desert bus for hope 2008 begins

Hey Kids, it’s your old pal Wil Wheaton here, and this is a post about a whale.


Ahem. Allow me to introduce a few things:

There’s this fantastic charity that my friends from Penny Arcade created, called Child’s Play:

Since 2003, over 100,000 gamers worldwide have banded together through Child’s Play, a community based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. Over 3.5 million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception.

This year, we have continued expanding across the country and the globe. With around 60 partner hospitals and more arriving every month, you can be sure to find one from the map above that needs your help! You can choose to purchase requested items from their online retailer wish lists, or make a cash donation that helps out Child’s Play hospitals everywhere. Any items purchased through Amazon will be shipped directly to your hospital of choice, so please be sure to select their shipping address rather than your own.

When gamers give back, it makes a difference!

There’s are these guys up in Canadia called LoadingReadyRun. They’re really funny, and I did a sketch with them last year at the Child’s Play dinner in Seattle:

Inspired in name and appearance by the Commdore 64 Home Computer System, LRR is a site run by-and for-geeks. You have to be at least a bit of a geek to think writing, shooting and producing a new, original short sketch every week is feasible. But you have to be a giant geek to actually do it. Since LoadingReadyRun’s start in 2003, it has consistently updated with a new video, every week. Often more!
LRR videos have been featured in film festivals such as the Comic Con International Film Festival in San Diego, and shown on major TV networks, including G4 TechTV, The CW and even CNN.

There’s this horrible old game called Desert Bus, that’s really more of a cruel practical joke than an actual game:

The objective of the game is to drive a bus from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada in real time at a maximum speed of 45mph, a feat that would take the player 8 hours of continuous play to complete, as the game cannot be paused.

The bus contains no passengers, and there is no scenery or other cars on the road. The bus veers to the right slightly; as a result, it is impossible to tape down a button to go do something else and have the game end properly. If the bus veers off the road it will stall and be towed back to Tucson, also in real time. If the player makes it to Las Vegas, they will score exactly one point. The player then gets the option to make the return trip to Tucson—for another point (a decision they must make in a few seconds or the game ends).

So, if you put all this together, you will get the guys from LoadingReadyRun playing a marathon of Desert Bus to raise money for Child’s Play charity! It’s hilarious to watch them play it, especially as the hours go by, and this year it’s going to be even more entertaining as they will be joined by the cast of ‘The Guild’, Sean from Harmonix, the Joystiq Podcast’s Justin McElroy, John Davison of What They Play and 1Up Yours, Microsoft’s Major Nelson, Jeremy Baker of, and Sam Logan of Sam and Fuzzy.

They will also be joined by yours truly, sometime on Sunday afternoon (Pacific time). If you’ve got nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon (or evening, or whatever time it is where you live) and you want to hear me and some hilarious Canadian sketch comedy geeks – who will most likely be in Batcountry by the time I get there – engage in the high quality grabassery and shenanigans you’ve come to expect from us, watch my Twitter Tweet-o-thingy for the announcement.

Throughout the entire marathon, you can watch them play, via the driver or bus cam (links on the top of their webpage). There’s also a live chat where we can go encourage them and tell them how awesome they are. Of course, this entire thing is for charity, so if you can part with a couple of bucks, we could all join forces to make a real difference in the life of a child.

7 thoughts on “desert bus for hope 2008 begins”

  1. That’s sick. Sick, sick, sick. Jack Thompson was right about all of us. Anyone who’d visit such a cruel and unusual punishment on gamers obviously eats kittens and enjoys baby-veal souflee.
    Ergo, I must donate. 😀

  2. Has anyone hacked the game to at least add new scenery? For example, cruisin’ past Gil Grissom and Walter (in blue sweater) as you arrive in Las Vegas, or going past some famous gunslinger as you leave Tuscon?

  3. Awww, they almost asked my question but discounted it as a bullshit question ;_;
    ‘You’ve got the biggest one in HOW many counties?’
    Hope to see you at CP dinner/auction, was great of you to call in and help out LRR!

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