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Child's Play industry charity raises record-breaking sum

$1.7 million donated throughout year, despite economic downturn

Industry charity Child's Play raised a record-breaking sum of money for children's hospitals around the world in 2009, despite the economic downturn.

In total, USD 1.7 million was raised over the year from events including the charity's annual gala dinner and auction and the Desert Bus for Hope marathon.

The latter is an event in which online sketch comedy team LoadingReadyRun play a mini-game from what they describe as the most boring videogame ever designed - Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors for Sega CD - for as long as donations keep coming in. This year the team played the game for over five days.

The accumulated money surpassed the charity's previous efforts by USD 346,493 - not an easy feat in the current economic climate, according to the Child's Play Foundation's coordinator Kristin Lindsay.

"Every year we think we've peaked, but each new year we get thousands of new gamers pitching in, coming up with their own events to raise funds," said Lindsay.

"At a time when most charities are struggling to get traditional donors to contribute, we've found that gamers are second to none in their willingness to donate their time and money to a worthy cause."

The money was used to provide books, movies, games and other gifts to children's hospitals across the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Egypt over the holiday season.

Hospital wish lists will remain online at Amazon throughout the year however for those still wanting to donate, and the foundation will continue to accept donations through PayPal.

Corporate sponsors for the charity include Microsoft, Harmonix, Wizards of the Coast, PopCap, Bioware and Ubisoft.

Child's Play has raised more than USD 6.7 million for hospitalised children since its inception in 2003.

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Kath Brice

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