It upsets me to this very day that there are still people out there who believe that gamers are hostile people who don’t give a crap about the outside world. They seem to think that we all spend 24 hours a day locked in our basements, playing violent shooting games, and have no ability to show any sort of compassion for the less fortunate. As you might have already guessed by now, this exaggeration couldn’t be further from the truth. There are people out there who care, and the Child’s Play Charity organization is one of them.
Child’s Play was founded back in 2003 by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, who are the authors of the popular webcomic Penny Arcade. The goal here was to send out toys, books, and games to childrens hospitals all over the world. Even though this obviously won’t cure any diseases, it gives kids a fun, and less depressing way to experience a trip to the hospital. Over $250,000 was raised during the first year, and as of 2011, almost $9 million dollars in total donations have been received. Some people have even started gaming marathons to show their support, one of them being the now 4 years and counting Mario Marathon.
The Mario Marathon is an event, broadcasted live on Ustream, where a group of people try to complete every Mario game ever made over a weekend, all while raising money for the charity. Donations earned not only benefit children in need, but also have an effect on how much of each game that they have to play, or what special thing they have to do when a certain amount is reached. Fans can interact through a live twitter feed on the groups website, and participate in giveaways as well. All in all, it is a fun experience for a good cause, and shows that this community is not as divided as some people might think.
Be sure to tune in this Friday, June 24th, at 11 am EDT for Mario Marathon 4. You can watch the event either on Ustream, or on their website at http://www.mariomarathon.com/, see you there.