Who are you guys & gals?

Just a bunch of people who live in New Jersey, who just so happen to spend way too much time talking about geeky things and playing video games.

Are you affiliated with any Video Game Company?

Most certainly NOT. Nope we are just normal people who wanted to help out and entertain as many people as possible.

Are you affiliated with Child’s Play?

No we are not. We are just huge fans of what Penny Arcade has been able to do for the last few years, and think Child’s Play is a very worthwhile charity. This is us simply giving back to those who need our help.

What is a Gaming Marathon?

A gaming marathon is a lot like a Charity Telethon. Essentially, we will be broadcasting a live playthrough of Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect Andromeda on TwitchTV that anyone can watch on their computers, laptop or mobile devices. The actual gameplay will be highlighted in the lower left hand corner, while the background of the video will be a camera that displays our team. To get a better idea on what that looks like, please refer to the image below. From there we will broadcast the event, interact with viewers via Twitch Chat, Twitter, and Facebook and will perform various stunts to entice people to donate to Child’s Play Charity.

Typical Marathon Layout

Do you get a cut of the donations?

No! What kind of terrible people do you think we are?! Wait … don’t answer that. =P

No, as with the Mario Marathon, we are not even collecting the donations. Donations made through our web site go directly to Child’s Play. Our only goal is to help out those who need it.

Have you done this before?

Yes we have, we have actually run many other gaming marathons. In November of 2010 we ran Mass Effect Marathon, in June of 2011 we held the 24-Hour Slumber Party, in November 2011 we had Mass Effect Marathon 2, in May 2012 we had Mass Effect Marathon 2.5 followed by Mass Effect Marathon 3 in November 2012, and we also held BioShock Marathon in March 2014.Between the events, we have raised over $80,000 for Child’s Play Charity and have been recognized as a Platinum sponsor.

  • Mass Effect Marathon | November 2010 – $14,200
  • 24-Hour g33kWatch Slumber Party | June 2011 – $7,000
  • Mass Effect Marathon 2 | November 2011 – $20,630
  • Mass Effect Marathon 3 | November 2012 – $26,825
  • Child’s Play Dinner Auction | December 2012 – $2,500
  • BioShock Marathon | March 2014 – $11,513

Total raised for Child’s Play Charity: $82,668

Who came up with the idea?

Most certainly was not us. We’re not that innovative.

We were originally tuned into the idea when the fine folks at Mario Marathon and Desert Bus. Both of those sites really embodied what Child’s Play was all about. Gamer’s going out and playing games for a good cause. Seriously, that’s an unbelievable accomplishment.

We spent three years organizing the Mass Effect Marathon, and while we put an obvious emphasis on embarrassing ourselves for donations and entertainment, we also wanted to prove that story driven games had a place in the Gaming Marathon community.  The great passion and enthusiasm that we saw from the Bioware and Mass Effect community really inspired us and with Mass Effect Andromeda just being released we wanted to reboot our marathon series.  We hope that watching these our dynamic, atmospheric and story driven Mass Effect games will not only be entertaining to you, but will hopefully remind you of some of your favorite moments during your play through.  If you have never played the games before, hopefully we can inspire you to do so!

How will my donations get to Child’s Play?

Donations are made directly to Child’s Play via PayPal. We are using the StreamLabs Donation Widget. It’s simple, easy to use, and super secure because it’s done via PayPal! All of the money that you donate goes directly to Child’s Play, we do not touch any of the money.

Also of note, Child’s Play is a registered charity, so if you live in the United States, your donations are tax deductible. You can get a tax receipt by contacting Child’s Play. We cannot give you a receipt because we do not actually handle the money, but if you need one you can contact Child’s Play directly. Child’s Play tax number is 20-3584556 when you are filling out your taxes.

What versions of these games will be played?

We will be playing the PC versions of Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect Andromeda.

How are you going to be able to play so much?

Monster Engery, friends cheering us on, and a good nap rotation for all of our players so that they can stay fresh.

