by David Mendez
"Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors" is an unreleased video game that was intended, generally, to screw with people. It's what Penn & Teller do: they perform illusions (because a trick is something a whore does for money); they make you laugh; and they're damn clever about everything they do.
But, for various reasons, "Smoke and Mirrors" never came out—which is no big loss, considering that one of the mini-games within the game, "Desert Bus" is a real-time bus-driving simulation, wherein the player drives a bus from Tucson to Las Vegas. In game-time, it's an eight-hour trek...and it earns you one point. For a second point, the player has to make the trek back from Vegas to Tucson—which is when the game starts to get dark. Literally. As in, the sun goes down.
This matters because for the last six years, the comedy group LoadingReadyRun has organized Desert Bus for Hope, a charity event in which a team of poor souls plays a "Desert Bus" marathon, collecting money for Child's Play, a charity organization that donates toys and games to children in hospitals worldwide.
This current marathon has been ongoing for, as of this writing, two days and 17 hours, which is a soul-crushingly long time to play a game that looks like this:
If you want to support Desert Bus for Hope, head to desertbus.org, or buy a commemorative Desert Bus for Hope 6 shirt from Tucson's very own Fangamer, which is donating all profits from the sale of that shirt to Child's Play via Desert Bus for Hope.