Every year, MAGFest brings out the biggest and the brightest to celebrate video game culture in a constantly upscaling convention, and the Mega-Manathon fundraiser has been an integral part of the experience. Conceived in 2012 by the HalfEmptyEnergyTank team, Mega Man-athon strives to usher in fans of the Blue Bomber for 72 hours of continuous Capcom-centric content. Fans of the franchise are treated to playings of Mega Man games, fan projects, speedruns, remixes, and prizes. The event is beneficial not only to those who enjoy reliving the adventures of the Rockman from 20XX, but also for the benefit of sick children in hospitals nationwide.

    Mega-Manathon is linked to Child’s Play, a charity organization that allocates funds to provide toys, video game equipment, and therapy devices to children having extended stays in the hospitals. Organizations like Mega-Manathon remain linked to Child’s Play as avid supporters of spreading the joy of gaming to all who deserve it, and the war cry of “for the kids” has rang true in the event hall ever since.

    “One-hundred percent of our donations go to Child’s Play,” HalfEmptyEnergyTank team member Bryan Belcher commented during a game of Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch Tournament. “They have a great overhead, which is, I think, five percent. That’s insane.”

    In years past, the event has raised considerable amounts for the cause, but this year, MAGFest has given HalfEmptyEnergyTank a big boost by offering them a real one-up: an official sponsorship from MAGFest and their very own set.

    MARYLAND, left to right: PixelKaye, Juggleboy, and ItsTheHutch obtain balloon hats as part of a stretch goal for raising over $10,000 during Day 4 of Mega-Manathon 5.

    “If you guys have been here in years past, you’ve noticed we’ve always just been this little bit of a corner, small projection screen on the side…our microphones haven’t always been the best…” admits Twitch speedrunner and streamer PixelKaye. “But this year we are totally decked out, super professional. We have this huge stage!”

    Alongside the gaming taking place on the set, Mega-Manathon saw all sorts of musical talent, including a coalition of “nerdcore” hip-hop artists known as “The NPC Collective” and a group of electronic music producers from GameChops. The event also hosted internet personalities like The Completionist and GaijinGoomba, who played and commented on the various games on tap for the event.

    While the original goal of the stream was to raise $10,000, the streamers managed to raise $10,150 by the end of the Mega-Manathon, a total which will be combined with the total collected from the Table Flip charity event, where donors can flip a defenseless table with gleeful furor.

    “It’s been a really, really amazing weekend. We cannot wait until next year, it only gets bigger and better,” PixelKaye said.

    The hopes for next years have already been established, and with the newfound reputation plus a permanent place in MAGFest, HalfEmptyEnergyTank may have found itself in a prime position for raising some serious money and doing some serious jump-and-shooting.

    John Farrell
    Friend of gamers, roleplayers, and audiophiles, John (Jack) is a screenwriter based out of the US of A. He has done work with GameChops, an electronic/chiptune music label, and is working on two animated series with his friends.

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