On June 18th, 2016, Code in the Schools (aka CitS) had a Game-a-thon.  What is a Game-a-thon you might ask?  Don’t worry, I will explain it all later in this post.  Members from team Pearson and Redding joined team CitS for this great event.

After attending the event, I had a few questions for team Pearson and Redding about the event and gaming in general.  Before we get into it, here’s a quick bio of the interviewees.

Team Pearson

Ty: Ty games with the best of them.  While not currently super active gaming wise today, she’s put in tons of hours playing Diablo and Diablo 2.

Eliot Jr: Eliot’s studying engineer in high school and loves to game.  He represents the up and coming gamer group for this post.

Team Redding

Jason: Jason’s a Software Engineer and gamer.  Jason and I have been talking about games for years.  We’ve worked together in the past.  Pretty great Engineer to work with.  An I’m not just saying this because he’s going to read this.

Team CitS

We were able to hang out with the Code in the School staff.  Here’s everyone that was there.

Derek: An instructor at Code in the School.

Josh: An instructor at Code in the School.

Ore: An instructor at Code in the School.

Paul: A Code in the School volunteer.

Taylor: An instructor at Code in the School.


We all enjoyed the event.  I wanted to raise awareness with this post.  I also wanted to get multiple perspectives of the attendees.  The questions had some great responses.  I also added follow up questions inline and some personal take-a-ways.  Enjoy!

What’s a Game-a-thon?

Ty: A Game-a-thon is gaming over a time span while raising awareness and funds for a cause.

Eliot Jr: A marathon of playing games continuously.

Jason: An event where people gather to enjoy (or endure) extended gameplay?

Me: This isn’t jeopardy no need to answer in the form of a question. Just looking for your raw response.  But yes, you are correct.

Jason: Well, I meant it as a sort of joke.. But ended it with “?” because I wasn’t sure if that was acceptable.

Me: I get it and it’s totally okay.

Me: I searched but couldn’t find a wikipedia page or a solid definition for Game-a-thon.  I largely agree with everyone’s answer here.  If you know of a good definition please send me a link.  I will post it and give you credit!

Why did Code in the Schools have a Game-a-thon?

Ty: They had a Game-a-thon to raise money and awareness for there programs geared towards kids learning coding and computer science skills.

Eliot Jr: To raise money so that they could improve the programs that they have for teaching children code.

Jason: To raise money for their purpose (teaching programming/coding in an academic setting/context).

How long was the Game-a-thon?

Ty: The game jam was 12 hours.

Eliot Jr: 12 hours I believe.

Jason: 12 hours.  Are you assessing how well I absorbed info?

Me: No, just polling the group.

Me: Yes, I totally was seeing if everyone was paying attention.  Ty called the event a Game Jam, but I know she knew the difference between the Game-a-thon and Game Jam.  I wonder if we should call the Game-a-thon something else.  What do you think?

What was your favorite game that we played during the game-a-thon?

Ty: My favorite game was I am bread, when you played it of course.

Eliot Jr: I am bread lol.

Jason: Either “I Am Bread” or “Uncharted 4”. But I wasn’t there for the first 2 hours, and I left kinda early. I’m also not very familiar with many games.

Why was this your favorite game?

Ty: It was so simple yet impossible. I like games that make me freak out when someone else is playing.

Eliot Jr: It was very entertaining, and gave a good challenge. It had good coding, a solid goal, multiple solutions, and great graphics.

Jason: I Am Bread looked pretty fun, especially in a social setting (as it was when we were all watching and commenting on your gameplay).. It’s also a cool but simple challenge/idea for a game.  Uncharted 4 because I’ve already fallen in love with the game series (I own 1, 2, and 3) and I was kinda anxious to see/play the 4th.

What was something you learned at the event?

Ty: I learned that they serviced over I think it was 800 kids.  I may have the number wrong but it was in the hundreds.

Me: You mean the number of kids that participated in a CitS program this year?

Ty: Yes.

