me to not do that! So we’ll either have me half bald or we will have raised £300!
£300+ If we are that lucky then I’m sure we can come up with something!

Mark is a duty manager at the National Railway Museum and his NRM colleague, Andy Lickley, will be helping for the entirety of the 24 hour show.

‘Gaming can be very sociable’

We asked Mark a few questions about their gaming and YouTube channel…

Which are your favourite games?

My favourite games would most likely be Minecraft, Skyrim and Diablo 3. Liam’s are Minecraft and Terraria.


What’s the response been like to your YouTube channel?

It’s only a small channel with around 400+ subscribers, but we do have a number of active viewers that like to comment on our videos and get a lot of interaction from people through Twitter as well.

Long criticised as being passive or isolating, is gaming a much underrated activity?

We’ve met a good few friends through gaming from all over the country and it can be very sociable too.

We have our own private server for Minecraft where a few of our other friends can join us and just generally play and chat via Skype, we also Livestream together once a week too.

Liam loves it when we record as we have so much fun when playing and he loves to interact with the camera, I think it has really improved his confidence too.

The 24-hour gaming session sounds tough. How much of it will your son be involved in, and how do you plan to survive it?

Liam will be around for little spells during the day, I’m not wanting him to join in for the entirety so his mum will be looking after him and letting him join in on the games he likes.

It’s the first time I’ve attempted anything like this, I’ve had many a late night gaming session but none quite on this scale.

Plenty of healthy snacks to see us through, rather than big meals that may make us drowsy and plenty of water, as there will be a lot of talking!

“Sparky and Son’s efforts will help people like Ben, who never thought he’d be able to play video games because his spinal muscular atrophy prevented him from using a controller,” said Mark Saville of the SpecialEffect charity.

“The sponsorship raised through the GameBlast weekend will change the lives of many more people like Ben through the gift of gaming fun and inclusivity.”