Desert Bus for Hope is the internet’s biggest online fundraiser and over its five year history its gotten quite the reputation, not only for raising ludicrous amounts of money for Child’s Play (in 2010 the event raised more than $209,000 in just under six days), but also for having some of the best auction lots of any fundraiser, online or not.
Definitely head over to their website and see what items are up for auction, both Magic related and not. Lots of stuff of interest to gamers, nerds, geeks and normal people! They have auctions from signed copies of books, to Magic cards, to uncut sheets of Magic cards, and much much more. As of this posting they've already raised over $130,000 and still has many auctions yet to launch.
Here is the official press release about the Desert Bus:
GAMING FOR THE GREATER GOOD
Desert Bus 5 Drives Forward to raise money for BC Children’s Hospitals
Victoria, BC, Canada – November 2, 2011
On November 18th, the fifth annual Desert Bus for Hope charity video game marathon will roll out – bigger and better than ever before. Last year’s marathon collected more than $209,000 over six days, and all proceeds were donated to Child’s Play, a charity that donates over 2 million dollars to Children’s Hospitals worldwide every year.
Desert Bus for Hope is a video-gaming marathon broadcast live on the internet by LoadingReadyRun, a sketch comedy group from Victoria, BC. In the Sega CD game “Desert Bus”, the player controls a virtual bus that drives an eight-hour-long strip of highway between Tucson, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada, on an endless loop. The game is a “verisimulator”—a tongue-in-cheek parody of other simulation games—which attempts to approximate the real-life situation of driving a coach bus as closely as possible, including the associated tedium. The player is required only to ensure that the bus stays on the road: if they crash, they are towed back to the start and have to try again. Originally part of “Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors”, Desert Bus is considered to be the most boring video game ever created.
Viewers are asked to donate money via the desertbus.org website, and as the dollar total rises, so does the length of time the team must continue driving the bus. According to Paul Saunders, one of the founding members of LoadingReadyRun, “The mixture of generosity and spite is a really powerful thing.” Viewers are encouraged to participate by e-mail or by live internet chat, where they can ask questions of the crew, make requests, bid on donated prizes and become an active participant. To view the fundraiser, donate money, or find more information, please visit www.desertbus.org.
LoadingReadyRun is an online sketch-comedy group based out of Victoria, BC. They produce several of the internet’s most popular gaming and geek culture web-video series. Their work can be seen on www.loadingreadyrun.com, www.escapistmagazine.com and http://penny-arcade.com/patv/show/checkpoint.