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Next Marathon and Banner Contest!

Since Christmas is quickly coming up, what better way to celebrate than to watch a Marathon featuring everybody's favorite elf, Link! (Yes, I know he's technically a Hylian, but work with me on this...)

Starting Wednesday, December 30th at 12:00PM (noon, Eastern Standard Time), we'll be playing through a whole bunch of games in The Legend of Zelda series, including...

Nine Games, $600 Raised!

I've said it a few times already, but I'll repeat it here-- Mini-Marathons were an experimental idea from the start. Nobody knew if they'd have the same appeal as our traditional Marathons, nor if we'd actually meet our goal.

The broadcasts ran every Friday night in October, making for a total of five Mini-Marathons. During those 53 hours and 25 minutes, we featured on the Ustream homepage twice (so whenever someone would visit Ustream, our program would play automatically). We recieved 27,712 views, a new record for us, over the course of these broadcasts. The total time viewers spent watching us was over 157 days!

The Mini-Marathons consisted of nine games, including: The Oregon Trail, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Banjo-Kazooie, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Pikmin, Shaq-Fu, E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, Superman 64, and Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing.

We not only met our $500 goal for the World Food Programme, but exceeded it, ultimately raising $600. That's equal to 2,400 meals for starving people worldwide!

If you missed any of the Mini-Marathon and you'd like to re-watch it, it's all been recorded and can be viewed here (provided Ustream didn't eat any of the recordings when the feed crashed). I'll be standardizing all the titles for the recordings, so don't worry if they seem a little unorganized now.

More Mini-Marathon Details!

We've selected a charity for the first Mini-Marathon! You probably already noticed, but we're looking to raise money for the World Food Programme. The World Food Programme provides food aid to nearly one-hundred million people worldwide, most of which are children.

There are a few reasons we're raising money for them again.

  1. Due to the economic downturn, they're in dire need of support.
  2. We've been successful in raising money for them in the past.
  3. I'd rather not pick a new charity for the first Mini-Marathons. They're still experimental and I don't know how much we'll ultimately raise so I'd rather not risk giving any charity the short end of the stick.

Introducing the Mini-Marathon!

With school starting up again, there hasn't been a whole lot of time for a full-fledged Marathon. We simply can't set aside 48+ hours to playing video games anymore. However, I hate seeing the site go so long without any updates or new broadcasts...

...which is why I'm introducing the concept of Mini-Marathons! 

These would entail selecting a charity and setting a donation goal for the entire month. Then, once a week for anywhere from 9 to 12 hours, broadcast a game. We may play one game per week, or if it's longer, play the same game for multiple weeks. At the end of the month, the time spent playing would be comparable to that of a full-length Marathon.

That's a Wrap!

Friday, August 21st, 2009. It was a day like any other, albeit a tad stormy here in New Jersey. In just a few short minutes, an event that we've been anticipating all month would begin-- the start of our Mario RPG Marathon. Yet, there were still a few unanswered questions. How long would playing all these games take? Could we meet our $1,500 goal? Would anyone actually watch this thing?

Throughout the next 77 hours (or 76 hours and 58 minutes, to be exact), each of these questions was answered. Our initial goal was to raise $1,500 for UNICEF. We met our goal with time to spare, so we bumped the goal to up to $1,750. Thanks to your continued generosity, we not only reached $1,750, but continued on to raise $2,000 for UNICEF!

A total of 9,618 viewers (from over 60 countries) tuned in to watch the Marathon. When put together, all of you watched us for 5,034 hours and 47 minutes (equal to nearly 210 days!). We've really got to thank all of our viewers for sticking with us (and keeping us awake and in good spirits). We couldn't have done it without you!

Banner Contest Winner!

Starting Friday, August 21st (at 12:00PM, UTC -4), we'll be playing through a bunch of Mario RPG games, including Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga. All money raised for this Marathon will be sent to UNICEF!

Only problem is... we needed a banner. It was clear my cringe-inducing MS Paint banner had to go, so we let you guys make us some banners, then vote on your favorites. And the winner is...

...KARL, with 27% of the vote, just 3 more votes than the the second place entrant, Hellogoodbye, who got 25%. Using some middle-school algebra, figure out how many people voted! His banner is below.

And the rest of the submitted banners are here-- thanks to everyone who entered!

Mario RPG Marathon Banner Contest!

Another month, another Marathon. If you haven't heard already, this month we're tackling a bunch of Mario RPG games, including Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga. 

You've also probably noticed that horrific Microsoft Paint abomination for a "banner." That's (hopefully) temporary and will be replaced by YOUR artwork! Yes, that's right-- we've having another banner contest!

Fighting World Hunger with Sonic!

Back in 1991, Sega invented Sonic the Hedgehog to fight against Nintendo's popular mascot, Mario. Nearly two decades later, Sonic the Hedgehog has a new purpose-- fighting against world hunger!

Thanks to everybody who tuned in to watch us play through the Sonic the Hedgehog series! Your generosity resulted in us raising $1,050 for the World Food Program! That's equal to 4,150 meals for starving people around the world! Not only did complete the nine Sonic games we promised we'd play, but we also threw in a tenth game as a bonus-- Sonic 3D Blast! The entire ordeal took more than fifty-two hours, but it was well worth it. If you missed any of the Marathon, or just want to relive the experience, you can watch the recordings of the event on our Ustream page.

Of course, there'd be little point in playing these games unless people were watching. Fortunately, 8,646 people (from nearly 70 countries) tuned in from the start of the Marathon on July 24th to its end on July 26th. When put together, you guys watched us a total of 4,475 hours and 53 minutes! It was the viewers that kept us going when the Sega Genesis cartridges refused to play or we died yet again in Sonic '06.

We had a few technical snags along the way, but my four year old laptop can only do so much when it's running at 100% capacity for dozens of hours at a time. It seems one gigabyte of RAM is not nearly enough when the broadcast process is eating up nearly 700k of it... I really appreciate your patience, especially when we had to go offline for a little while and reboot the feed.

Banner Contest Winner!

For our next Marathon on July 24th at 3PM (UTC -4, since we're in the Eastern Time Zone), we'll be playing through the Sonic the Hedgehog series. To take some pressure off our art guy, I let you guys design one for us. We received a bunch of entries, and nine days later, its time to announce the winner of the banner contest...

...Hellmonkey500! It was a close race, but his banner recieved 34% of the votes, just 6 more votes than the 2nd place entrant, dsrules4 who recieved 31%. (Now do the math and figure out how many people voted).

His banners are below:

The smaller version

The bigger version

Sonic Marathon Banner Contest!

Well, the Pokémon 'Race to Completion' Marathon has been over for a while now, so now the site needs to get updated for the upcoming Evolution of Sonic the Hedgehog Marathon on Friday, July 24th. All money raised will be sent to UNICEF!

First things first: We need a banner (especially one better than that Microsoft Paint placeholder). So, how would you like to help us out and design a banner? If we receive a bunch of great submissions, I'll post them all on the site either in a random rotation or have a vote to find everyone's favorite. 

Okay, now the banner criteria: