Comedian John Robertson will perform a marathon 50 hour Twitch stream of his interactive, gaming-themed standup show ‘The Dark Room’ to raise money for foodbank and suicide prevention charities. The show will run from 3pm EST / 12pm PST / 8pm GMT on December 2 to 5pm EST / 2pm PST / 10pm GMT on December 4, and Robertson promises special guests and prizes that range from “crap, to quite good!”
Robertson describes The Dark Room as “a deranged live-action videogame that fuses stand-up, text adventures, RPGs and this year… lighthouses”. Riffing on classic adventure games like Zork and Kings Quest, Robertson acts as both Dungeon Master and stand-up comedian, while the audience must navigate a baffling text adventure. Robertson’s stage persona is part Mad Max, part Gatekeeper from Atmosfear (one of the campest, and best 90s board games.)
According to Robertson the show works well on Twitch: “You come in, get in the chat, vote for options on a screen and try to win.” Prizes have been provided by Bethesda, Square Enix, Overclockers and others, which will go to donors and random members of the chat.
The Dark Room began life as an experimental YouTube game back in 2012, before Robertson converted it into a live comedy experience. It has since toured to comedy festivals and gaming events alike, including the UK Games Expo and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
This isn’t the first time The Dark Room has been used to raise funds for charity. The pinned Tweet at the top of Robertson’s twitter profile states: “My first charity Twitch stream was 24th Feb 2020… in two years we’ve raised £104,424.61 for charities covering NHS, mental health, homelessness, LGBTQIA+, anti-racism, women’s safety, and gamers with disabilities.” This year, Robertson is asking people to donate to the Trussell Trust foodbank charity and the Samaritans suicide prevention helpline.
The trailer for the fundraiser promises guest appearances from British comedians Mark Watson and Robin Ince, plus streamers Knightenator and JoshStrifeHayes, among many others. Despite having help, Robertson will attempt to remain conscious for the full fifty hours, saying “the causes we raise money for are always for people in extreme crisis, so I took what I know how to do – make interactive, high-energy, geeky stand-up comedy – and then I added an extreme crisis – do it for 50 hours! Come watch me do this thing until I break!”
“As physically difficult as this kind of show is, it’s still nothing on needing to call Samaritans, or having to get an emergency food parcel from Trussell Trust to feed you and your kids,” Robertson adds.
“The fear of letting people down keeps me up at night anyway, so it can just work overtime this weekend.”
You can catch the LiveStream on Robertson’s Twitch channel from 8pm GMT December 2.
Should you get a taste for text-based puzzling while watching the stream, we have a guide to escape room games that are worth your while. We’ve also explored the crossover between comedy and gaming in our guide to funny board games.