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Gaming enthusiast raises $12,000 for Sightsavers by completing game blindfolded

25 June 2017 Andrew Wissler, blindfolded gamer, sitting down and smiling.

Avid gamer Andrew Wissler, from Pittsburgh in the US, has raised $12,000 (£9,260) for Sightsavers by completing popular game ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’ while wearing a blindfold.

Andrew navigated the game’s puzzles and battled against enemies to complete the game within 24 hours, relying solely on the sound effects and his experience.

Explaining why he wanted to raise money by playing the game blindfolded, Andrew said: “I became friends with a guy named Jordan, who has been blind from birth but who has always had a passion for gaming. His goal was to one day beat ‘Zelda’, but it’s a hard 3D game, with complex layouts and puzzles so he needed some help.

“I wrote instructions for him based on the sounds of the game, and a screenreader would read it back as he played. It took us a few years of on-and-off effort with several other contributors, but he finally did it. I was so inspired, I wanted to try my hand at playing and beating the game blindfolded.”

Andrew has completed charity gaming marathons in the past, and has more than 36,000 followers on Twitch, a live streaming social video platform. All of his followers, along with the public, were able to follow his progress via a live feed throughout the challenge.

“I’ve always wanted to help raise awareness and do something positive for those with visual impairments,” said Andrew. “I wanted to pick a charity that had the same goals in mind, and seeing the work Sightsavers does, it felt like a great match.”

As well as donating all the funds he made in June on Twitch to Sightsavers, Andrew also encouraged his followers to donate throughout the event.

Andrew Wissler dressed as Link, the main character in The Legend of Zelda.

Andrew dressed as Link, the main character in The Legend of Zelda.

He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled with how the event turned out. The audience seemed to really enjoy themselves and I am so lucky to have a community on Twitch that was so caring and gave so much to Sightsavers.

“There were so many highs and lows throughout the game that it really felt like a long journey to get to the end. When I was struggling near the end to finish, the donations that were pouring in to help reach the $10,000 goal kept me motivated to finish on a positive note. I didn’t want to let them down.”

Andrew eventually smashed his fundraising target, raising more than $12,000.

If you’re inspired by his efforts and are interested in taking on a challenge to raise money for Sightsavers, see our fundraising pages to find out how you can get involved.

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