Desert Bus for Hope gaming marathon raises $521,450 for Child's Play

Desert Bus for Hope 7 breaks last year's record, raising $521,450.

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Desert Bus for Hope, a charity drive during which the internet sketch comedy group LoadingReadyRun plays through what is wildly regarded as the worst video game of all time, has raised $521,450 for Child's Play in the past week.

This is well above the $443,630 it raised in 2012.

Since it started 2007, Desert Bus for Hope has raised more than $1.7 million for Child's Play, making it the most successful charity gaming marathon in the world.

LoadingReadyRun creates video content like Penny Arcade's Strip Search reality show. During the charity drive, the LoadingReadyRun crew and friends play through the Desert Bus mini-game from the never-released Sega CD game, Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors. It asks players to drive a bus from Tuscon, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada, keeping to a speed limit of 45 mph. It takes about eight hours of continuous play to complete. With nothing but sparse desert scenery and a bus that veers slightly to the right, it is a torture to play and a kind of parody of video game tedium.

During the live stream of the marathon, LoadingReadyRun encourages viewers to donate by auctioning off gaming related items donated by developers and offering to do any number of silly things on camera. The more people donate, the longer LoadingReadyRun plays.

"We thank you all from the bottoms of our hearts." LoadingReadyRun said on its website. "Desert Bus for Hope is truly a community effort and none of this would be possible without every single one of you. You are the best community anyone could ask for."

Gamers can already start making Desert Bus for Hope 8 better by completing a survey here.

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