Sunday Sesh: Check out the Harvey Relief Done Quick marathon and help out the Houston Food Bank

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Hurricane Harvey, a juggernaut of a 500-year storm (that means it has a 1 in 500 chance of occurring in any year) dropped 33 trillion gallons of water on the US. While news abounds of devastation and loss, it’s the personal narratives that have really struck me. A very good friend who hired me as a tutor when I needed some extra money during grad school lost his home two weeks after moving to Houston. His family had to be rescued by boat. Others have gone without food and necessary supplies, and one friend from Dallas gathered a U-Haul of baby clothes, diapers, food, and water to distribute to folks in Houston who need it. While it can often feel overwhelming trying to figure out what to do in the face of natural, compelling forces, the video game speed run community over at Games Done Quick has decided to take action, quickly organizing a charity weekend marathon to raise money for the Houston Food Bank, one of the better organizations to whom you can send relief. The stream so far has raised $130k, and it’s still running for another 12 hours or so.

At the time of writing, NME is playing through Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts with a target time of 50 minutes. Still on deck today are:

  • Wario Land 4
  • The End Is Nigh
  • Viewtiful Joe
  • Dishonored (All Collectibles)
  • The Legend of Zelda (No Up+A)
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Swordless, Randomized Race)
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (Race)
  • Setup Kart 64 (150cc All Cups)
  • Super Metroid (100% Map Race)
  • Final Fantasy IV

That’s a fantastic lineup for a stellar weekend of speed runs. For those unfamiliar, a speed run is a type of competitive play through a video game (most often a classic like the original Legend of Zelda or Super Mario 64), often with special categories like any % completion, no glitches, and even wilder challenges. Many of the famous runners you’ll see this weekend (most of whom are streaming from home due to the extremely brief organization period of the charity) have spent years practicing a single game, trying plays over and over and over again to nail the perfect execution and to discover neat shortcuts inadvertently programmed into a game’s code. While gaming in general is often a horrid, poisonous community full of rampant misogyny and immaturity, the Games Done Quick organization stands as a bright light. Its last major event, Summer Games Done Quick (hosted earlier this summer) raised $1.7 million in donations for charity! While Harvey Relief Done Quick will come nowhere near that sum, the organization’s rapid, heartfelt response to tragedy is something to be praised.

If you’d like to check out GDQ’s site and donate to the Houston Food Bank, you can do so here.

I’d also like to take a moment to acknowledge that while many of us in the US are understandably focused on the massive devastation wrought in our own backyard, millions in South Asia are suffering due to unprecedented floods across India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. At least 1200 people have died from flooding and infrastructure damage. At least 1.8 million children have been shut out of their schools. Experts estimate that 40 million people have been impacted by the devastation. While we’re reeling from Harvey, many, many more people the world over are suffering.

If you’d like to send some aid to the people of South Asia, there are a number of established charities you can use. Unicef is one highly rated charity that spends little on overhead and works actively to improve the lives of children. Islamic Relief USA is also highly rated and has set up a direct fund for South Asian flood survivors.

If you’ve got some extra cash burning a hole in your pocket, consider foregoing that extra digital purchase on Bandcamp and toss some money at a good cause. We’ll be here watching folks play classic games in the meantime.

(Photos VIA and VIA)

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  • KJM, Anla’Shok

    OT: Walter Becker R.I.P.

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      Also haven’t read anything about Tobe Hooper’s death this week either.
      It may sound ridiculous, but I don’t think my taste in art in general would’ve been the same if I wouldn’t have sneakily watched the first TCM when I was a kid.

      • KJM, Anla’Shok

        Salem’s Lot was my fave Hooper movie.

        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          Haven’t watched that one in ages. Should revisit in the future.
          I think the second TCM movie is very underrated as well.

          • KJM, Anla’Shok

            TCM 2 is a great movie. Having Dennis Hopper helps a lot.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    These climate problems seem to become worse and worse as time goes on. Mostly I try to support a bit financially whenever these things happen.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    OT: yesterday I watched The Devil’s Candy (another recent horror movie with a heavy metal connection). I liked it quite a bit.
    Also watched Get Out and felt a bit underwhelmed. Got some good ideas and scenes, but overall I like my horror to be a bit more eerie and haunting. Great acting tho.

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY
      • more beer

        My buddy Jeff was the original singer in Morpheus Descends. The idiots on Metal Archives have his cause of death as a heroin overdose which is wrong. He died in a motorcycle accident.

