These days, video games can be, and are, incorporated in everything from entertainment to physical therapy to military training. And soon, if USU student Christopher Leitch has his way, they’ll also be synonymous with charity.

Starting on July 30 at 3:00 p.m. and running for the next 72 hours straight, Leitch will be hosting the first ever PAPER MARIO marathon. The event is aimed at getting the community involved in raising money for both Child’s Play, an organization that donates video games to hospitals’ children’s wards, and One Laptop per Child, a charity that donates inexpensive laptops to children in developing countries.

The marathon will take the shape of a competitive gaming tournament where each team represents one of the organizations. Community members are invited to participate via live Web streaming and encouraged to donate to the charity, or team, of their choice. Leitch is hoping to find sponsors to match the donations garnered by the winning team.

Interested parties can watch the live stream of the marathon at and donations can be made at with either a credit card or PayPal account. Contributors will be entered to win various prizes, up to and including a Nintendo Wii.

And even though the marathon is competitive, Leitch doubts that anyone will lose sight of the big picture.

“The main goal is just having fun and raising money for charity,” he said.