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|Inaugurated||March 14, 2008|
|Most recent||June 24, 2016|
|Participants||Britt LaRiviere, Chase LaRiviere|
TheSpeedGamers (also abbreviated as TSG) are a group of gamers based out of Arlington, Texas, who raise money for various charities. They accomplish this by streaming live marathons of video games played over Twitch.tv (formerly Justin.tv). The group was founded by Britt LaRiviere in early 2008 and still hosts marathons regularly. Viewers can interact with the commentators and other viewers via IRC chat on Justin.tv. The group has raised over $535,000.00 for at least 16 different charities.
Britt LaRiviere founded the group in March 2008. LaRiviere originally imagined the site as a source for gaming reviews, but over time, the idea evolved into forming a marathon group. Finally, they decided that if they ran marathons, then they should do it for a worthy cause. They adopted a Speedrun mentality and ran their first marathon, with a Zelda theme. Since then, the group has continued on for over eight years, hosting multiple marathons and still going strong .
Starting in February 2011, TheSpeedGamers started a 24/7 stream. Unlike marathons, no money was being raised. Also unlike marathons, games weren't continually being played. Instead, various music was played while the TheSpeedGamers' fans can chat in the chat room on Justin.tv. For a couple hours each day, Britt or Chase played games as part of an ongoing Let's Play. For the 7 days of the week, they usually played a different game each day. Then, the next week they picked up where they left off the previous week, thus making it a once a week Let's Play update. As of the end of the Metroid Marathon 2011, TheSpeedGamers stopped the 24/7 streams until further notice. On Labor Day 2011, TheSpeedGamers once again started TSG 24/7. In the fall of 2011 TSG 24/7 became TSG Presents!, a more occasional stream than the previous continuous efforts.
On January 24, 2014, TheSpeedGamers rebranded themselves as TSG.tv, with an ongoing overhaul of their website, forums, and other features. To mark the rebranding, the group did an unannounced 24-hour marathon of Sonic and Mario games, raising money for Mercy Corps. Donators had the option to apply their donation toward a total for Mario or a total for Sonic. At the end of the 24 hours, the respective totals were applied as a handicap system for a 40-minute computer-controlled Super Smash Brothers match between Mario and Sonic. The winner of that match would be the franchise for the December, 2014 72-hour marathon, that marathon to raise money for the Rocking H Ranch. Sonic won both the significant majority of the donations and the match.
- The Legend of Zelda Marathon (March 14–17, 2008): This was TheSpeedGamers' first marathon, which lasted 72 hours. All the mainstream console Legend of Zelda games were played. They raised $1,090.00 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
- Pokémon Marathon (December 18–21, 2009): TheSpeedGamers played the Third and Fourth Generation Pokémon games (Excluding Emerald and Platinum) to catch all 493 Pokémon. They raised $18,395.96 for Ally's House.
- Final Fantasy Marathon (July 17–24, 2009): TheSpeedGamers played a week-long marathon. During this time, they played 12 Final Fantasy titles and raised over $50,000 for ACT Today!, a charity for autism. At one point, the marathon had more than 19,000 simultaneous viewers thanks to advertisement on MMO-Champion.
- Mario Marathon (June 11–19, 2010) TheSpeedGamers longest marathon. They played over 30 Mario games and raised $57,000 for ACT Today, they originally were only going to play for a week, but extended the marathon for an extra day because of donations. Thanks to a viewer embedding the stream on MMO-Champion, the views raised to over 30,000. Prizes given away included a Nintendo Wii, posters, hats, etc. At certain points, viewers who donated $100 could join a skype call with one of the commentators.
- Star Wars Marathon (July 8–15, 2011) A week-long marathon, raised $11,254 for Direct Relief International (short of the $30,000 goal). At the conclusion of the marathon, announcements were made pushing the Zelda Marathon from the fall of 2011 to the Christmas marathon slot of 2011. The Pokémon Marathon scheduled for that slot was pushed to be made 2012's week-long event, later scheduled to start June 15, 2012.
- Zelda Marathon 2011 (December 16–18, 2011, extended 24 hours to December 19, 2011 upon reaching their $15,000 goal) The charity for the marathon was The Rocking H Ranch (where this and a number of their previous marathons have been held). Thanks to a renewed push by the group, the marathon reached its $15,000 goal before the end of the initial 72 hours and was extended an additional 24 hours, the extra time highlighted by 2011 Zelda release The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. On December 29, 2011, on TheSpeedGamers' Twitter account, it was announced that the final grand total for the marathon was $20,016.00. Since the marathon reached its "new goal" of $20,000, as stated during the extension, TheSpeedGamers announced that their Christmas 2012 marathon would be a marathon of games within the Mario franchise.
- Pokémon Marathon 2012 (June 15–22, 2012, 168 hours) The charity for the fourth-annual week-long marathon was ACT Today. The renewed push after 2011's week-long marathon continued, as a series of cutthroat auctions for various donated artwork aided TheSpeedGamers to reach their highest donation total in history, over $59,000, beating the record set in 2010's week-long Mario Marathon.
