Sponsor Spotlight: OCZ

There’s a lot that goes into livestreaming video games, and even more so when you’re trying to stream 48 hours straight (or longer), playing a huge variety of console games that were never meant for streaming in the first place, and only having 10 minutes of warning for each game before making an hourly switch! (Not that we’re complaining, we love what we do, and it’s all for charity!) Quality equipment and a dose of ingenuity make it possible to do all of the above on a high-res broadcast.

When the dust settles on a marathon, we like to be able to go back, revisit the footage, and share our game-a-thons with the world after the fact. But to do that, we need the ability to record HD footage simultaneously while outputting a high-quality broadcast directly to the stream. Not an easy task, especially not for 48 hours straight with no interruptions to either the broadcast or the recording.

OCZ Storage Solutions

OCZ Storage Solutions

But thanks to our sponsor OCZ, it actually is an easy task. With the donation of an OCZ RevoDrive 350 Series 480GB PCI-E Solid State Drive, we’re able to do it all perfectly. The drive is lightning fast, thanks to being a PCI-E drive, so writing high-def footage to the drive in real time is absolutely no problem. And 480GB of space nicely holds 48 hours of footage without issue.

It lets us capture and share ridiculousness from our [After Hours] rehearsals:

And it enables us to save every moment of our charity game-a-thons, including the Thank Yous at the end:

All thanks to OCZ and their generous solid state storage drive donation! Visit OCZ’s website for more information on their offerings, and be sure to check out the rest of our video archive for all the great videos we’ve captured on our OCZ drive!

Vote Now for the Games YOU Want to Make Us Play in UPickVG 5!

Vote Now for the Games in UPickVG 5

UPickVG 5, the fifth annual-ish charity game-a-thon where you, the viewer, get to pick the games we have to play – why, it’s just around the corner! And now, it’s time for one of the really fun parts of the game picking: the voter poll!

We use your votes in this poll to determine how much demand there is for each game you guys have requested (and therefore, how likely it is that a certain game will raise money for charity). So if you’re really keen on seeing a certain game (or several certain games) in the game-a-thon, let us know by coming back to vote every day through May 15th!

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Last Chance to Request Games for UPickVG 5!

UPickVG 5 is coming, June 3rd-5th! And just like all of our mega charity game-a-thons, YOU get to pick the games we’ll be playing! But you’ve only got a limited time left to let us know what games you want

Starting Sunday May 1st, we’ll take the games you’ve requested on the Request Games page and make a super-giant-awesome voter poll out of them all! So you want to get your requests in to us before May 1st, to make sure they make it into the poll. Once the poll is opened, the Request Games page will be closed for business, and at that point, you’ll only be able to add new games via a write-in campaign on the poll (and trust us, getting your game suggestions in before the deadline is a heck’ova lot easier than doing a write-in campaign in the poll).

So request the games you want to see now, and get your voting fingers ready for May 1st!

Sponsor Spotlight: Mini Museum

At our first World Water Day Game-a-thon, the U-Pick Crew was excited to offer fabulous prizes such as a copy of Hyrule Historia and a Limited Edition Portal Gun Replica.  Our wonderful viewers tuned in, donated, and exchanged their Karma Points for a chance to win these physical items.  But once the dust settled and the raffle winners were chosen, the task of delivering these geeky goodies remained.

Fortunately, Mini Museum has graciously offered to serve as the official Shipping Sponsor for the U-Pick Prize Giveaways!


Mini Museum offers personal collections of the rarest objects from Earth (and beyond!) artfully arranged and encased in acrylic.  Each collection of specimens comes with a certificate of authenticity, along with a Companion Guide that provides details on each of the items and essays on the making of the Mini Museum.  The hands-on nature of the acrylic displays, combined with the impressive information within the Companion Guide, makes the Mini Museum a valuable learning tool and delightful collectible.


The Second Edition of the Mini Museum is currently available for pre-order, and features 26 specimens including skin from the Hindenburg, plate from a Stegosaurus, and medieval chain mail. This collection is well-curated and lovingly handcrafted to inspire for generations.  Please check them out and be sure to lay down a pre-order, as supplies are very limited!

The U-Pick Crew is so thankful to Mini Museum for their generous sponsorship, and we look forward to offering more great giveaways in our future marathons!

