High Charity is a small group of individuals dedicated to raising money for the Child’s Play charity. They get together once or twice a year to play games for 72 hours straight, all for donations. Everything you see that they do they have paid for with their own wallets.
I talked with Matt Reese, one of the participants in High Charity about what it is and how it works.
Kelly Starsmore (TCG): How long as High Charity been doing marathons? How long have you participated?
Matt Reese: This is its fifth year and the fifth year I have participated. We have held seven events total in the five years: four of those have been Halo marathons, three of them were masocore marathons. (If you are unfamiliar with the term masocore, go play Super Meat Boy or I Wanna be the Guy. Then you’ll know the pain.) In the five years we have been doing this, we have raised $17,000—donated directly to Child’s Play Charity.
TCG: How many people are involved in this project?
Matt: Including the web designers, sysadmins, and people who are involved in playing, there are about 30 people total.
TCG: When does this year’s marathon take place?
Matt: This year we are doing it March 27th through March 30th. The marathon starts on Friday at noon and runs until Monday at noon. Normally it is held in the fall, but a lot of our crew have obligations at the Renaissance Festival, so we decided to do it early this year.
TCG: What is the video game theme?
Matt: Halo. We will be playing Halo 1, 2, 3, 4, ODST, and Reach. All are played starting on Legendary mode.
TCG: You guys can’t seriously be up for 72 hours straight, right?
Matt: No—each player goes on their own schedule. I personally usually do a shift of four to six hours, some people are only available for one four-hour shift, and others are night owls and give it a go all night and sleep all day. It is really up to the participant.
There are always two people playing during a the Halo marathon and a backup, just in case someone needs to go suddenly or just needs to be tapped out.
TCG: Now for the fun stuff. Can we watch you guys slowly go more and more crazy as the weekend goes on?
TCG: We know our donations go to a great cause, but what are you going to do if I donate?
Matt: During the marathon, as the donations come in, the game gets harder. Halo has a system called Skulls, which are things you can add on to the game to make it harder. For example, if we reach a goal of $500, we will add a Skull that only gives us half of the ammo that is normally laid out in the game.
Plus there are other bonuses—these are the ones that make the marathon fun for everyone. You can bargain with us to do something with your donation above adding to the Skulls. For example, we each set a goal that if we reach, say, $5,000, we will shave our heads (This is not one of the current goals in the game, this is an example, so don’t expect it unless you ask!).
Finally, you can chat in during the stream and ask if we will do something for a certain amount of dollars. One year, we were doing a masocore marathon and I was right at the end boss when a friend of mine donated money with the condition that I couldn’t talk for 30 minutes. It was the most frustrating 30 minutes of my life! I was gesturing, pointing, waving, and eventually throwing a tennis ball at people to get their attention.
Phillip got a pie in the face.
Other suggestions include singing, dancing, changing the configuration of a controller . . . use your imagination.
TCG: Any other information you’d like to add?
WATCH OUR PROMO VIDEO! It shows what we do with real footage from last year.
One thing to take note of: This is a group of adults who are sleep deprived and trying to beat a game that progressively gets harder, so we do recommend that the crowd be PG-15ish. There is bad language shouted every once an a while that you may not want your young one to hear.
Child’s Play Charity is dedicated to helping the lives of children in hospitals and domestic-abuse shelters through the donation of toys, games, and video-game consoles and games. Minnesota currently has two hospitals that participate with Child’s Play: Shriners Hospitals for Children—Twin Cities and Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota. Go here to learn more about Child’s Play and what they do.
High Charity is run by Chris March, who welcomes your emails. You can also contact him by phone at (651) 334-5825. They are currently accepting donations, and you can donate directly on their website. Learn more about High Charity on their website, Facebook, and Twitter.