This week kicks off the 10th edition of one of video gaming's great original charity marathons — Desert Bus for Hope. All of the drama of piloting a 1990s-era motorcoach with bad alignment is viewable here, for free, but it would be kind if you left a donation.
Desert Bus for Hope is the the philanthropy of Loading Ready Run, the comedy troupe from British Columbia who got the idea to torment themselves for a good cause back in 2007.
The marathon employs Desert Bus, the famed minigame satire from Penn & Teller's Smoke & Mirrors for Sega CD. The game is intentionally painful. Players must drive a bus between Tucson, Ariz. and Las Vegas at 45 miles per hour, in real time.
Each completed trip awards one (1) point.
The charity drivers commit to drive a certain time, which lengthens as more money is donated. So you may visit this site to make a contribution, which notes how much money is needed to keep them going for another hour of pain on the 16-bit road.
Every year of Desert Bus for Hope has raised more money than the one preceding it; the beneficiary is Child's Play, the Penny Arcade charity that donates toys and video games to hospitals (particularly children's hospitals) nationwide, to comfort children in their long-term care.
Last year, Desert Bus for Hope raised a record $683,720. More than $3.1 million has been raised by Desert Bus drivers since 2007. Already $23,800 has been raised and the team is committed to drive for 109 hours. It costs $567.92 to make them drive one more. So, give until they hurt.