Sponsor Spotlight: ThinkGeek

For our very first World Water Day Game-a-thon, the U-Pick Crew received a generous donation from ThinkGeek!


ThinkGeek is a massive online retailer of unique and authentic geeky goodies.  Since opening in 1999, ThinkGeek has been on a mission to create a world where everyone can embrace their inner geek and connect with one another.  Their ever-expanding collection of products covers a wide variety of items, including pithy t-shirts, sci-themed home decor, effective outdoor gear, and so much more.

No matter your personal geeky preference, ThinkGeek has got you covered.  Among their digital store shelves you can find gear for The Walking Dead, Star Trek, Legend of Zelda, Game of Thrones, Adventure Time, Marvel Comics, and Minecraft, just to name a few of the hundreds of properties represented by ThinkGeek products.

So whether you are looking for a stackable desk lamp made of Tetris blocks, a Death Star waffle maker, or simply a nice Doctor Who polo shirt for work, be sure to check out ThinkGeek for all of your nerdy necessities!

Steam Key Bundle Prize for #WorldWaterDay

[Update]: Congrats to our winner, Guptina!

On Tuesday March 22nd starting at 4:30pm and ending at 5:30pm ET, we will be giving away a bundle of games via Steam keys.  This collection covers a wide variety of genres and includes the following games:

Torchlight II


An award-winning action role-playing game that features randomly generated dungeons for players to explore.  This game features four playable classes, each with three different skill trees for customization. Delve into these dungeons alone or with up to 6 friends online!



Strider Hiryu is back and ready to take on his old foe, Grandmaster Meio!  This new adventure features intense side-scrolling action and challenging ninja combat in a giant interconnected world.  Fans of the Strider series will find a fantastic new challenge, while newcomers will see just what an ultimate ninja can do!

Worms Revolution


The classic turn-based strategy game returns!  The latest installment in the Worms series has exciting new features and beautiful 3D graphics while retaining the beloved 2D gameplay.  Blast your way through an extensive single-player campaign or destroy up to 3 of your friends locally or online!

Mass Effect 2


Commander Shepard and the crew return in Bioware’s epic science fiction game.  This action role-playing game provides players with an engrossing story, complex character relationships, and plenty of intense third-person shooter combat.  Deep character customization options allow players to create their own version of Commander Shepard, while the improved dialogue system provides further immersion in this exciting and dangerous world.

ORION: Prelude


Who would win in a fight: space marines or dinosaurs?  In this indie sci-fi shooter, players work together or compete to accomplish mission objectives, explore giant worlds and survive the devastating Dinosaur Horde.



Dig, Fight, Explore, Build: The very world is at your fingertips as you fight for survival, fortune, and glory.  Terraria blends elements of classic action games with the creativity of open-world sandbox gameplay.  Players can strike out on their own or dive into this vast world with friends online.

Hammerwatch with Temple of the Sun expansion


Inspired by classic hack-and-slash titles like Gauntlet, this game allows up to 4 players to slay hordes of monsters locally or online.  Hammerwatch features 6 different classes, each with unique abilities and development.  This Steam key also includes the Temple of the Sun expansion, which features a new desert campaign, along with additional bosses, monsters, and challenges.

Resident Evil 4


What starts as a clean-cut rescue mission for special agent Leon Kennedy quickly escalates into another biohazardous nightmare.  Take on the lost souls and horrific monsters of the Las Plagas infection and save the U.S. President’s daughter in this classic survival horror gem, now in HD!

Thomas Was Alone


Thomas Was Alone is an indie minimalist 2D platformer about friendship and jumping and floating and anti-gravity.  In this charming adventure, players will guide a group of rectangles through a series of obstacles, using their different skills to survive and escape.  The entire experience is narrated with a wistful and charming voiceover by Danny Wallace.

The U-Pick Crew is very grateful to our own SuperChloe and Bobby for their donations to our first World Water Day event, and we look forward to giving this awesome bundle away to one of our viewers!

Sponsor Spotlight: Total Wine & More

For our very first World Water Day Game-a-thon, the U-Pick Crew received a generous donation from Total Wine & More for our Prize Giveaways!

As America’s largest independent retailer of fine wine, Total Wine & More stands out as an amazing source for quality spirits.  They have over 130 superstores located across 18 states, with a typical store carrying over 8,000 different wines, 2,500 different beers, and more than 3,000 different spirits in every style and price range.  Their knowledgeable and polite staff are eager to assist customers find great prices on old favorites, or to help discover new and delicious beverages from their wide variety.

