Today marks the start of the Mario Marathon 6, the, well… sixth annual charity event where a bunch of Mario fans play games non-stop to raise money for Child’s Play. In the past five years, they’ve raised over $300,000 to help give hospitalized kids toys and games.
Mario Marathon is always a great way to spend a weekend. They’ll play every game non-stop until the donations run out, all while sitting in a room that looks like Mario heaven (or hell, if you really hate Mario for some reason). Not only are the Mario games fun and whimsical, with a ton of nostalgia, but the group of people who run the Marathon – from playing the game to providing moral support and entertainment for the players and the viewers – are a lot of fun to watch. A couple of years ago they started using something called the Wheel of Awesome: at every $1000 of donations, the wheel spins and the people in the room perform a usually silly action for the amusement of the viewers.
I usually keep the Marathon on my laptop while I do other stuff, and donate occasionally when it’s time for the Wheel of Awesome, for the last push to unlock a game I love, or to enter into a contest to win some awesome prizes.
The Marathon airs live on Twitch TV, and you can check it out on their website, mariomarathon.com. It will probably run through the weekend and well into the week. All donations go directly to Child’s Play, so you can rest secure in the knowledge that you’re having a lot of fun for a great cause.