Last night, as Mario Marathon 3 was drawing to a close, Brian announced that it is likely that the Mario Marathon series will remain a trilogy. After over 250 hours of gaming across the three marathons, raising approximately $113,000 for Child’s Play Charity, the stress has become too much. There can be no doubt that what Mario Marathon has accomplished is incredible, but with the increased strains on family life, it’s hard to keep something like this going.
For myself, I am terribly sad to think that this might be the end. It’s been a great deal of fun interacting with the fans and being a part of the great Mario Marathon mission. I’ve made many friends and had great opportunities (who else gets to talk to both Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day in the same weekend?), but I know how much work goes in behind the scenes. I’ve seen Brian spend his time working on code, publicity, prizes, decorations, etc. I’ve watched him spend his own money buying equipment to improve the quality of the stream for the viewers. Most importantly, I’ve seen the pain that he and Shanna feel when they send their two-year-old son to grandma’s for days. I could never ask anyone to make the kind of commitments that Brian and Shanna have made these past three years.
Still, it has been for a worthy cause, and I know everyone involved is proud of what has been done. All of the Mario Marathon team are very giving, not only of their money, but of themselves. I have no reason to believe that Mario Marathon is completely dead. I believe it will be re-born in a different form, likely smaller and less intense, but some part of it will live on. Certainly the awareness, and the community it fostered, will be the lasting legacy.
I had intended this post to be a recap of all the fun times I had during the past week. I got to work with some great people, and I have now done two celebrity interviews. I’ve experienced the joys of watching donations come in faster than we could keep up, and the frustration of power outages. This has been a great experience for me, and one that I won’t forget.
To all of you who donated and/or interacted with us, thank you. Despite the sacrifices of the team (and their families!), the real success of the Mario Marathon has come from the fans. It is the 2000+ donors from around the world who have made the true difference in the lives of so many children.
I’d also like to give a shout-out to the chat moderators, who did a tremendous job of keeping the IRC room family-friendly (even when 4Chan showed up). These guys deprived themselves of sleep and leisure, too, all in the name of helping. They asked no reward (although we’re cooking up something for them anyway), and put in many hours of labor. @Collin1000 put forth a lot of effort, too, keeping track of donations on a Google spreadsheet and crunching numbers for us.
It’s crazy to think that sitting in my friend’s living room and reading messages from strangers on the Internet has earned me any fans, or has contributed to the well-being of children across the world, but it’s apparently true. There is nothing that I’ve done in my life that I’m more proud of than the past two Mario Marathons, and to be a part of it has truly been an honor.
Dear Internet: thank you! I love you all.