An Interview With MC
By Jacob Chase
This weekend is the start of a brand new Zeldathon event titled Zeldathon Side Quest, a marathon dedicated to more than just Zelda games. Why you might ask? Well, I had the same question and more!
Joining me on the blog this week for a little Q&A session and Lon Lon Milk chugging is none other than co-founder Matthew “MC” Moffit, the Executive Director of all things Zeldathon as well as the Gaming Productions Specialist over at Direct Relief. As the Director of Zeldathon, MC has been a champion at bringing together Zelda fans from around the world to celebrate one of the most iconic game series of all time, all in the name of charity. Zeldathon has helped raise more than 2.6 million dollars for ten different charities since its inception in 2009 and has been one of the largest charity-driven events in the gaming scene to date.
As Zeldathon holds a special place in the hearts of everyone here at The Yetee I felt compelled to seek out Mr. MC and ask him some burning questions, all without my trusty Fire Tunic!
Jacob Chase: Ok, so pretend I’ve never seen a Zeldathon event before, give me the elevator pitch!
MC: I think when people watch Zeldathon it's mostly like you're playing games with friends but you're not on the couch with them, you're kind of anywhere in the world. We try to make the event casual to watch, relaxing, goofy— we don't take ourselves too seriously. The game is the catalyst for bringing people in to watch a bunch of people playing games together, and hopefully, raise money for charity.
JC: What does Zeldathon mean to you?
MC: It's amazing that we've raised money for over ten charities in our decade-long history of doing our fundraisers. It means a lot to me that over time we started to expand our event and explore the outer bounds of all sorts of other games, not just Zelda. Together, we're able to grow and learn more about making great events.
JC: What was the decision behind doing a Zeldathon Marathon with games other than Zelda?
MC: Well, when we knew that we couldn't do an event in person this summer, we decided that it was a great opportunity for us to play a game that they're really passionate about and that they think that they can put on a good show for! We're still The Zeldathon Team and will still play Zelda, but this is a great opportunity for all of us stuck at home. We like when people are passionate about games and fandoms and things that they like. Which is why we put together a schedule full of not just Zelda but Mario, RPGs, Minecraft's in there... it's somehow made its way back!
JC: What makes Zeldathon unique and different from other streamed charity events?
MC: I think the thing that makes us the most different as a charity marathon, different from other streamed events, is that our focus is not always on the game, and it's not always on the people, or even on the community— We try to balance it out in a much different way where we try to drive home the feeling of ‘We're all here together!’ and I think, especially considering the circumstances we are in now, it's especially important that we have an event where it's us, together, celebrating games and things that we like in a way that's really low-key. We have no other real purpose other than to celebrate the games we like.
JC: Is Side Quest going to be a more frequent event between the main Zeldathon events?
MC: We've been considering that. The big thing that's really interesting is that last year, in 2019, we started an event called “Piece of Heart,” where we go out to Conventions and host shows like Zeldathon from different shows on the showroom floor essentially. I think Side Quest is kind of taking the place of that at the moment because there aren't events going on, and I would really like to see more Side Quest events happen in the future. They're still very hard to pull off and execute, so I don't know where they'll fit in our schedule past 2020, but for 2020 we're excited about maybe doing more than one!
JC: Do you have a favorite Zeldathon Memory?
MC: Ahh… I’m scanning the archives. I’ve activated my Robo Vision! Uhm, I guess that I have two that I can mention. A very sentimental moment that really comes back to me is at our latest event, the 10-year anniversary. Just as we were closing up shop for the end of that Marathon, like, I was super emotional and everybody was a little emotional in the room, and we kind of had a moment where we all just kind of reflected upon what we've done so far. And I think it was less sentiment towards the past, and more excitement towards the future. That there was just like a feeling in the room that I don't think we'll ever be able to replicate that exact feeling, but it was really nice.
On a lighter note, I absolutely love when we have my good buddies Kampy and Poptartgamer on camera doing a science or cooking show, because we go in knowing that they're just going to make a huge mess and so some of my favorite memories are them... on camera... putting watermelons on their head, making fidget spinners out of raw meat, and all sorts of other disgusting things that somehow found their way into the charity Marathon.