        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          It’s always infuriating when people – who don’t even know the person who died personally – immediately put someone’s death down to drug use when that isn’t the truth. Two years ago a pal of mine died too and before the cause of death was even made public, there were a bunch of tossers running their mouth (on social networking sites, I might add) about how the guy died because of a drug overdose. Turned out he slipped with his wallaroo-bike into the canal, he couldn’t swim and he drowned. Some people just need to have their mouths punched shut before they can open them.

          • more beer

            It really is Frank. Did someone just decide Jeff was in metal bands so he had of overdosed. I actually spoke to one of our mutual friends yesterday, who was in a different band with him. Who was the person who told me he passed away. I think he knew a little better then the moron on Metal Archives. It is a shame that we live in a world full of idiots.

      • I have an oath to upvote every comment with Eucharist on it. There you go.

        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          More people should talk about Eucharist.

          • I did my best once! Jajaja, maybe I should resurrect them on another article if they finally set them to release the new songs.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Nowadays their albums are pretty much unfindable anyways. I won a cd copy of the debut on Ebay some time ago, but nowadays it’s way way up in the price categories. Same with those Morpheus Descends, The Chasm, Toxik, Slauter Xstroyes, Revenant and Order From Chaos albums – though Order From Chaos’ Stillbirth Machine is best bought on cd as the Osmose issued dual version with the Crushed Infamy EP added as a bonus.

          • I think I read they were going to re-release both with the original covers. But, I don’t know what happened with that 🙁

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Probably not gonna happen. Many of those cult classics had a reissue a few years ago, but even those reissues are rather expensive nowadays.

          • Brutalist_Receptacle

            When Eucharist isn’t in the room, everyone should be asking “Where’s Eucharist?”

      • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

        Man, I really need to revisit ATG first two albums. Great stuff

        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          They’re the best ATG. The Gardens of Grief EP is also one of the greatest metal EP’s of the 90’s imo.

          • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

            Now that Anders Björler is out of ATG, it would be awesome if they could bring back Alf Svensson. That dude could seriously write a mighty riff. Doubt it would happen, though. From what I understand, he is not interested in playing music anymore and hasn’t been for a long time

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            No other guitar player in metal has ever been able to replicate the “Alf riff”. That guy churned out some seriously warped stuff.
            I doubt they’d ever be able to recreate the sounds of old ATG again though. They were different musicians back then. I don’t think it’s without reason that they decided to make their music more straightforward with SotS – and I’m not ripping on SotS because I think the amount of shit that album gets in certain circles isn’t entirely fair. Sure it’s more “dumbed down” but the execution is still very good. Also, it wasn’t the album’s fault a swarm of hot topic scenester shit bands decided to rip it off.

          • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

            I really enjoy SotS (and AWWR for that matter) but I agree that it doesn’t have the magic of those early albums. Same with My Dying Bride; they still put out quality stuff, but their pre-1995 material had a certain warped looseness that their later stuff just doesn’t have. I guess youth and inexperience sometimes give bands a certain spark

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            In My Dying Bride’s case I think they had one more moment of magic with The Dreadful Hours. Aside from that I think their best stuff were the first 3 albums (“Flower”, “Swans” and “Angel”).

          • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

            I like all of MDB’s albums (even the dreaded 34.7888%) but I agree that their first 3 albums (and the EPs of that era) are easily their best work

    • Get Out isn’t the scariest film i’ve ever seen, but it’s pretty spectacular for other reasons. the acting for sure, also the dialogue, humor, satire, and directing. but America also needed a mainstream film which tackled race relations as well as it did. for me, it might be the best film of the year. it’s so rare to find a movie which checks all the boxes of what make a movie great

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        It’s a good movie, but I try to read up upon a movie as little as possible before watching it and probably I just went into it expecting a full blown “horror movie” a bit too much.

      • I found it REALLY scary, to be completely honest. One of my favorite flicks of this year.

    • Dubby Fresh

      Get Out isn’t really a horror, imo. It’s more social commentary disguised as horror. Really liked it a lot.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Yeah, like I said to Jimmy/Dusty, I probably didn’t go into it with the right mindset. I’d say it’s a very well made film tho.