How do you handle prizes?

Throughout the marathon, people will have the opportunity to win prizes by either spreading the word about the marathon or by donating. We have broken up our prizes so that you have many different ways to win. Some of them are below but please be sure to keep checking back to the Prizes page for more information and as we get more items in.

  • Raffle Prizes – We will setup a schedule where every 4 hours or so, we will hold a raffle drawing. If you would like to get a raffle entry, you can Like Us on Facebook, Link to the site on Twitter mentioning @memarathon. or for every $5 you donate to Child’s Play Charity, you will receive an entry. Therefore you have the opportunity to receive two entries for absolutely free. We do this because we know that not everyone can donate, but spreading the word and getting people to watch us is very viable and should be rewarded. In addition if you can donate, the more money you donate the more entries you get for the entire marathon.
  • Timed Raffles – As our event goes on longer, and after some people have donated a lot of money to Child’s Play Charity, it can sometimes feel like certain names keep winning prizes. With timed raffles though, that is a thing of the past! Some of our prizes will be given away, with only donations being received at a specific time period being counted in the random raffle process. For example, for every $5 you donate between 5 PM ET and 5:30 PM ET, you will receive an entry into the raffle. These entries, no matter if you win or lose during the specific time period, will also carry over for the rest of the marathon and our regular raffles.
  • Live Auctions – Certain items are a bit bigger and unique and will not be given away as raffles. Instead we will hold live auctions that you can only win if you are watching the broadcast and in the Twitch.Tv chat room. The process is like other live auctions. You will bid in chat by saying “BID_” and then the amount you are willing to donate to Child’s Play Charity for that particular item. We will continue to do this until no one has bid anymore, and then the person with the highest bid will have 30 minutes to donate to Child’s Play Charity. Once they do that, they have won the item and it will be sent out to them. If they do not donate within an hour, or the payment fails for whatever reason, then we will give the item to the next highest bidder.
  • Silent Auctions – There are certain prizes that you are able to bid on on the website, rather than live through the chat. Here you will fill out a form with the absolute highest amount you are willing to donate to Child’s Play for that item. Bidding will then end at a preset time. Once we find out who gave the highest donation, they will then have 6 Hours to then donate to Child’s Play charity with that amount. If they are unable to for any reason, we will then take the next highest bidder.
  • Highest Donor – Prizes marked as Highest Donor are determined by who has the highest cumulative donation total at a preset time. Facebook and Twitter entries will not count towards Highest Donor.


Is there anything I can do to help?

There’s tons of stuff you can do! You can help spread the word on Forums, Twitter, Facebook, and any other social medium that you can think of.

Also, while we are giving away raffle prizes, if you would like to help us out and donate prizes to be raffled off, we would be greatly appreciative. Simply send us an e-mail.

Other than that, if you are in a situation where you can, the biggest help you can do is to donate to Child’s Play using the little widget on the right hand side.

How do you plan to webcast the video?

Like so many other, our main streaming provider is Twitch.TV. Please take note of this and be sure to register a new account over there, as Twitch gives us a lot better options for broadcasting in High Definition and less advertisements. You can check it out on the Main Page.

Won’t your Computer overheat and crash?

It’s a distinct possibility!  That being said though we have taken precautions.  We are two a dual computer streaming setup where one comp is just doing the livestream, and the other is just doing the gameplay.  This ensures that neither of them are doing too much of the work.  If for any odd reason one of them should fail, we will be able to switch quickly and easily to a single computer streaming setup.

I want to run my own gaming marathon, any suggestions?

We learned everything we needed to know from the fine folks hosting the Mario Marathon. They have a great walkthrough on how you can do this on their own site.

In addition, we have run two Child’s Play panels at PAX East discussing the basics on how you can run a marathon.  Go check it out!

Got a question that hasn’t been answered?

Send us an e-mail and we’ll get back to you soon. Seriously, we have smart phones and internet access, we’ll get it in no time at all!