Mario Marathon 7

The 7th annual Mario Marathon started broadcasting live just a matter of hours ago, so go check it out. The fan-run event is a charity drive supporting Child's Play with a pretty fun set of rules: the group has a set of financial goals to be unlocked, each of which is linked to an in-game objective the players must complete. For example, the first $1 donated requires them to simply complete Level 1-1 of Super Mario Bros.; of course, as the goals go higher and higher, the levels and games required of the marathoners extend through Mario's history (as of this writing, the $8,062.37 donated requires a playthrough of everything through the Super Mario Galaxy 2 mission "Bowser Jr's Doomsday Machine").

What makes all of this particularly fun is that the marathon runs 24-7; the players aren't allowed to stop streaming until they've completed every last objective required of them — of course, this leads to some particularly hilarious time periods when the marathoners get stuck on brutally difficult levels. If you're curious, Mario Marathon has a handy checklist and FAQ that can answer some of your burning questions. Of particular merit is that every single cent made from the marathon goes straight to Child's Play, a charity helping children in the hospital live a little better through the power of playing video games.

Are you interested in taking part in Mario Marathon 7, either through donation, watching the stream or spreading the word? Let us know what you'll be doing in the comments.