Galagathon Aims for the Ultimate High Score for Kids

Jason Bennett,

August 2, 2020 7:02 PM

Galaga gamers unite for an 11 day celebration of the iconic Namco space-themed shooter to raise funds for children's hospital charity

Normally when classic arcade gamers gather together to stream, you can be sure that there will be off-topic banter, well-timed emoticons, and good-spirited competition for the high score. But for 11 days beginning August 10, fans of Namco’s classic shooter Galaga will compete collectively to raise money for a Children’s Miracle Network hospital. 

Called the Galagathon, the fundraiser for 2020 is a collaboration between Mark Schult, Jordan Dorrington, and Jacob Upland

Under the auspices of Extra Life, an online movement that unites gamers from around the world to raise money benefiting the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, Mark hosted the inaugural Galagathon in 2019 as a fundraiser for Riley Hospital for Children - Indiana University Health.

Galagthon 2020 aims to leverage on-line participation to help raise funds for Riley's Children's Hospital [Source: Jacob Upland]

“Last year, this was a live, one-night event that lasted all day and night,” explained Jacob. While the fundraiser was a great success at One Up Arcade in Indianapolis, “with covid, obviously things have to change, so the event will be spread out over several nights, streamed to Mark's Twitch channel.” 

The logistical challenges of hosting another event at a physical site dovetailed with the trio’s interest in fostering greater community engagement that would run through the year. 

“We have been working for a few months on a project for competitive Galaga that's similar to Kong League in that it will function with two players going head-to-head on Twitch,” Jacob said. 

The first big test for the concept and collaboration will be a tournament that will run as part of Galagathon 2020. To anchor this year’s fundraiser, Mark will stream a series of pre-recorded interviews that will air alongside his Galaga play on his Twitch channel. Featured guests will include the likes of Nibbler extraordinaire Tim McVey and Atari software wunderkind Howard Scott Warshaw. 

Mark Schult will be streaming an interview with Tim McVey of Man vs Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler [Source: Jacob Upland]

During this phase of the Galagathon, the Galaga Group of Facebook will be organizing Qualifier rounds for a tournament called Galaga Versus that will culminate with head-to-head matches streamed on Jacob’s Twitch channel. The goal is to expand Galaga Versus to regular Galaga head-to-head competition in different categories such as Micro 31, Single Ship, and Race to 1 Million.

The $10 entry fee is donated to Riley's Children's Hospital. Participants will stream their gameplay to the Galaga Group and for maximum flexibility they can use arcade, MAME, Arcade1Up, and console ports of the game. The qualifiers will run from August 10 to 18, followed by Top 8, Semifinals, and the finals on August 20th and 21st which will be streamed on Jacob’s Twitch channel. In addition to bragging rights and helping kids, the winner will receive a signed commemorative poster.

“In the future, I'm hoping to expand on this and make it a structured, recurring thing,” said Jacob. “For this event, it's a bit of fun in order to get new people playing, maybe get to play against a regular player and get a chance to take them down, and give every player a shot at top 8, and raise some money for a good cause!”

The Galagathon runs August 10th to 21st from 7:00pm--12:00am CST each night. For additional information visit


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