By Azura… that’s cold!

The ALS ice bucket challenge has made its way to Bethesda HQ! Watch our chairman Robert Altman dump a cold bucket of ice water on his wife, Lynda Carter (a.k.a Wonder Woman & Azura), and see the Ice Queen of QuakeCon, Jenny McWhorter, treat our marketing guru, Pete Hines, to an ice bath worthy of a Super Bowl championship.

And the ice bucket challenge continues. Shinji and Harvey… get ready!

Lynda has issued her own challenge—to CBS broadcasters Julie Chen and Norah O’Donnell and to Blaine Trump.

As amusing as these videos are, the message is much more important — finding a cure for ALS. Please donate to this worthwhile cause at http://www.alsa.org/donate.

T’was the Night Before Christmas…

The stockings have been hung and the lights are all out at the office. The Panzerhund is curled up on his platform while the Brotherhood of Steel keeps an eye on the premises. The Dovahkiin gets into a snowball fight with Boxman thus becoming Snowvahkiin. Just a normal holiday break when the team is away.

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday as we go from Christmas into New Years. Here’s some festive art from us and the community. Happy Holidays!

The Newest in Atrium-Guarding Technology

After a long run of traveling from event to event, many of our statues have decided to retire to their home in our newly-renovated atrium. Visitors will now be greeted by our elaborate guarding system as soon as they walk through the doors.

Ok, they may not actually be guards but they sure look great in the atrium. View the album below to get a glimpse of the steps involved in placing the statues.

Extra Life and the Office

November 2nd marks the return of the Extra Life, the charity event that benefits the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Players from all over the world play games for a span of 24 hours to help sick children. Those who are not as skilled with a controller or mouse and keyboard may donate to teams and players to benefit the cause.

A handful of players came from our offices last year to create the team, Children of Akatosh. They earned $2985 in donations out of a goal of $2000. This year they’re back, with a few more eager players and a donation goal of $3000. They want you to tell them what to play and how to play it! I spoke with the team captain, Joe Mueller about what Extra-Life means to him and his team.

What inspired you to get involved with Extra-Life.org?

Well last year our coworker at ZOS, Meg Steckler, asked if a few of us would be interested, so I definitely wanted to make sure we kept it going this year. It’s such a great cause, and we live in a time where you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t know another suffering or had suffered from cancer. I’ve had both friends who’ve managed to survive their childhood cancer and friends who’ve lost that battle, so why not do something simple when you have the capability?

How did you and your team select the titles they will play?

We are a team, but a lot of us select based on our own personal interests. I like to split my time up between Multiplayer and sharing the marathon experience during the core hours, and then Single player titles when it gets to that zombie-mindset of 4am-7am.

What’s the trick to staying up 24 hours playing games?

Dragon’s blood? I don’t know, as I tend to get in to the zone with these things. Honestly, the broadcasting helps a lot. I have hourly goals to shout on social media so the time goals usually keeps me moving forward. There will also be a series of favorite foods: Breakfast burritos, pizza, tikka masala, pub mixes, etc.

What are you and your team most looking forward to in staying up all night? And what are you least looking forward to?

I think we are getting excited just to see all of the support so far. We’re already in the top 100 teams, and we have raised over $2000 dollars. It’s exciting to just be in a Vent chat together sharing our crazy gaming experiences while watching folks “like”, “share”, or donate to the cause. As far as what are we not looking forward to? Waking up Monday. That’s going to hurt, physically and emotionally.

What advice would you give others that want to be involved with Extra-Life.org?

Do you have $5 to spare, because kids rock and cancers suck. If not, the simple thing of clicking a share button or retweet helps immensely. Best thing for any cause nowadays is for it to trend virally.

Many thanks to Joe for the interview! Anyone interested helping out the Children of Akatosh or just seeing what they’re up to can go to their Extra Life Team Page. Additionally, members will be posting their adventures throughout the night on the Children of Akatosh Blog.

If you would like to get involved with the team here, by either cheering them on, or donating and telling them what to play and how to play it stop on by their team page. We also encourage others to create their own teams and play for your own causes, because who doesn’t want to support kids getting better?