JC: How did those variety show moments get started? What was their inspiration? How did they evolve into what they are now?
MC: Yeah! So early on when we started doing Zeldathon, we wanted to have fun reasons for people to donate. It started out with simple things like we have a friend who will do a dance wearing a skirt and a funny hat, and I was like, “All right that's easy, we can do that!” and it happened. But then we started to continuously one-up ourselves to the point of where we're even doing these telethon like segments between the video games where we have live music, live skits, we're doing these cooking shows, we're just off the wall— and sometimes it just gets so crazy we have to pull back the next event and be like, “That was a bit too much”.
JC: What does the future hold for Zeldathon?
MC: The future of Zeldathon is something that I think people initially reflected upon after ten years... “Where do we go from here? Is it just continuously playing the Zelda games every summer and winter forever, is that all we have?” I think that the future of Zeldathon is more about expanding the types of games, and the type of events we put on— with Piece of Heart being these events that we can hold at conventions and things where people can come see us in person. Typically we’re an invite-only event, and these are a great way for us to directly engage with our community. We're also working on event series we're were playing games that aren't Zelda, and those will be really fun because we can expand our overall focus. Because, right now we have a little bit of a Zelda focus, and I think that that can be limiting at times. Imagine if The Yetee they only made Zelda shirts... I’d love it! but I think that we would all really miss out on the really nice Ace Attorney shirt that’s up today.
JC: Will there be a Jam Train at Side Quest?
MC: Yeah having music at Zeldathon is like something that happened over time, where we invited one musician who played on camera, and then they're like, “Why don't we invite another musician?” until we got to the point where, oops, we have twenty people and like a small orchestra forming. So we were wondering, in a remote format, “Can we still do musical performances?” We're really excited that we are going to have musical performances still at Side Quest! We have Jackson Parodi performing from his home; he’s got his piano, he’s going to sing to us, I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful! We’re going to have the DiscoCactus band, they all pretty much live with each other, so they’re able to perform from their home and that's going to be great! We have some other surprises planned…
JC: What is your favorite donation sound and why is it 1010.10?
MC: I don’t know, we keep on adding in the stupid secret sounds and the “Aha ha ha ha ha ha!” is absolutely a favorite, even though I was part of the Removal Squad initially, I still enjoy it because it means money for charity! I am a huge fan of the Billy Mays “Wow a yard sale!” but mixed with the song Sail. I don't know why, but that one particularly tickles me.
JC: What would you want to tell people about Side Quest Coming into it starting this Friday?
MC: Side Quest is going to be a lot of fun because we’re not only giving you a variety of games, we’re still gonna give you Zelda. You’re going to have musical segments, we have a cooking segment planned, we have all sorts of just unique things and unique commentary that you’re not going to get anywhere else. Meanwhile, we’re going to have a lot of very cool prizes, incentives, and fun stuff to keep you entertained all 96 hours!
Be sure to tune in to Zeldathon Side Quest starting this Friday, August 7th, 2020, at 3 pm CST! Zeldathon Side Quest will be supporting Direct Relief during this marathon, a humanitarian aid organization with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. Side Quest will be going all weekend so kick back, relax, and send some rupees their way!
If you want to support a great cause and rep your favorite marathon event, swing by the YeteeMart this Friday where we will have three exclusive tee designs made specifically for Side Quest! $5 from every shirt sold will be donated to Zeldathon’s Direct Relief fund.
For those of you who are looking for even more Zeldathon in your life— We have Blu-ray and digital copies of the awesome Zeldathon documentary funded on Kickstarter “Money Making Game” over on the YeteeMart. Money Making Game chronicles the past ten years of Zeldathon’s history, the story of friendship, love, growth, and how it was used to change the world!
If you’d like to stay up to date on all things MC or Zeldathon be sure to follow their website and social media pages as well as the Zeldathon Collection over on the YeteeMart!
Website | Social Media: Twitter (Zeldathon), Twitter (MC), Instagram & Facebook