Sunday, 22 November 2009

Desert Bus, for the Children

I think I have mentioned, if only in passing, Loading Ready Run (LRR), a sketch comedy troupe from Victoria in Canada. They produce really excellent comedy which you should all go watch here. More importantly however this week they are doing one an incredibly charity event in the name of Child’s Play.

Child’s play is a charity set up by Gabe and Tycho of the webcomic Penny Arcade. It works across the globe, although mostly in the USA, to improve the lives of sick and injured children in hospitals by providing them with Toy and games. Not quite working to alleviate world poverty, but valuable work nonetheless. It’s been going since 2003 and has raised millions of dollars in that time thanks to the philanthropy of the gaming industry. In the last two years LRR have contributed over $80 000.

They have achieved this mostly through an event called Desert Bus for Hope (DBfH, sorry for all the acronyms and hyperlinks), which is happening for the third time in the coming days. DBfH is a gaming marathon whereby four members of the crew constantly play ostensibly the most boring video game every created, Desert Bus. Desert Bus simulates driving in a bus from Tuscan to Vagas and back, an 8 hour round trip along a perfectly straight road. The only thing that keeps the player involved is that the bus steers slightly to the right, forcing the player to continually correct it. The more the public donates to Child’s Play, the longer the crew plays this game. The donation needed per hour goes up each time, so as the marathon gets longer the amount needed to increase the length of the marathon increases. That being said last year they went for over five days and raised over $70 000.

Yesterday, at 6:20 PM (PST), or 2:20 AM (GMT) Desert Bus for Hope 3 started. Having been going for 18 hours already, they have so far raised almost $18 000 dollars. The aim of course is to beat last year’s total by a considerable amount. This is not possible however without the donations of ordinary people worldwide. As in previous years the even is being streamed live on Ustream here. You should all go and check it out, watch the stream for while, donate some money if you have any to spare and generally support the event. They auction off things and give challenges, so it’s well worth checking it out.

Again, please do support the event in any way you can, it’s a great way of forcing a group of Canadians to do your bidding in the name of charity if nothing else.

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