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Mop-Up Marathon Wrap Up!

Over the course of the two years we've been doing these video gaming Marathons for charity, we've left a lot of games unfinished. The Mop-Up Marathon was held so that we could beat all of those games. The fundraiser started July 15th at noon and ended July 18th at around 5PM (Eastern Time)-- about 77 hours of straight gaming. How'd we do?

Here's the good news: We raised $10,663.52 as of this posting for Free the Children! The money will go to funding the construction and stocking of a brand new schoolhouse in Sri Lanka! (Having anything, let alone an entire schoolhouse, be made through the power of the Philips CD-i is nothing short of an absolute miracle). The school will go a long way to improve the quality of life everywhere in the region and I'll be sure to post up information and photos regarding it as soon as they're made available.

In terms of actually mopping up the unfinished games, well... let's take a look at the list.

Marathon Details and Delay

You may have noticed the countdown timer above has a few more days added to it. No, we haven't quite figured out how to go back in time (yet).

We here at ExtraLives.org strive to make every Marathon entertaining for everyone involved. A few difficulties have cropped up recently that impede planning and would likely impact the quality of the broadcast. We can't have that! So, that's why we've decided to push back the start of the Mop-Up Marathon by a couple of weeks.

The upcoming Mop-Up Marathon will no longer start this Friday, July 1st. It will now start Friday, July 15th. Again, that's TWO WEEKS AWAY! Mark your calendars! ...again!

The games list will remain the same (you can see it in the news post below, I'll make a Marathon page shortly-- finally just got the Minecraft banners off the front page). Still, we've got a few neat additions to the fundraiser to mention.

  • Tune in a few hours before the Marathon starts for a pre-show event that has actually been planned! We'll be playing The Sims with all of the ExtraLives.org team members all living under one roof. For accuracy, we won't have beds and every room will have a coffeemaker. 
  • Remember our kickass theme song? Well, the guy who made it has another one made up for us and says he will only release it once donations are "over 9000!" Nobody has had the chance to hear the song yet so let's try and reach that donation goal!
  • Just like the Mario Retrospective Marathon, we'll be simulcasting this Marathon on both Justin.tv and Usream.tv. I promise the Justin.tv chat won't be ignored this time!

If anything else regarding the fundraiser crops up, I'll let everyone know. Plus, if there's something you'd like to see at the upcoming Marathon, shoot me an email and we'll try to integrate it in if we feel it'll work.

Also, the deadline for banner submissions has passed. We've got six banners up in a random rotation, though everyone who submitted a banner will receive three entries in our raffle for ExtraLives.org T-shirts. Thanks for the submissions, everyone! Here are the banners we'll be using:

Mop-Up Marathon Games!

The Mop-Up Marathon is in a little over ten days. I suppose that means we should have a finalized list of games for it then, eh? Seems like a good idea...

Well, here's the official list of games we'll be playing for our upcoming Mop-Up Marathon, set to coincide with and commemorate the 2nd anniversary of ExtraLives.org!

Games will be split up into various blocks that are named after the Marathon from which we first played the games. All of the games in this list are representative of games we've left unfinished over the years and will (hopefully) finish up in the forthcoming fundraiser! 

Banner Contest and More!

Hey, the next Marathon is coming up pretty soon if you can believe it (Friday, July 1st!). I'll have to dust off the CDi (and maybe spray some air freshener around...) soon, but before that... we need a banner! Remember, I can't draw so it's up to you guys to make us some great banners!

Next Marathon Annoucement!

It's hard to believe that nearly two years ago we held our first video gaming Marathon. In the span of two years, we have...

  • Raised over $64,000 for various charities and nonprofits
  • Funded the construction of four schoolhouses in developing nations worldwide
  • Accrued many hundreds of thousands of viewers
  • Played close to one-hundred games
  • Purchased two Philips CD-i consoles (and cleaned barf off of one)
  • Burned through four capture devices, one TV, and a good portion of my den's carpet
  • And have deprived the world of countless weeks of productivity

Pretty good for two years time! A huge thanks goes out to everyone who made this all possible; every donor, every viewer-- we would have never gotten anywhere without your generous support!

Minecraft Marathon Results!

I mentioned before that we didn't have any Marathon planned for spring break. College swalllows up more time than I could have ever imagined and given the distance that's now between all of the ExtraLives.org team members... well, planning anything was difficult.

Still, faced with the horrific situation in Japan with nearly 14,000 people dead and countless more missing, we had to do something. In a few days, we had scraped together the idea of a Minecraft Marathon in the spirit of the speedy recovery and reconstruction of Japan.

Short, last-minute and quickly put together with only a couple of ExtraLives.org members being present, this fundraiser had the odds totally stacked against it. Despite concerns about people actually watching this thing, I started playing Minecraft at noon, Eastern Time, on Friday, March 25th.

