It's that time of year again, kiddies! Time to step onto the Desert Bus and go trundling off into the sunset - for charity!
...actually, you don't have to do anything of the sort, which is reassuring. There's a bunch of people who have, for the past few years, held the annual Desert Bus For Hope event, which raises money for Child's Play.
Desert Bus is arguably the most boring game in the world, and the guys behind online comedy series Loading Ready Run are going to play it so you don't have to. They'll also be auctioning off bits and pieces, running random give-aways and you never know who might drop in on them.
The "internet telethon" kicked off today at 6pm Pacific, with the gang already earning more than $12,500 in pledges in less than four hours. They've already promised to drive for at least 100 hours, so if you haven't tuned in yet, there's still plenty of time.
It was designed to be the most boring game in the world - and, from all accounts, it achieved its goal. At its core, Desert Bus is a driving simulator, where you drive a bus from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada. It's desert all the way, and your bus can only handle a maximum speed of 45mph - in real time. One journey to Vegas will take you eight hours! To make sure you keep your eyes on the road, the bus lists very slightly to the right, so if you leave it unattended, you'll run off the road, stall and be towed back to Tucson (also in real time). Oh, and there's no pause.
A successful trip from Tucson to Vegas will score you one point. You can earn another by making the return journey. And there you go. Last year, the LRR guys reached a record-breaking 14 points before they crashed - hopefully this year will be better!
2007 raised $22,805. 2008 more than tripled that amount with $70,423. 2009 saw that much raised in the first 24 hours, with a total of $140,449. This year they're not doing too shabby - let's see them earn another record!
So - head to DesertBus.org and pledge a donation, check it all out, and have a bit of a giggle at what they're all up to. There's a live chat, a live "drivercam" feed, and even a "buscam" to give you a driver's seat view of what's going on.
Jimmy the Geek