Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mario Marathon

I've been watching the Mario Marathon as I work on my art this weekend, and this was my hastily-done entry for their coloring contest last night. They provided several scans from a Mario coloring book for people to color in and submit. (I didn't win!)

The marathon is pretty amazing; it's just a group of guys in a living room who play Mario games for hours on end to get people to donate to the Child's Play charity. You watch them via a webcam, interact with them via a chat application, and the more money people donate the more levels they play. The Child's Play charity, if you don't know, is a charity that gives video games and toys to kids in hospitals. The guys who do the marathon aren't even remotely affiliated with the charity itself; they are literally just some guys with a Wii and a webcam which is what makes it so amazing. The marathon is still going on as I write this, and they started on Friday at 11 am. That's over 105 straight hours of video game playing that has raised over $75,000! It's so cool to watch the people in the chat get attached to the different players that come and go (who are all family and friends of the guys putting on the marathon.) They treat them like characters in a TV show; becoming fans and asking when a specific person will return. There are randomly set donation goals that are very entertaining, such as "donate another $1,000 and we'll all dance to the Mario Super Show theme song" ...and they do! No matter how sleep deprived or out of it they are, they take a break from playing the insanely hard levels over and over to do silly stunts so people will give more money to sick kids.

I could write much more about how surprisingly engaging and funny it is to watch a group of strangers play video games, especially because of moments like when one of the friends accidentally said his address on camera, or when Will Wheaton and Felicia Day called in, but I have already said plenty! These guys do a great job, have amazing endurance, and I hope they do it again next year.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Really great stuff there