My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

Desert Bus for Hope 7 is on

It has been suggested I need to write another blog post this weekend. Fortunately, I have an appropriate subject, because LoadingReadyRun’s seventh annual charity marathon for Child’s Play starts today.

Desert Bus for Hope is a livestream of the LoadingReadyRun members, family, friends, and various other dedicated individuals. One of them—the driver—plays the most pointless real-time video game in existence, the eponymous Desert Bus. In this game, you drive a bus from Las Vegas, Nevada to Tuscon, Arizona. It takes 8 hours, during which you cannot pause or stop the bus, and at the end you get 1 point. Yes, 1 point. While the driver plays this game, everyone else basically entertains the voracious audience that is the Internet, taking questions from anyone in the chat, performing challenges, giving away and auctioning off various donated items and crafted goodies, etc. All of this is done with the aim of raising money for Child’s Play, a charity that helps put video games and other toys into children’s hospitals.

For more information, refer to this video on the Desert Bus website.

Suffice it to say, it’s a hilarious event that keeps going as long as people donate enough money to make it to the next hour. Last year, they raised over $400,000 for charity. The event started about five hours ago, and they have already raised $21,000—enough for four and a half days of nonstop charity madness.

There are plenty videos online both funny and compelling. Some of them even exist for a good cause. Most, especially the most viral, are ephemeral. Desert Bus lasts for days. It’s not a viral clip or a “shareable” soundbite. It’s a phenomenon, and it’s phenomenal.

So head on over to the Desert Bus website to watch, learn more, check out the auction items, and hopefully give money to a good cause.

Next week: Doctor Who!!