Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Okay, so before I post the scum and hatred that is Monthly Retard Jamboree, and a supremely negative review of Halo Reach (yes, I played it... so now my opinion has that little bit more weight), I decided I should share with you guys, in case you haven't already found out, some of the more heartwarming sides of today's gaming culture.

Desert Bus for Hope is a live fundraising event for the ever-awesome Child's Play charity. The poor men and women involved are tasked with playing the most boring game ever made, Desert Bus, non-stop for as many hours as possible. The more money is donated, the longer they have to play. And, as their own trailer puts it, "the sadder they will become." Oh those poor, thoughtful souls.

As of writing, they have upwards of 24 hours left to go - and they are visibly dying. As well as playing the sodsack of a game, they are also obliged to take challenge suggestions from the live IRC. If someone suggests to them, "sing The Internet is for Porn for $30," it is done. If someone tells them all to put on cat-ears and dance Carmel Danse-danse, it is done. And in my short time watching, it has been done. It has made these poor people jaded and soulless. When they started, they were happy and fresh and excited; now they are dying inside. And on the outside.

Regardless, this is one of few things I can point to about the gaming community and say, "hey! We're actually good people!" There are a lot of tight-ass bastards in our little massively expanding world... people like Bobby Kotick, every Call of Duty fan, the people who dismiss the independent scene for reasons like, "um, where are the guns?" It's always great to point at events like Desert Bus for Hope and say, yes. There is hope for us. As an industry, not very many people seem to think gaming matters. I can cheerfully point to events like this and say, yes. Yes it does matter. I can point to games like LIMBO and say, we aren't worthless as a medium. I can actually feel proud to be a gamer, instead of like part of the twitchy kill-for-fun crowd that lines up to buy Black Ops on launch day.

There is another heartwarming charity event I'd like to talk about too, that I was lucky enough to witness and be apart of. Another live stream. Super Meat Boy soundtrack composer Danny B's sister has MS, y'see, so for a weekend, 50% of all sales were donated to the MS Foundation. This is all well and good. Soon, however, the blokes at Destructoid picked it up, and started live-streaming playthroughs of Super Meat Boy. Danny B heard about it, and made them an offer - as long as they play Super Meat Boy, he will donate 100% of all profit made to the MS Foundation. Christ.

Thus began, much like Desert Bus, an unholy gaming run. They unlocked the Kid, live. They too nearly died (Super Meat Boy being one of the hardest games released in the past decade). Frustration visibly at maximum, it was rubbed in with the fact that they stream would go as long as people were watching - and people watched. Plus, with every milestone of $1000, they would be forced to something crazy. Underarms were shaved, and licked. New characters were revealed. Brains went mad. It was ballsy, and they did insanely well considering it was spur-of-the-moment - but it is another testament to the kindness of the people involved in the gaming scene that this kind of stuff happens without second thought. For those interested, there's a write-up here.

BUT ENOUGH OF DESTRUCTOID. I'm really here to tell you to try and watch the end of Desert Bus. Do it. These monkeys are dancing for us, and for the children. And it would be a terrible waste if we all didn't join them in this final stretch. Do it - for the children.

Loading Ready Run is a comedic gaming-related sketch webseries and it's really quite funny. They are the ones behind Desert Bus for Hope. (And Unskippable, and ENN, and other awesome gaming webseries). They really are pushing themselves well beyond their physical capabilities. Andrew Deavin, however, does not sympathize. He issues the follow message: CRUSH THEIR SOULS, DESERT BUS. DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN.

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