Last week, starting Saturday, March 27th, we pulled out and dusted off our Nintendo 64 consoles to relive the glory days of the console. Some things never seem to change-- the games required us to blow into the cartridge slot quite a bit before they'd agree to play correctly (and just as always, we had to be worried about the ever-present danger of the games freezing up on us).
Still, despite their age, the consoles performed admirably, proving that older games could be just as fun as their modern counterparts. Even if they do freeze if you happen to look at them the wrong way.
The Marathon lasted slightly longer than its projected time (about 65 hours, total-- close enough to 64 for me!). Despite the fact that this Marathon ground our analogue sticks down to dust, we raised $10,051 for Free the Children! The money will be used to fund the construction of a schoolhouse in Kenya, stock it with books and furniture and provide a lunch program for hungry students. Whenever I receive information regarding the schoolhouse and village it'll be constructed in, I'll post it all up here.
Throughout the course of the broadcast, 62,942 of you tuned in from over 100 countries (102, to be exact), watching us for a total of over 30,000 hours-- that's nearly 3.5 years!
You may have noticed that the site seems very familiar. The Free the Children banner is still up and the ChipIn widget still asks you to donate to Free the Children. Why?
The answer is quite simple, really: We're going to be raising money for Free the Children for the 64 Hours of the Nintendo 64 Marathon coming up on Saturday, March 27th! I realize we also raised money for them through the Legend of Zelda Marathon, but I really cannot say enough good things about this charity.
Last week, we invited you to vote on the banner you thought best represented our 64 Hours of the Nintendo 64 Marathon. Over six-hundred of you guys cast your vote and despite the winner changing multiple times throughout the voting, the following banners landed themselves in the top three places. Everyone congratulate...
...Chris! With 151 votes (23% of the total), Chris's banner won him five free entries in our Nintendo 64 raffle. His banner is below.
Second place goes to Jeremy Osler, who received 146 votes (or 22% of the total). His banner won him three entries in our Nintendo 64 raffle and is shown below:
With 81 votes (and 12% of the total), third place and one entry in our N64 raffle go to jmdbcool. His banner is below:
You might have noticed that the Zelda banners at the top of this page are gone and some crudely-drawn Microsoft Paint picture of a Nintendo 64 has taken their place. Do not be alarmed-- I'm just introducing the next banner contest for our upcoming Marathon, 64 Hours of the Nintendo 64!
Just a few quick details about the next Marathon before I get into specifics about the banner contest.
Provided nothing goes terribly wrong, it will start Saturday, March 27th at 12:00noon (Eastern Time)
It'll last for about 64 hours. How do I know this? I've crunched the numbers for the total gameplay time for our top ten list and (factoring in our inevitable mistakes brought about by our perpetual incompetence) it works out to about that long.
If we finish all of the games before the 64 hours, we'll keep playing until the 64 hour mark is reached. If there's a couple of hours left to go until the last game is finished, we'll finish it up. If there's a sizable amount of gaming time left, we'll decide how long to continue the broadcast before (or if) we call it quits.
I'm still working out which nonprofit this Marathon will be for. I'm leaning toward Free the Children again, but I'm open to other charities. It'd be pretty amazing if we could build another schoolhouse...
So... banner contest! While I did waste a lot of time drawing that Nintendo 64 out, pixel by pixel in Microsoft Paint, we're looking for a nicer looking banner (hopefully one with less abuse of the spray can tool).
Last week, I challanged you guys to make us some banners for the Marathon. That Microsoft Paint placeholder banner had to go-- we needed something more professional (and with less abuse of the spray can tool).
Luckily, we received fourteen banners over the past week! They're all much more than what I can do using MS Paint and any of them would be worthy to be a winner.
Now we need your help again! Look through all of the submissions below and cast your vote for whichever banner is your favorite and is best suited to represent our 64 Hours of the Nintendo 64 Marathon (starting March 27th at 12:00 PMnoon, Eastern time). The voting will end next Tuesday, March 9th.
The top three banners will be used on the site in a random rotation (much like the banners for the Zelda Marathon). We're also raffling off a Nintendo 64 and the top 5 games from our top 10 list. The first place banner wins 5 entries (a $25 value) in our prize raffle, while second and third will receive 3 (a $15 value) and 1 (a $5 value) entries respectively.
