Child’s Play works hard to provide children worldwide with entertaining, enjoyable video games. Games allow kids in the hospital to take their minds off of a scary situation and just be a kid for a bit. However, not all video games are exactly ‘enjoyable’. Enter: Desert Bus for Hope, an annual event in which the fine folks at LoadingReadyRun play the game Desert Bus for days on end to raise money for Child’s Play. Equal parts game marathon and sketch comedy show, Desert Bus for Hope manages to make monotony magical.
Before it is possible to grasp Desert Bus for Hope, one must understand Desert Bus the game. From Desert Bus for Hope’s press release:
“In the Sega CD game “Desert Bus”, the player controls a virtual bus that drives an eight-hour-long strip of highway between Tucson, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada, on an endless loop. The game is a “verisimulator”—a tongue-in-cheek parody of other simulation games— which attempts to approximate the real-life situation of driving a coach bus as closely as possible, including the associated tedium. The player is required only to ensure that the bus stays on the road: if they crash, they are towed back to the start and have to try again. Originally part of “Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors”, Desert Bus is considered to be the most boring video game ever created.”
November 18, 2011 marks the start of Desert Bus for Hope 5, and the LoadingReadyRun team is working to make it bigger and better than ever. Traditionally, there are at least 1500 people watching the Desert Bus for Hope livestream at any time during the event, and for good reason: they hold silent and live auctions, host interviews from game industry greats and geek culture celebrities, and are willing to sing, dance, and generally make fools of themselves for viewer donations. To date, Desert Bus for Hope has raised an incredible $443,077.00. According to Paul Saunders, one of the founding members of LoadingReadyRun, “The mixture of generosity and spite is a really powerful thing.”
To learn more about Desert Bus for Hope, follow them on Twitter (@desertbus), visit their website (www.desertbus.org), and most importantly, tune in starting November 18th. You’re not going to want to miss this.