Eliot Jr: That many people believe that games should be more immersive, to improve how entertaining the game is. An example of this that we went over was how Uncharted 4 had many cutscenes throughout the game, which made for a much more in depth and creative gameplay style.

Jason: That Derek taught Javascript to Middle schoolers (I think).

Me: Derek, Taylor, and Josh are really into gaming.  I’ve known them over a year, we never talked about games not outside of what was developed at Game Jam.  Jason was also correct.  Derek taught middle schoolers Javascript.  That’s amazing!

Other than team Pearson and Redding, who else was at the Game-a-thon?

Ty: Josh, Taylor, Derek, and 2 other associates. Why?

Me: I just wanted to see what you remembered.

Eliot Jr: Taylor, Josh, and Derek.

Jason: Josh, Taylor, Derek, and a brief visitor (I think) of whom I wasn’t fully aware.

Me: Everyone forgot about Paul accept for Ty.  Don’t worry bud, I know you were there.  Thanks for hanging out with us!  Also, Ore, an CitS instructor stopped to show support which was super cool.

What were all the games we played?

Ty: I don’t remember all. Call of duty, I am bread, Portal 2, Uncharted4 and two others. I forgot the scary one.

Me: I think was the scary one was Outlast.

Eliot Jr: I am bread, Dark Souls 3, Call of Duty (whatever version, I can’t keep up with that game), Uncharted 4, and Jason played portal 2.  Derek also played that old street fighter game.  After we left, they played Outlast.  Was it black ops 3?  IDK what version.

Jason:  I can’t remember what that one was called where Josh tricked Derek into playing with driftwood for armor. And then I think there was a Call of Duty (Zombie mode) one?

Me: Derek played Dark Souls 3.  I believe we played Call of Duty Black Ops 3.

Me: Jason played Portal 2, but I’m not sure if we streamed it.  I also played Black Ops 3, but I will give you a recap later.  Trust me, it’s really juicy!

Were there any games that you saw that you wanted to play and why?

Ty: Probably some type of Pokemon game. They are really hot right now.  Maybe would have gotten more viewers and younger crowd, but you only had the ps4 I think and xbox.  I would have liked to see Sonic as well. But Josh forgot to download it.

Eliot Jr: I saw Uncharted 4, personally never played it, but again it seems interesting as it has a great story plot and immersive gameplay.

Jason: Uncharted 4. Because the Uncharted games are fun.  I Am Bread. Because it looked fun.  I wanted to play Portal 2 (co-op) but there were technical reasons why we couldn’t get that going. I’ve played it before (co-op) but it’s been forever.

Would you go to a Game-a-thon in the future?

Ty: Yes I would.

Eliot Jr: Yes.

Jason: Yeah, it’s likely I would go to a Game-a-thon in the future.

What game should we have played at the Game-a-thon that we didn’t?

Eliot Jr: They are entertaining and are usually for a good cause in which I support, and hold up, this is for the question.  We should have played Don’t starve, the game was already downloaded, but we didn’t play it. It is a very fun game that can take some creative thinking to really ensure survival.

Jason: That’s not easy for me to answer… I’ve been out of the games circle for quite some time now.

Me: No biggie.  Let’s see if you have a pick for the next Game-a-thon.

Why is gaming important to you?

Ty: Gaming relieves stress and improves brain function.

Eliot Jr: It is something that is not only entertainment, but it can build upon your social and problem solving skills. Also, with cooperative games, it helps build teamwork, good sportsmanship, and friendship.

Jason: It helps to relieve stress.

You do know i’m going to create a blog post for this and post it on the Internet?  How can people follow you online?

Ty: People can follow through social media and Twitch.

Eliot Jr: Instagram, tumblr, twitter, and pinterest.

Jason: I have create one. Stay tuned…


I’m going to have to wrap up this post.  I know I promised to talk about Derek horrible journey to the land of Dark Souls 2.  I will do this, but just in another post.  We all had a lot of fun at the Game-a-thon.  Are you going to attend one?  If so or not, leave the reason in the description!  I would love to get your perspective.