Desert Bus for Hope Charity Game-a-thon Returns Nov. 9th

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Desert Bus | Logo

You can visit the official Desert Bus for Hope website, on Facebook, on their blog, on YouTube, and follow them on Twitter. This year’s charity game-a-thon takes place on Twitch, beginning November 9th, 2018. You can also visit Child’s Play Charity at their official website, on Twitter, on Facebook, and you can just donate to them directly via PayPal.

In what is becoming one of my personal favorite parts of every November (almost as much as American Thanksgiving!) Desert Bus for Hope is coming back for its 12th year on November 9, 2019 at 10 AM PT to raise money for Child’s Play Charity.

Desert Bus | The Run

You never quite know what will happen on Desert Bus for Hope next… (Image courtesy of Desert Bus for Hope).

If you don’t know what Desert Bus for Hope is, let me fill you in. Way back in 1995, Penn and Teller (yes, the magicians) planned on releasing a mini-collection of games for the Sega CD called Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors. One of those games included was Desert Bus. In the game, you drive a bus that continually pulls to the right for eight hours between Tucson, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada. You can’t pause it, you can’t stop it, and you can’t do anything but just drive on for that entire time. Once you get to the end, you get ONE point, and you get to make the trip back.

Desert Bus | Driving the bus

This is all you see (aside from a bug splat several hours in) when you play Desert Bus. This image I took from the iOS platform fanport of the game, for which (along side the Android version) the 99-cent game costĀ gets donated to the Desert Bus for Hope fundraising total.

Loading Ready Run, a Canadian comedy troupe and video production house, got together in 2007 and started to play Desert Bus while raising donations. However, since Desert Bus is an admittedly boring game, Loading Ready Run puts their considerable comedy, improv, video production, singing, dancing, and mayo eating abilities to entertain the viewers during the week-long game-a-thon. The more money donated, the longer that Loading Ready Run will continue playing Desert Bus and entertaining us all. Also during the week, there are donation drives (donate ‘x’ amount during the next hour to be entered to win cool prizes, which frequently includes uncut sheets of Magic: The Gathering expansion cards), silent auctions, and live auctions (that have featured prizes offered by GearBox Publishing, Penn & Teller themselves, and even a vacation on a houseboat).

Desert Bus | Firefly

Desert Bus | Uncut Magic

There are a lot of cool items up for auction and as part of donation drives. For example, last year, there was a homemade Firefly dice bag and cushion with Gencon limited-edition dice as a donation drive (top) and a 100% foil uncut Ixalan (Magic: The Gathering) Rare and Mythics sheet up for live auction (bottom). (Images owned by Desert Bus for Hope).

All of the money raised goes to Child’s Play Charity, which is a charity that buys video games and books and toys for children who are in hospitals and domestic violence shelters around the world to make those children’s stays better. They are a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity where approximately 94% of the funds raised go back directly towards purchasing the items for the hospitals and domestic shelters. Across the past twelve years, Desert Bus for Hope has raised nearly 4.5 million dollars for Child’s Play Charity.

Desert Bus | Child's Play Charity Logo

Child’s Play Charity is a registered non-profit that was created by Penny Arcade in 2003. (Image courtesy of Child’s Play Charity).

We here at Operation Rainfall do endorse Child’s Play Charity, and we support the efforts of Loading Ready Run as they raise money during this year’s Desert Bus for Hope marathon. If you get a chance during the week of November 9th on, go visit their Twitch, donate a few bucks, and see if you can win something cool while helping out children.

Desert Bus | Dancing
Desert Bus | Playing

Desert Bus | James

You seriously never know what they will be doing next. (Images courtesy of Desert Bus for Hope).

As a final note: Operation Rainfall sat down with the teams behind the recently published Desert Bus VR video game, and interviewed them about the inspiration behind creating a VR version of this un-released 1995 mini-game, working with Loading Ready Run and Penn & Teller, and more. That interview will be published in the coming days as we run up to November 9th! So please look forward to that as well.

And who doesn’t love a Random Dance Party?

Are you planning on catching this year’s Desert Bus for Hope run? What would you like them to do to entertain you while playing the game?

Let us know in the comments below!

About Quentin H.

I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it. Do you want to do an interview? You can reach me at