Chaos for a good cause: Gaming group raising money for Souls Harbour Saturday

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Chaos for a good cause: Gaming group raising money for Souls Harbour Saturday

Some men just want to watch the world burn. Murray Bennett is one of them.

Though Bennett restricts his passion for chaos to the world of fantasy roleplaying games.

He's taking part in a fundraiser on Saturday for Regina's Souls Harbour Rescue Mission. Organized by the gaming group SaskGames, Bennett and dozens of other people are taking part in a what he calls a "megagame" at the Artful Dodger, from 9:30 to 5:00 CST.

A megagame is a large, roleplaying game which can involve hundreds of players at once — but Regina's will be a little smaller, Bennett told CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend. 

He's part of a control team, whose members can step in to alter the course of the roleplaying game — similar to the role of dungeon master in the classic roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons.

"We get to kind of play God and mess with [the teams] if things are going too smoothly," Bennett said.

"It's no fun if there's not chaos. One of the key things about a megagame is it should be chaos."

The megagame phenomenon started around three decades ago in the United Kingdom, but the first one in Canada took place only three years ago, Bennett said. 

The megagame participants in Regina this weekend are playing Alliance, a game that sees teams of two or three people representing various countries throughout the world.

A duo of Mikes, Michael Sherar and Mike Brown, represented North Korea in the game. Brown was the president and Sherar was the team's military and science consultant.

The team's gameplan was to cause trouble and do whatever they needed to achieve their agenda, Sherar said. 

"We have been spreading rumours ... We stole some other players' chips. I don't know if they know about that," Sherar said. 

The duo also started a heroin trafficking unit in the game, and planned on borrowing money from the U.S. team — with no intention of paying it back.

But Sherar says in spite of the somewhat shady deals in the game, the event has positive intentions in raising money for Souls Harbor.

"In these times, it's good to look out for those vulnerable service providers who are providing essential services in this city and this province, that really are not getting a lot of support from anywhere else," he said. 

The fundraiser is being held as part of the Play with Your Food charity drive. Last year's game saw players fight off decrepit, undead corpses in a game called Urban Nightmare. 

"It is a huge adrenaline rush," Bennett said of the eight hour plus sessions. 

"The thing I enjoy the most, I think, is seeing the players work off of each other, the effort they put into their costumes to come out and the effort they actually put in to being fully immersed in the game," Bennett said.

More information about the event can be found on the SaskGames website.