Playing games alone just doesn't have the same appeal as broadcasting a video gaming Marathon. Considering it's been quite some time since the Legend of Zelda Marathon, I think it's about time for another one!
Introducing... The Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games Marathon (Working title)!
There's no doubt that the Nintendo 64 had a bunch of great games, many of which still influence the video gaming industry today. We'll pay homage to that oddly-shaped black box the only way we know how-- by playing through ten of our favorite Nintendo 64 games back-to-back.
What exactly are those games, you ask? We'll reveal the list as we play through them during the Marathon, so be sure to tune in! Will your favorite game make the cut?
Wow, has it already been a month since The Legend of Zelda Marathon ended? It certainly doesn't feel that way...
In any event, I've recently received some information from Free the Children regarding the $12,219.20 raised (again, I can't thank you guys enough for your support). As previously mentioned, the money will be put toward constructing and furnishing a school, filling it with books and supplies, funding teacher training programs and salaries and providing a school lunch program for hungry children for about two years.
Then again, that's all old information. I've got some new information regarding the school. First of all, it'll be built in Ecuador. I don't have a definite time for when construction will start, but I've been told that it'll take approximately ten months to build. We'll receive updates twice a year (once in the spring and once in the fall) with pictures of the schoolhouse, information about the village we're supporting and stories about the direct beneficiaries of the project. Whenever I get this information, I'll post another update.
Although construction of our schoolhouse has not yet begun, I've received some pictures of some of Free the Children's past school building efforts in Ecuador. Consider them representative of what our schoolhouse may look like!
I remember looking at the Free the Children website in early November and noticed that they had constructed hundreds of schools for children in developing nations. While I was initially captivated by the idea of raising enough money to build a school, one simple fact grounded me back in reality-- they cost $8,500. Although our last Marathon raised a respectable $2,000 for UNICEF, that was still thousands away from funding a school.
Turns out we had nothing to worry about.
The initial goal for The Legend of Zelda Marathon was set at $2,000. Thanks to everyone's generosity and support, we not only met our goal but exceeded it by over $10,000, raising a total of $12,219.20 for Free the Children! That money will be put toward constructing a school in a developing nation, filling it with books and furniture, paying for teacher training programs and salaries and providing a school lunch program.
I'll update the site with as much information as I can regarding where the school is to be built and what it ultimately looks like whenever construction begins. I'm as eager to see what it looks like as you are!
We played through The Legend of Zelda series for nearly 81 hours straight. During this time, we received over 300,000 total viewers (313,298 to be exact). The total time everybody spent watching the broadcast was 2,656 days and 27 minutes-- that's more than seven years! Honestly, between the massive amount of money raised and the enormous number of viewers, this Marathon surpassed all of our wildest expectations.
Hundreds of you cast your votes last week to decide which banner best represents our Legend of Zelda Marathon. While the race was close, there emerged a clear winner. Everybody congratulate...
...Dr. Pain! He captured 27% of the total votes, earning not only first place, but also three free entries in the CDi raffle! His winning banner is shown below (he edited the text a bit for the final version).
But wait! That's not the banner you see up at the top? It's not some mistake-- there's a reason for that!
I was so impressed by all of your entries that I felt more than just the winning banner should be used. I've decided the second and third place banners should be featured on ExtraLives.org as well. The second place banner was made by...
Last week, we challanged you to design a banner for this month's Legend of Zelda Marathon. After all, I couldn't leave that Microsoft Paint monstrosity there forever!
We've received eleven entries for the banner contest. While none of them use the spray can tool as liberally as I did in the placeholder banner, they're all still very impressive and any of them would be worthy as winners.
Now it's your turn. Look through all of the submissions below and cast your vote for whichever banner you think is the nicest and best suited to represent our Legend of Zelda Marathon (starting December 30th at 12:00 PM noon, UTC -5). The voting will end this Saturday, December 19th, at midnight (UTC -5).
Remember, the winner of the banner contest gets three free entries in the CDi raffle (a $15 value!). The CDi with all the fixings is valued at $100 and includes everything you see below: