Third 'Mario Marathon' under way for charity

Three gamers are spending three days playing through nine Mario games to raise money for charity. Again.

Gamers spending days straight in front of the couch is nothing new. Only in recent years, however, has it been put to good use in raising money for charity.

One such effort, called the "Mario Marathon" just kicked off its third-annual event on Friday, and will run through the weekend (or possibly longer). From a living room in Lafayette, Ind., Brian Brinegar, John Groth, and Chris Deckard plan to play through nine different games in Nintendo's Mario series, which span 809 levels; all with no stops in the action except to switch discs and cartridges.

As the group progresses through each level, so does the goal of how much they have to raise--going all the way up to $156,611.19. At the time of writing the trio just passed the $10,400 mark. The progress of how far they've made it and how many donations received is being tracked in real time, along with a live camera of them on the couch and a direct feed from the game console (embedded below).

As in years prior, the money donated to this year's competition goes directly to the Child's Play charity, which has raised more than $6.7 million over the past seven years. Child's Play uses that money to purchase and donate video game equipment to hospitals, as well as setting up wish lists so children under hospital care can request specific titles or hardware.

During last year's effort, the Mario Marathon group (which included a fourth member) raised a little over $29,000, completing 599 levels over seven Mario titles. The year prior, they raised $11,767 with another seven Mario titles.

Related: An all-'Zelda' weekend, with no guilt involved


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