The Power of Giving

Playing Zelda for Charity: Zeldathon

Marathons are a common event in the charity world, with people signing up to run or pledging money to support friends and family who are running. But not everybody can, or wants, to run, and some people don’t really pay attention to charity marathons. For some of those people though, there are video game marathons.

The basic principle is the same: people do a thing for an absurdly long time while others watch them. In these cases, they play a video game, or series of video games, for some length of time while others watch them. Social video services like Twitch.TV allow people to tune in from around the world.

There are lots of events like this, and most of them use the platform to raise money for charity. A lot of different charities benefit, like Direct Relief, which is the recipient of funds raised at this year’s first Zeldathon.

Zeldathon is held multiple times each year, and started back in 2009. It’s a pretty simple concept: players go through the entire Zelda franchise, periodically putting on silly costumes or eating weird foods because people donated a certain amount of money. Paying to embarrass players is pretty common in these kinds of marathons. But it’s effective. Since 2009, Zeldathon has donated 100% of the $875,000 they’ve raised to various charities, which is no small number.

This time it’s Direct Relief, which works around the country and the world to help alleviate poverty, and has earned a perfect score from Charity Navigator, no small task.

If you’re interested in watching the action, you can check out the Zeldathon website for more information. If you miss it, don’t worry, there’s probably another charity gaming marathon coming up any time now!