I knew almost exactly what to expect this year with the Dreamcast Dreamless 24-Hour Marathon, but still rolled in as stressed as I ever do the week prior. What would break this year? Would my Dreamcast finally die mid-stream? Who would pass out from the heat first? How little sleep would I get? I’m happy to say that the worst problem was getting raided with nearly 150 people in the near-final hour of the stream, because that meant having to summon more energy than I had. Oh, and my Dreamcast stopped playing specific discs. Hey you had a good run, buddy! You powered through 6 marathons already! Pretty good for a 20 year-old console, right?
All of that insanity in mind, I wanted to take a second and ask the Visionary attendees how they felt about the Marathon. So let’s get to it!
Chris Powell: Being that this was my very first time getting in on the action during the Dreamcast Dreamless 24-Hour Marathon, I didn’t fully know what to expect. But I ended up having a blast hanging out with a large portion of the Mega Visions crew. Not only did we play a ton of games, we also broke our record for donations that will go to Extra Life, and I got to spend some quality time with my friends.
It was a fantastic weekend of fun, but my favorite part had to be when we played NBA Showtime. The game came down to the final shot, and thankfully, my team came out victorious! It was one of the most nerve-wracking game sessions I’ve had in years, and it was all captured in our stream, complete with me letting out a wail of victory as the clock expired.
Corey “TornadoJones” Walls: The Dreamcast Dreamless Marathon this year was special for me because it was my first time attending or even being apart of something so extraordinary. Being the inexperienced SEGA fan that I am, it really opened my eyes to a video game system so ahead of its time that sadly I overlooked as a child. Yes, there were faults that ultimately led to its downfall, but sitting around in a room full of adults that never really grew up, and passing controllers around, brought me back to a much simpler time where the only worries we had were “Did I finish my homework?” or “Does my crush like me too?” Twenty years later and this loud little box still has us thinking about how truly awesome and impactful video games can be on someone.
Chris Wenzel: The Dreamcast Dreamless Marathon was the first charity event that I had the privilege of participating in. When I was driving up north to Pittsburgh, I was treating the marathon as just an opportunity to reconnect with some friends and to disconnect from the world. Playing video games for charity was an offbeat concept for me. In the past, I would watch big-time streamers or catch part of a GDQ (Games Done Quick) where large swaths of influencers would get together under the banner of some mega-organization and raise huge sums of money. We were maybe a group of roughly ten. What difference were we going to make?
My nonchalant demeanor was soon overshadowed by the determination of the Mega Visions crew. While initially our fellowship allowed us to decompress, the focus of the troop quickly changed to the Marathon. Reminding us that at the end of the day, we’re here to make a difference in the life of a child. The camaraderie that flourished within the group only further motivated us to put on the best exposition that we could. And with every contribution that rolled in, the room exploded in a roar of celebration and triumph. As we marched through the night, we managed to shatter our goals three times.
What I ultimately took away from this experience was that you don’t need the backing of name brand organization to help you make a difference. You need to have the grit and the drive to go forth and make a difference. I knew that it was possible, that doing something as simple as playing video games for charity was possible, but the Dreamless Dreamcast Marathon showed me that it was tangible.
Brett Hatfield: I wish I could truly put into words just how much this year’s Marathon meant to me. After not being able to attend last year, being able to hang out with Scotty and company while meeting so many members of the Mega Visions crew for the first time made it all worth it. Being able to celebrate my favorite console’s 20th anniversary with so many lovely people was great enough, but being able to do that and make such a huge impact for both the communities of Pittsburgh and Morgantown is the absolute best. Seriously? Raising $1,250 dollars for the kids at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and WVU Children’s Hospital? Absolutely UNREAL, and I thank every single one of you not just for your support of this marathon for the past 7 years, but of our mission to help these children out with our love of Sega’s magnum opus.
Graham Cookson: This year was my first time participating in the Dreamcast marathon. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years though! I love what Scotty and the team has managed to pull together over the years – it’s really something that I love about the SEGA community and another way to showcase some amazing old games, while raising money for a great cause.
This year I was able to raise enough funds to fly over the pond from the UK to join in the fun, in person! And boy what a ride it was!
From the first day of setting up the tech and visiting our sponsor’s store, Warp Zone (tucked away on a residential road), to the guys and girls of the DC Marathon introducing me to some crazy American traditions and food.
The Marathon itself was awesome fun. At first it felt weird being recorded in a room with (frankly) strangers – people I’d spoken to online, but never met. But after just a few minutes, I soon felt at ease and the comradery of the event took hold.
It was also a joy to be able to play games both causally and competitively amongst each other, holding mini competitions. Of which I won a couple – sorry for taking your Daytona Belt Brett, you’ll get your chance to take it back next year!
And a HUGE shout out goes to all the amazing people watching and chatting to us online! Some friends from the UK stayed up to watch a bit, which was amazing. And I was so happy to have some people donating under my name towards the Extra Life charity. It really meant a lot. Thank you!
And finally thanks to Scotty and Rachel for hosting us and the new friends I made. You’re all awesome, wonderful people.
ScottyMo here again! Seriously though, this year was possibly the smoothest I have experienced. We had constant conversations in the room and in the chat, and incredible positive energy the entire 24 hours. My favorite moment was figuring out how to fit over a dozen people into the smallest location the marathon has seen. I am only slightly disappointed I failed at both the Crazy Taxi tourney and the Daytona belt, but there is always next year. Illbleed continues to stun and amaze people, and thank God for that baseball bat. All of these things are easily trumped by the fact that we DEMOLISHED our goal to raise money for kids in need through Extra Life. From $500 to Sonic Shuffle, to over $1,000. Goal after goal was smashed, I have to get another tattoo now, and we haven’t even hit the annual Extra Life day yet!
I can’t thank everyone enough, or even begin to thank my beautiful girlfriend who had the patience to deal with all of this invading the house for a weekend. My secret favorite goal? Now my girlfriend has a list of Dreamcast games she wants to hunt down. We did it, guys! If you missed any of the Marathon you can check out the entire playlist right here! See ya on Extra Life Day (November 2nd)!