Office Antics: Halloween Edition

It’s Halloween again, and there were several people that came to work dressed in costume — here at our office and across some of our other studios. We hope that you enjoy the group shot of everyone at Bethesda HQ. We had quite the big turn out this year compared to last year. It looks like we need a bigger hallway!

We received a great many photos from id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, and Battlecry Studios.

Finally, we received and saw tons of wonderful Halloween pumpkins and costumes. Here’s an album of some of our favorites!

Thanks to everyone that jumped on the Halloween creativity bandwagon and sent us or shared their pics. Happy Halloween!

We’re in the Halloween Spirit

Carved by our very own, Jenny McWhorter

Halloween is drawing near and we’ve been spotting some fun and creative uses of talent in celebration of the Fall holiday. With all of the vampires, werewolves, ghouls, and Boxmen we’ve had through our office we thought this could offer you guys the chance to show off your artistic skills. We’ve seen Jack-o-lanterns, illustrations, and costumes of all kinds over the years and would love to see more.

If you happen to be scaring children while dropping from trees as Corvo, or carving a pumpkin into the Pint Sized Slasher we want to see it and everyone else to see it as well! Submit your Halloween-themed pictures and pieces to bethblog@bethsoft.com or any one of our social media pages and we’ll post our favorites.

Here’s some inspiration to get the creatives juices flowing!

Just in case you need some help with carving ideas, nothing says SURVIVAL HORROR like taking a knife…to a pumpkin! Here’s a template for our Evil Within logo if you want to make a jack-o-lantern like Jenny’s.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is always a fun day at Bethsoft HQ. We get plenty of folks that get dressed up for the affair. Even our new intern came ready to work in Mandalorian armor.

We hope you enjoy the group shot above. Sadly, I was so focused on getting Sal and Phil’s Panda costumes (hug!) in the shot, I completely left Jared’s Deadpool costume out of frame. Clever as he is, you’ll see we found an appropriate way to get him involved. Along with Jared, we hope you enjoy a mix of Bethesda-themed costumes and jack-o-lanterns in the Flickr slideshow below.

Thanks to everyone that shared their pics via email, Facebook, Twitter and tumblr.

 
And below, check out our favorite jack-0-lantern of the year — spotted on tumblr.
 

Until next year!

Playing Games for a Good Cause

Looking for a good reason to play games all day tomorrow? Tomorrow players around the globe will participate in a 24-hour gaming marathon for Extra-Life.org — a charity that donates money to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Among the many players participating, I talked to Bethesda QA testers Joe Mueller and Jen Tonon, who are participating with other Bethesda employees on a team appropriately titled, Children of Akatosh. Learn more about the event and their experience below…

How did you guys get involved with Extra-Life.org?

Our awesome coworker at ZOS, Megan Steckler, actually was the one to shed light on it to us and created the group. It was really a word of mouth thing, which she rallied folks early on. We’ve been promoting it since.

Are you guys planning to meet up together so you can participate with everyone else on the Bethesda/ZeniMax Online team?

There are talks to gather in one area for LAN party shenanigans, but we all have a lot of preferences for types of games and what to play them on. When you spend your full time job testing games, your preferences get pretty specific. One of our team members, Cory, is live-streaming with his twitch account so our craziness is visible there.

What games are you planning on playing? Have you set aside any games perfect for a gaming marathon?

It’s a widespread assortment, but the majority are planning to play WoW- Mists of Pandaria, Borderlands 2, Guild Wars 2, and Left 4 Dead 2. Several of us are actually setting up time slots for genres so a lot of the single-player hours were actually split between Dishonored and Skyrim. There’s even several of us dedicating time to the ridiculously-impossible-to-beat-old-school games, like Legacy of the Wizard for NES.

What’s the best way that others can get involved with Extra-Life.com?

Really at this point for 2012 Extra-Life Marathon, it’s to Donate and to share through social media. It’s so easy to retweet, share a post, or send an email;  trending can be so impactful for causes and it takes just a mouse-click or a touchscreen tap. Our team, Children of Akatosh, shares a variety of ways to spread the word.

For more details on how you can participate in Extra-Life.org, whether it’s playing or donating, visit the charity’s official site.