It's that time of the year again, when we do the marathon thing to raise money for a specific charity. There are a lot of people that know the drill by now, but for those people who don't and who might be coming to see one of our events for the first time ever, I'm going to break it down for all of you and tell you everything you'll need to know about the event, a little about the charity, and about how to donate.
First of all the charity that we're going to be raising money for is one that began locally around the area where most members of the team live. Care to Learn is an organization that was started by Doug Pitt, the brother of Brad Pitt, in an effort to make the lives of children whose families—for whatever reason—can't provide basic necessities for them. Things such as basic hygiene products, clothing, school supplies, and even meals throughout the day are provided for children so that they can focus more completely on their school work and not feel isolated or self-conscious while at school. Care to Learn began locally, but now serves to uplift the spirits of children all around the Ozarks, located in the Midwest United States. Of course, we realize that a fair number of our viewers aren't in our local area and a good number aren't even in the US, and that might affect the decision of some people to donate to this cause, but because this is an issue that strikes so close to home for a number of us, we felt it was something worth doing. Care to Learn may not be as large as some organizations we've raised money for in the past, and they might not be international in scope, but that in no way diminishes the cause for which the organization was created to champion. So we would urge people to give to this cause, even if it in no way directly affects you. To help in securing the future of children is a cause worth giving to, regardless of the scope it encompasses. That said, if there is anything else people would like to know about Care to Learn, please do visit the charity's site at http://www.caretolearnfund.org/ and if you want, please contact the people who oversee the charity, as they would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have that we can't answer ourselves.
As always the method of donation remains the same. We'll be using the ChipIn widget to collect donations via PayPal. Obviously this means that people who wish to donate are either going to have to have a PayPal account with money in it or they'll need to use a credit/debit card to donate. There is also the option of using a pre-paid Visa gift card as well, but if you're going to go that route, why not just use the card that you've already got, right? As with every marathon, we take none of the money donated so all of it goes to the charity we're hosting the marathon for, which in this case means it's all going to Care to Learn. What's more, since you're going to be donating to a charitable organization, all donations can be claimed as such come tax time if you so choose to do so.
Finally, let's talk about the event as a whole. What exactly can the viewers expect from Returners Gaming this time around? First and foremost there will obviously be the video feed which sports gameplay and commentary for the entire marathon. You'll get to see us and the games, though we all know you just want to see the games. We're just the silly people behind the scenes that aren't very exciting. Or are we? As always we'll be taking donations and suggestions with them on ways to make the whole experience more entertaining. From imposing challenges on the people playing the games to making the commentators do things ranging from funny to probably not the best idea in the world for their health (though do keep in mind that we have to keep everything within what is reasonable for the terms of service for Ustream and Twitch TV, so nothing too dangerous or heinous. This is supposed to be a family friendly event after all). Furthermore we'll also be having a number of things people can donate for in regards to the games; the most obvious of which being what the names of files will be for some of the games, and in the case of at least one game, what sort of run will be done by the player. There might even be a chance to donate towards adding a few games to the roster that otherwise wouldn't be played! So then, with most everything that needs to be said having been said, just what games are definitely going to be played and what games might you, the viewers, expect to be up for donation to be played as well? Naturally, we've got a list telling you just that:
- Super Mario Bros. 3 (may or may not be taking donations on whether it will be warpless or with warps, more info to come*)
- Parasite Eve (names will be chosen based on donations)
- The Legend of Zelda (file name will be chosen based on donations)
- Super Mario 64 (16-star run initially, may take donations towards obtaining more stars)
- Metroid Zero Mission (100% run)
- Ocarina of Time (file name will be chosen based on donations and the type of run will be determined by donations. Choices for runs are: any%, MST, or RDO**)
So there are the games which will absolutely be played during the marathon. But wait, didn't I say there might be a chance for the viewers to donate towards getting some other games played as well? There might just be such a chance, and just what games might there be to choose from if such a chance does indeed come up? I've got a short list of possible games right here:
- Star Fox 64
- Parasite Eve 2
- Mega Man X2
- A Link to the Past
- Shadow of the Colossus
- Super Metroid
- And more to come in the coming days!
The fun begins on March 16th, starting at 6:00pm CST/7:00pm EST right here, and it will continue to March 18th.
*Warpless implies that all worlds will be completed from start to finish, in order from 1 to 8. With warps implies that only part of world 1 will be played through before skipping directly to world 8.
**any% means to beat the game as fast as possible without restrictions. MST stands for Medallions, Stones, Trials and requires that all child dungeons, all adult dungeons, and all trials in Ganon's Tower be completed. RDO stands for Reverse Dungeon Order and requires that the dungeons of the game be entered and completed in the following order: Spirit, Shadow, Water, Fire, Forest, Jabu Jabu's Belly, Dodongo's Cavern, Inside the Deku Tree.