Mario Marathon 5 Begins June 22nd, Good Summer Gaming for a Good Cause
For the past few years, my summers have consisted of intense heat, lazy afternoons and the Mario Marathon, a charitable online event in which gamers play a predetermined list of Mario’s greatest hits that spans several days. This year’s Mario Marathon 5 begins on Friday, June 22nd at 11am EDT. Based in Lafayette, Indiana, Mario Marathon is hosted by Brian and Shanna Brinegar from the comfort of a Nintendo-themed living room and an elaborate setup of webcams, microphones and other streaming equipment.
The marathon is almost like a game itself as more levels and Mario games are unlocked based upon reaching monetary goals with those donations going to the Child’s Play charity, an organization that uses the proceeds to provide toys and games to hospitalized children worldwide. The idea of playing several games in a series back-to-back live on cam at this point isn’t a rare occurrence, but the true entertainment comes from watching an assortment of talented and big-hearted people play games together.
I believe this will be my third year intermittently watching Mario Marathon and donating, but this is the event’s fifth consecutive year running. While the initial draw of Super Mario and supporting gamers near Purdue University, where I graduated, was enough to pique my interest, I returned year after year for the laughs, inside jokes and musical stylings of Jed Johnson, one of the event’s many guest attendees. Almost all of the people on camera have descriptive nicknames, whether it be Orange Shirt Guy, Couch Guy and even Couch Dog.
Mario Marathon is also more interactive than most game streams I frequent. Aside from the aforementioned “donate to unlock more levels” hook, the site itself has reaction buttons for its webcast which can sound off noises in the house. If one of the gamers repeatedly falls into a bottomless pit on a level, viewers can press the “fail” button and audibly bring attention and shame to he or she that holds the controller. All in jest, of course! Aside from that, there are also special promotions, giveaways and more that make the Mario Marathon one of the biggest online events for me.
I highly recommend checking out Mario Marathon 5 this Friday starting at 11am EDT. Everyone involved puts a ton of effort into making this Mario-themed online charity event to remember. And come on, it’s for the kids.