|Zelda Marathon I||March 14–17, 2008||72 Hours||St. Jude Children's Research Hospital||$1,090.00|
|Zelda Marathon II||June 13–16, 2008||72 Hours||Giggles Therapy||$1,450.75|
|Mario Marathon '08||July 11–13, 2008||48 Hours||None||N/A|
|Metroid Marathon '08||August 15–18, 2008||72 Hours||St. Jude Children's Research Hospital||$6,123.79|
|Mother/Earthbound Marathon '08||August 28–31, 2008||55 Hours||None; support of American localization (PK Siege)||N/A|
|Halo Marathon '08||September 26–27, 2008||24 Hours||None||N/A|
|Halloween Marathon '08||October 31-November 2, 2008||48 Hours||Lupus Foundation of America||$1,060.00|
|Pokémon Marathon '08||December 19–22, 2008||72 Hours||ACT Today!||$5,923.69|
|Zelda Marathon '09||March 13–16, 2009||72 Hours||Ally's House||$6,235.39|
|Mother/Earthbound Marathon '09||May 15–18, 2009||72 Hours||Susan G. Komen for the Cure||$10,586.00|
|Metal Gear Marathon '09||June 19–22, 2009||72 Hours||None||N/A|
|Final Fantasy Marathon '09||July 17–24, 2009||168 Hours||ACT Today!||$50,734.63|
|Mega Man Marathon '09||August 14–17, 2009||72 Hours||Earth Day Network||$7,188.06|
|Resident Evil Marathon '09||October 30-Nov. 1, 2009||49 Hours (due to Daylight Saving Time)||Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation||$16,349.54|
|Pokémon Marathon '09||December 18–21, 2009||72 Hours||Ally's House||$18,395.96|
|Metroid Marathon '10||March 12–15, 2010||72 Hours||Halton Autistic Family Support Group (HAFS)||$11,616.50|
|Mother/Earthbound Marathon '10||May 7–10, 2010||48 Hours||Susan G. Komen for the Cure||$10,749.32|
|Mario Marathon '10||June 11–19, 2010||189 Hours (due to 21-hour extension)||ACT Today!||$57,399.00 |
|The Summer of Zelda||July 1-Aug. 1, 2010||27 Nightly Streams||ACT Today!||$20,000.00 *|
|Assassin's Creed/Prince of Persia Marathon '10||August 20–23, 2010||72 Hours||Gulf Restoration Network||$10,550.04|
|Community Stream Month '10||October 2010||N/A||ACT Today!||$2,075.00|
|Castlevania Marathon '10||October 29–31, 2010||48 Hours||Rocking H Ranch||$6,926.50|
|Kingdom Hearts Marathon '10||December 17–20, 2010||72 Hours||BestFriends.org||$10,624.65|
|Pokémon Classics Marathon '11||March 11–14, 2011||72 Hours||ALS Association||$15,394.03|
|Metroid Marathon '11||May 6–9, 2011||72 Hours||Civic Force||$8,251.85|
|Star Wars Marathon '11||July 8–15, 2011||168 Hours||Direct Relief International||$11,254.09|
|Zelda Marathon '11||December 16–19, 2011||96 Hours (24 hour extension)||Rocking H Ranch||$20,016.00 |
|Pokémon Marathon '12||June 15–22, 2012||168 Hours||ACT Today!||$59,324.36|
|Mario Marathon '12||December 14–17, 2012||72 Hours||Make-A-Wish Foundation! ||$12,056.00|
|Mega Man Marathon '13||March 8–12, 2013||96 Hours||Rocking H Ranch||$11,880.50|
|Final Fantasy Marathon '13||June 24-Jul. 1, 2013 ||168 Hours||ACT Today!||$32,753.00|
|Halloween Marathon '13||October 18–21, 2013 ||72 Hours||Heifer International||$14,598.50|
|Zelda Marathon '13||December 13–16, 2013 ||72 Hours||Mercy Corps||$17,852.00|
|Mario vs. Sonic Minithon||January 24–25, 2014||24 Hours||Mercy Corps||$1,257.00|
|Donkey Kong Minithon||March 7–8, 2014||24 hours||Heifer International||$1,128.00|
|Indie Games Marathon||April 25–28, 2014||72 Hours||Direct Relief International||$122,607.88|
|Pokémon Marathon '14||June 20–27, 2014||168 Hours||St. Jude Children's Research Hospital||$32,073.33|
|Minithon Series||July–November, 2014||Varies||ACT Today||~$3,000 ***|
|Sonic Marathon '14||December 12–15, 2014||72 Hours||Rocking H Ranch||$4,321.00|
|Mario Marathon '15||July 17–24, 2015||168 Hours||St. Jude's Children Research Hospital||$29,027.00|
|Pokemon Retro Marathon '15||December 17–21, 2015||96 Hours||Rocking H Ranch||$16,300.00|
|Zelda Marathon '16 (Upcoming Event)||June 24–July 1, 2016||168 Hours||St. Jude's Children Research Hospital||$40,000+|
*: The Summer of Zelda, a month-long effort of nightly streams, was originally designed to raise money for ACT Today! through the Pepsi Refresh Project in place at the time. The second weekend of the month, a user notified TheSpeedGamers that ACT Today! was also in the running with Chase Community Giving on Facebook, a similar project by Chase Bank. With only three days to do it, the community was able to garner enough votes to gain the charity a $20,000 donation for placing in the top 200 charities at the event.
***: During a few months in mid 2014, there were several minithons which all aimed to raise money for ACT Today. About $3,000 was raised in total.
- McGee, Maxwell High Scores for Hope 2009-2-24. Retrieved on 2010-1-28
- Marlo Thomas Thank you letter from St. Jude Retrieved 2010-1-26
- Gaming For a Cause ACT Today
- Video Gamers Hold Marathon Session For Charity CBS 11/TXA21 2009-7-21. Retrieved on 2010-1-26
- Wilcox, Lindsay Would You Play 168 Hours Of Video Games?NBC Dallas-Fort Worth 2009-7-25. Retrieved on 2010-1-26
- 2008 November/December issue of GEE Magazine, Germany
- TheSpeedGamers' Resident Evil Marathon Will Be Starting Shortly! Official Capcom Website
- "Another opportunity for the Summer of Zelda".