I’m not a gamer. I don’t particularly care about video games or the news about them. It’s not that I’m a jerk (well I am, but that’s a different story), it’s just that my fancy is not struck. Still, because of my participation in the Mario Marathon, people tell me about other marathons that are going on.
To my knowledge, last year’s Mario Marathon was one of the first marathon designed from the beginning to be a fundraiser for charity. In the weeks since Mario Marathon 2, several more game marathons have occurred. Some of these were certainly planned well in advance, and they all enjoyed a certain amount of success.
The most successful marathon was done by the folks at TheSpeedGamers. These guys did their first marathon in March 2008 and have been marathoning various games every few months since. Their Final Fantasy Marathon raised over $50,000 in 168 hours. In another two weeks, they will be doing a 72-hour Megaman marathon. They are less than 20k away from raising $100,000 total for various charities in the past year and a half.
A group of high school students recently completed what appears to be their first marathon: a Sonic the Hedgehog marathon that raised over a thousand dollars for the World Food Programme. From their website, it looks like they intend to do a marathon of a different game series each month. It’s worth noting that they also credit their inspiration to Cameron Banga’s Zelda Marathon, the same event that inspired Shirt Guy to do the Mario Marathon.
I’ve also been told about a Crash Bandicoot Marathon that was apparently held last weekend (or the week before, it’s not entirely clear). This event raised several hundred dollars for the Children’s Miracle Network, another worthy charity. A World of Warcraft Marathon is currently running and so far has raised over five thousand dollars for Child’s Play. It seems that the video game marathon is becoming a popular way of raising money for charity, and why not? The players enjoy playing, and the game enthusiasts enjoy watching. Not only is it cheap entertainment, but it is a great way to get donations from a demographic that is often overlooked by traditional charity drives. And the best part is that many people in need have received significant assistance.