Thanks to tens of thousands of viewers, a little help from Notch, a bunch of awesome donors and a couple of (huge) cups of coffee, we managed to play Minecraft for about 37 hours straight-- without sleep! The Marathon would have gone on for longer but I had to head back to college the next morning.

Despite this being the shortest fundraiser we've ever had, it still raised $9,099.33 for the International Medical Corps! Hour for hour, this was the most successful Marathon we've ever had in terms of donations-- not too bad for something that came together so quickly!

Emergency Japan Aid Fundraiser!

Given how weird everyone's schedule now that we're all in college, there originally weren't any plans for any sort of fundraising broadcast over Spring Break.

That was before Japan was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake resulting in a massive tsunami that has left more than 8,000 dead and over 12,000 still missing. More than 1.5 million households were left without water, 4.4 million lack electricity and multiple nuclear power plants were damaged and now pose the threat of melting down. I can't even begin to estimate how much cleaning up this mess will cost, let alone the total economic impact of the whole disaster.

Clearly, given all of the devastation, we've got to do something. Given the nature of ExtraLives.org, there's one specific thing we can offer to provide aid to the Japanese. And that is...

...yes, you guessed it, a video gaming Marathon!

In the spirit of rebirth and reconstruction, we'll be holding a Minecraft Marathon this Friday, March 25th at 12:00 noon, Eastern Time. There's no set end time (though I do have to go back to college that Sunday around noon), so expect it to be around 36 or so hours long. It's a tad shorter than our typical Marathons but given the unexpected nature of the disaster in Japan (and my short spring break), we're doing the best we can to bring everything together.

Where Do Your Donations Go?

You guys may have noticed that we've been raising money for Free the Children in a lot of our Marathons recently. There's a reason for that (and it's not just because we're too lazy to find any other charity to donate to).

These guys consistently get results. Instead of just throwing money into a large, anonymous pot of donations for a charity, wouldn't you like to know what exactly you're funding?

Every Marathon we've held for Free the Children has raised upwards of $10,000-- more than enough to build and furnish a single-room schoolhouse or add an additional room to an existing structure. Free the Children sends me reports twice a year regarding the communities where the donations went and I'd like to share this information with everyone.

The Legend of Zelda Marathon raised over $12,000 and the donations went to fund the construction of a schoolhouse in Chismaute, a small village in Ecuador. Here is a photo of the new schoolhouse in the village (and another is on the way!)


Mario Retrospective Marathon Retrospective!

Hi! It is me again, do you think the update has started cuz it hasent ! hahahahahhahhah

...er, now that I've gotten that out of my system, I really need to express my thanks to everyone who tuned in to our Super Mario Retrospective Marathon held over the New Year from December 30th to January 2nd. Thanks to everyone's amazing generosity, we've raised $11,121.11 for Free the Children (and counting! Donations don't close until the end of the month). You guys voted and decided you'd like to see this money go towards funding the construction and furnishing of a schoolhouse in Haiti.

More than 66,000 of you guys turned in to watch us fumble through various Mario games. Split into two teams, Team Fire Flower and Team Mushroom, we raced through Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Super Mario World, Super Mario World 2, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. Team Mushroom won essentially all of these races except for Super Mario Sunshine, where, under the leadership of American Steve, Team Fire Flower executed an impressive comeback and took out Bowser first. We never ended up beating Super Mario Bros. 2 (whoops) and ran out of time to play Super Mario Galaxy 2 (if we only didn't spend so much time failing at Mario 2...).

It also turns out I'm pretty bad at Mario Party, we know nothing about the history involved with Mario's Time Machine, the Chinese Hall of Good Harvest was built without nails (but apparently with air conditioning?) and you guys are capable of writing some pretty amazingly bad fanfics.

Super Mario Retrospective Marathon!

I just wanted to thank everyone who submitted a banner for this Marathon. Not every banner made it into the mix but a good deal of them did-- keep refreshing to go through the banner rotation to see if yours made the cut! In any event, every one of you who submitted a banner received three entries into the raffle which will be for some ExtraLives.org T-shirts (they'll get out on time, I swear!) and possibly some other items (waiting on a handful of emails before I can divulge details).

So, as I mentioned, the Marathon will begin Thursday, December 30th at 12:00 noon (Eastern time) and end Sunday, January 2nd (or so-- who knows, maybe if the momentum is still there, we'll keep going). Just as we did last year, we'll be playing through New Years.

Also, the yellow Free the Children banners are on full display-- what can I say? I love these guys-- they always do great things with your donations, are perpetually appreciative and extremely generous and helpful. Let's build another schoolhouse somewhere (or maybe raise that goat army we're always talking about).