We can all admit that at on at least one occasion we’ve stayed up till the early hours of the morning playing video games. Was it when Halo 2 was released because you wanted to be one of the first to complete the campaign? Maybe you were playing Tony Hawks Pro Skater and searching for that last letter until the sun came up. Or maybe you you’re just addicted to Super Mario Bros. Either way we’ve all had the occasional gaming marathon and stayed up until the birds start tweeting.

EB Games have taken our ability to live on energy drinks and pizza by running a 25 hour Gameathon with some of Australia’ best gaming media personalities, eSports talents, and community members to raise awareness and much needed funds for the Starlight Foundation. A charity set up to grant wishes to kids suffering from severe illnesses.

Throughout the 25 hour period there were pizza eating contests, Mario Kart battles, Guitar Hero challenges, dance off’s, FIFA games and more. Every minute of it was live streamed on Twitch TV while dedicated viewers watched on through the night putting forward game requests, encouragement and their hard earned dollars to help all those involved to keep going strong.

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While the final tally of the funds raised hasn’t yet been confirmed it’s safe to say that every single minute of sleep deprived madness was worth it. However some special mentions should be awarded to those who’s contribution to the cause had to be seen to be believed.

Our very own Christian “Sp4des” Miranda arrived at around 4pm (after having worked earlier that day!) and was still there when I left at around 9:30am the following day. He spent a large portion of his time taking photos to document the night, helping out with the live stream , taking part in a Toilet Paper cosplay contest with ChampChong and belting out a half decent harmony to some Rise Against.

Rae Johnston who you will know from Techlife was the only person out of everyone involved to remain awake and (semi) sane for the full duration of the 25 hour period. Even when she was taking a long earned break on some beanbags she was still conscious and playing The Sims on her laptop clocking up more hours towards on the Gameathon.

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Steve Wright from Stevivor.com almost made himself sick by shoving 10 Marshmallows into his gob in a competition of “Chubby Bunnies” for the entertainment of the twitch viewers. Stevivor.com also donated $1 to The Starlight Foundation for every single “Like” they received on their Facebook page until May 5th.

Mary “JiipD” King ran League of Legends and Call Of Duty streams as well as donated a massive number of giveaways to help encourage some additional donations. At 3:30pm on Sunday, hours after the event had ended Mary was still at EB HQ in Melbourne packing boxes and sending prizes out to some lucky winners.

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Jem was the primary presenter for the live stream and by some form and miracle managed to keep it fresh and interesting throughout the 25 hours as did pro Fifa player James Williams. The guys from ACLPro ran the live stream from behind the scenes with a plethora of cameras, microphones, and computers making this year’s stream a significant improvement on last years setup of a single web cam. They tirelessly ran up an down stairs for 25 hours moving cameras and cables to ensure the viewers watching on had something interesting to see.

Last but certainly not least EB’s Community Manager Kelsey Gamble made such an effort to keep the whole event running smoothly that listing half of her input would triple the length of this article.
There were so many more generous people involved in the Gameathon in so many ways that I simply can’t mention them all but they each know who they are, and every single one of them should be proud of the effort that they put in to help bring a bit of joy to kids and young adults who desperately need a reason to smile. Seeing these exhausted gamers battle through it to the 25th hour was a humbling experience and it reminded me why I care so much for the Aussie Gaming Community.

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If you haven’t donated any funds and would like to you can stop in at any EB Store and give them a few coins or you can donate online at starlight.ebgames.com.au. If you’ve already donated, it doesn’t matter if it was $5 or $5000, from every single person involved, thank you.