The Desert Bus for Hope video game charity marathon kicked off its tenth annual campaign this past weekend and has already raised nearly $158,000 for Child’s Play. The event doesn’t have a set end date. Instead, volunteers will keep streaming as long as total donations reach a certain hourly milestone.
The charity was named for the Desert Bus mini-game in the unreleased Sega CD game Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors, which the Desert Bus for Hope participants will be playing for the entire duration of the charity event.
The minigame requires players to drive a bus for eight actual hours on the highway between Tucson and Las Vegas. Volunteers fill the time while playing with on-stream interviews, contests, auctions, and the occasional spontaneous dance party.
During last year’s event, the charity raised $684,000 and played for 159 hours. Since its first event in 2007, Desert Bus for Hope has become the longest running internet-based fundraiser and has raised over $3.1 million dollars.