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Nick's Marathon Turns Co-Op into Charity Cash

Love games? Of course you do, which is why it's time to help a greater cause.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: January 11, 2011
Like many gamers, Nick Capobianco loves video games. Unlike most gamers, however, Nick is no longer with us after losing a valiant fight to leukemia. Thankfully, his love of this bleepy bloopy medium lives on through his closest friends who, starting one minute before the stroke of midnight on January 22nd, will cram themselves into a New York apartment for a weekend-long binge in Nick's honor -- and more importantly to raise money for three rather important charities.

It's the kind of story that makes you proud to geek out on shooting guys in the face or leaping over some gurgling chasm filled with lava: though Nick passed back in 2008, his friends have carried on with a marathon in his honor every year since. Stricken with childhood leukemia, Nick actually bounced back and enjoyed a mostly-healthy life until he neared his end at just 28 years old. The 2006 resurgence of the malady had him undergoing major surgeries (among them a bone marrow transplant), but they couldn't take.

Rather than simply mourning their friend's death, however, Alan Noah and James Brief instead opted to remember him in the best way possible: by taking his love for games and turning it into a weekend-long marathon (read: no breaks, kids), broadcast over the internet at the official Nick's Marathon site all in the hopes of raising money for Ronald McDonald Charities, Child's Play and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Judging by Mr. Alan Noah's comments, it couldn't have been in honor of a nicer guy -- even if his passing was rather abrupt:

I just couldn't believe that Nick was gone. We had been friends since high school, for over a decade. He was such a good person how could this happen?" Alan remembers.
"After the initial shock had worn off, I decided immediately that I needed to do something to honor the memory of the kindest and most generous person I've ever known.

And honor they have. Both of the previous years have managed to raise $3000, and they're hoping that this year's event, featuring only co-op games where players play with each other rather than against, will make that $3000 a paltry number by comparison. We can't think of a better way to build some funds toward a great trio of causes, and when one compares the billions made every year by the industry as a whole, it seems only fitting that all that commerce be channeled into something with a meaningful impact.

There's still plenty of time for you to help do just that. You can visit the Nick's Marathon web site, or just follow (and hopefully retweet) the guys as they head into next weekend's marathon over @nicksmarathon. Go toss 'em a few bucks and tell 'em TPS sentcha, won't you?