Total Wine & More

As the resident beer geek of the U-Pick Crew, I can attest that Total Wine & More has an amazing selection of craft and import beers, many of which are offered in a handy make-your-own-six-pack variety.  On every visit to their stores, I have encountered excellent customer service from their kind associates, who regularly recommend tasty and novel brews for me to try.

In addition to their retail philosophy, Total Wine & More is committed to supporting the communities in which we work and live.  The company gives to a number of diverse charities and local non-profits, focusing on contributions to organizations that foster humanities, health services, and education.  In 2015, Total Wine & More donated over $6 million through in-kind and monetary contributions to 7,000+ local charities in 18 states, which in turn helped them raise over $36 million to support their programs.

Whether you are a wine aficionado or a fledgling craft beer explorer, be sure to check out Total Wine & More’s stores and their website for a great variety and knowledgeable staff!

Hyrule Historia Prize for #WorldWaterDay

[Update]: Congrats to our winner, JohnLockeCole!

On Monday March 21st starting at 8:30pm and ending at 9:30pm ET, we will be giving away a hardcover copy of Hyrule Historia from our generous hosts, Comics and Gaming Fairfax!


This beautiful 280-page book features tons of never-before-seen information and artwork from the Legend of Zelda series.  Hyrule Historia includes concept art, the full history of Hyrule, the official chronology of the series, and much more!


Fans of the Legend of Zelda will find all sorts of treasures in this tome, while newcomers to the series will have a vast wealth of knowledge at their fingertips.

The U-Pick Crew is very grateful to Comics and Gaming Fairfax for their donation to our first World Water Day event, and we look forward to giving this awesome bundle away to one of our viewers!

Portal Gun Replica Prize for #WorldWaterDay

[Update]: Congrats to our winner, green_b!

On Tuesday March 22nd starting at 8:30pm and ending at 9:30pm ET, we will be giving away a Limited Edition Portal Gun Replica.  This Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device is an officially licensed Portal/Portal 2 collectible made by NECA.

Custom Portal Gun donated by ThinkGeek


The device is a life-size 1:1 scale replica of Chell’s fantastic contraption, limited to only 5000 pieces worldwide.  It features adjustable blue and orange lights, along with unique sounds that correspond to each color (requires three C-batteries, not included).  It’s a perfect item for cosplay, or sit on your mantle for all to bask in its glory.


The U-Pick Crew is very grateful to ThinkGeek for their donation to our first World Water Day event, and we look forward to giving this rare collectible away to one of our viewers!

Announcement Incoming: Giveaways at the World Water Day Game-a-thon

For our very first World Water Day Game-a-thon, the U-Pick Crew has something special in store for our viewers: Prize Giveaways!

Over the course of our 28-hour marathon, we will have four scheduled giveaway hours, each with its own awesome prize!  How do you win such fabulous prizes?  Tune in during the scheduled giveaways and exchange your Karma Points for raffle tickets.  The best way to earn Karma Points is through donations, however you can earn small amounts by simply tuning in and watching the stream.

At the end of each giveaway hour, the raffle will be closed and our dedicated MechaGengarBot will randomly select a ticket and announce the winner in chat!  Please note that the winner must be present in chat to send us a private message via MechaGengarBot’s announcement.

You can also check out all of the prizes and their scheduled giveaway hours over on our aptly named Prizes page. We will also be previewing each prize on our blog leading up to the marathon, starting with a generous gift from Total Wine & More!

[Update]: Congrats to our winner, SuperChloe!

On Tuesday March 22nd starting at 12:30pm and ending at 1:30pm ET, we will be giving away a $25 gift card from Total Wine & More.  This gift card can be used at any of the over 130 Total Wine & More retail locations across 18 states.  Please note that only those who are at least 21 years of age can use this gift card at Total Wine & More.


Since opening their doors in 1991, Total Wine & More has been committed to enriching the lives of wine lovers, as well as supporting the communities in which we work and live. In 2015, Total Wine & More donated over $6 million through in-kind and monetary contributions to 7,000+ local charities in 18 states, which in turn helped them raise over $36 million to support their programs.

The U-Pick Crew is very grateful to Total Wine & More for their donation to our first World Water Day event, and we look forward to giving this fabulous prize away to one of our viewers!