Covid-19 might be keeping the world apart, but Kiwi ingenuity has found a unique way to bring everyone together for a good cause.
Auckland hobby store Card Merchant is running an online trading card game tournament to raise money for the Cancer Society.
More than 165 players from across the globe are participating, and about $40,000 has been raised so far.
The game, called "Flesh and Blood", was released by Auckland-based Legend Story Studios in 2019.
Two players each pick a hero, such as a wizard or a ninja, and attempt to use a range of unique abilities to defeat each other.
Flesh and Blood has been massively successful here and overseas, despite the fact it's designed to be played physically in person.
Because of the different pandemic statuses of each country, overseas players have found alternative ways to engage in combat, like using webcams, or a digital program that simulates tabletop games.
Over the next few weeks, those who signed up to the Card Merchant tournament will be randomly paired up to battle it out, advancing to their next match after each victory.
Card Merchant owner Matt Rogers said the idea to run a giant online tournament came to him when the father of one of his close friends died after battling cancer.
Since both he and his friend play the game, Rogers decided it was the perfect way to show solidarity, and rally the gaming community behind the cause.
"We really do care about each other. When someone's having a rough time, you meet at the bar for a drink and a game."
Rogers said he initially wanted to do something small, but it wasn't long before he realised how keen players from all over the world were to get involved.
"It's absolutely mind boggling that we've cracked this much."
Flesh and Blood creator James White said it was his mission to bring people together in the flesh and blood through the common language of playing games.
Even though players were currently using computers rather than sitting together at a table, White said the tournament captured the spirit of that mission perfectly.
"Community is a vital part of every person's life. In good times and hard times, being there for each other makes life better."
The tournament is expected to last about four weeks.