It's great to see video gamers raising money for charity in various ways, but sometimes players stray pretty far from the beaten track and take on some incredibly difficult challenges.
I can't imagine how much time and effort people have put into these tricky tasks, sacrificing their sanity to help better the lives of others. Let's look at some of these martyrs of the gaming world.
Super Metroid - Two Players, One Controller
This is a super cool speedrun of the SNES game Super Metroid where a single controller is used by two people. Games Done Quick do a whole host of different speedruns, but this is easily one of the most impressive.
The finishing time of 52:01 is pretty quick, even by single player standards. Watching two players controlling Samus' actions in sync so well is pretty incredible.
They mentioned some practice beforehand but I can't imagine it made things all that easy, and this run would put them at a current day top 150 time against single players. Each player currently has a top 10 time with 'sweetnumb' in 7th with 43:20, and 'oatsngoats' in 1st with 41:56.
For those wondering about whether the saved the animals or not:
They let them die due to a vote by donators. R.I.P.
Desert Bus - Week-Long Marathons
In an effort to raise money for gaming charity Child's Play a group undertook a marathon challenge of playing possibly the worst game in history.
Desert Bus is a minigame on the unreleased Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors for the Sega CD which features the sole objective of driving a half-broken bus on an eight-hour trip from Las Vegas to Phoenix. After you arrive at your destination you gain a single point then have to drive back to earn another.
This tedious task has been accepted by a crew of gamers willing to tough it out for charity in a continuous stream that can last days at a time, due to the system of 'the more money is donated, the longer the team plays'.
The team managed to play for 6 days and 15 hours which, considering the game, is insane. Imagine trying to focus on keeping a bus driving straight through unchanging landscapes for hours on end while fighting sleep deprivation.
Kaizo Mario Bros. 3 - Super Hard Mario Speedrun
This hack of Super Mario Bros. 3 is outrageously hard. Serial Mario speedrunner 'mitchflowerpower' somehow makes it look relatively manageable but these levels require amazing precision and planning. For example at 31:10 the player uses pauses to get past the munchers as they aren't affected by the screen freezing.
It's super interesting to watch how the mechanics of the original game are manipulated in this amazing hack, and even more interesting to see the challenge being taken on by a player who really knows what he's doing.
Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) - Casually Playing A Junk Game
The infamous Sonic series game Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) is widely cited as a terrible game, so if people are gonna play it they may as well raise some money for a good cause as they do.
Whilst streaming the small team of players raise awareness of transgender issues and take donations for the Transgender Law Centre, which aims to change law, policy and attitudes towards the community.
For a lesser known event they still manage to raise a few thousand dollars, which is impressive. Maybe people feel a little more generous when watching players put themselves through misery.
Why Do People Do These Things?
I feel there's something more selfless and charitable to draw from playing games that are a struggle in some way or another. People like to reward hardship, especially when it's for a good cause.
I hope we see more charity events that involve tough games and weird challenges in the future. Perhaps playing Guitar Hero in a 'Mad Max: Fury Road' manner.
So grab your flaming guitar, find a great charity to donate to and get streaming.
Heard about the gaming charity Extra Life? Watch the video below to find out more!