        • what’s a rill gud horror film you’ve seen this year? i need rec’s

          • Dubby Fresh

            The Void

          • oooooh that’s a good’un

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Honest answer? I haven’t really seen a horror film that managed to unnerve me in a long time. I think the last one that kinda creeped me out was Sinister; and that was only the first half, before they started to show too much of “the boogeyman”, making it apparent that he looked more like a Slipknot reject than an actual terrifying demon. Those little brats running around the house didn’t help either.

          • KJM, Anla’Shok

            I liked Sinister, and I second The Void. If you enjoy the Carpenter/Cronenberg vibe, you’ll like The Void. The only other recent horror I’ve liked is The Witch.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Oh yeah, I forgot about The Witch. That one was really good.

  • more beer

    A bunch of us were talking about putting on some benefit shows to help out the victims of Harvey. Our main concern became which of these alleged charitable organizations isn’t going to take a huge cut off of the top, to pay themselves. Getting people involved and willing to put in the time and the work isn’t an issue. We have found getting venues to help and bands to play for a good cause is never an issue. Our issue is the money actually going to the victims. The people who actually need the help. We realize that these organizations need money to do their thing. But how much of it actually goes to the victims? We were already doing two benefit shows in the next month, one for a battered woman’s shelter and another that hit’s much closer to home for a friend of the scene, who has always put in her work setting up shows and doing benefits for others. She has been really sick all year and has incurred some huge medical bills. So we are going to give back to her. We know these donations are going to be used 100% by those they are for. Anyone with some suggestions feel free to hit me up. .

    • Dubby Fresh

      Food banks, from my experience, do tend to give more back to the community.

      • more beer

        Yea that’s true, but do they accept cash or just food?

        • Dubby Fresh

          As far as I know they do, but here’s a list of some other things you can try.

          http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/28/546745827/looking-to-help-those-affected-by-harvey-here-s-a-list

          • more beer

            Thanks Dubs. I will look into that. We are always willing to help we just want to know the right people are getting the help. That is a solid list and will bring it up with my friends.

          • Dubby Fresh

            Don’t blame you. There have been quite a few stories of vultures scamming honest people just trying to help. It’s really sad.

          • more beer

            It’s the world we live in. People trying to cash in on others misery. That is why we really try to keep our charity more localized. So that we know that the people who need the help actually get it.

          • Dubby Fresh

            Most of what I donated went directly to a crowdfund set up for my friends whose house was ruined. They posted an update yesterday that pretty much all of their clothes and shoes, all of their furniture, and all of their personal possessions were ruined. They said that the hardest part is going to be explaining to their three sons why all their stuff is gone.

            Thankfully, the crowdfund actually surpassed their goals.

          • more beer

            That is a good way to do things. I am glad the crowdfund surpassed their goals as well.We did a benefit showon the Saturday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend. For William Tolley’s daughters college fund.(most of us knew him) We raised 1400 bucks on a holiday weekend. Which all went to his wife to put in a trust for her. We will probably do that every year from now on. It is always good to give back to the community. You just want to know that it is really helping.

          • Dubby Fresh

            That’s awesome! Tolley seemed like a genuinely loved dude.

          • more beer

            It’s really hard to not like a guy who risks his life to save other’s. Plus everyone had a good time for a good cause. Life doesn’t really get better than that.

    • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

      The safest bet is probably using the money to buy clothes, food, blankets, etc. and donating those, rather than donating money that people can easily take for themselves

      • more beer

        That’s another great Idea thanks Milfs!

        • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

          You are welcome. It is awesome that you are doing all this hard work to help others

          • more beer

            There are bunch of us who work together when we do things like this. We all have our individual talents. So we have learned who is good at what and we each do what we are best at. It seems to work well, because no one person is burdened with everything. Also when you are involved in your local scene, it makes it easier to get people on the scene to give back. Everyone needs some help sometimes and it is nice to be able to make a difference.

  • This is one of my favorite posts of this week! (I also really enjoyed to chat a little with Dubs on the runs, even when the Venezuelan connection doesn’t help, jaja!).

    Glad to see the guys on GDQ pulling this run so quick and getting some good resources for those in need. Solidarity with the brothers and sisters of the US that were severely struck by the hurricane. Same with the people on Asia. A lot of dangerous things are brweing out with the global warming changes 🙁

    • For those retro seekers of video games like us, I recommend to check out their channel on Youtube to see more of their previous events! Highly entertaining, since these guys practically crack a lot of retro games in all the different categories. I look for some runs when I am at lunch hour at work, jajaja!