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Recapping the ‘Extra Life 2016’ Gaming Marathon: Our Experiences

Those of you who regularly read our articles know that the Extra Life charity gaming marathon took place this past Saturday (November 5th). Well, the Extra Life 2016 Game Day has come and gone, but the experience and memories remain. At the formal end of the 24-hour (25 because of the Daylight Savings time change) period, the charity event had raised an incredible $6.6 million!

In light of this, the two of us on the PCU staff who braved sleep deprivation, cabin fever, caffeine highs & lows, and epic levels of silliness in order to raise money for charity, wanted to tell you a little bit about our respective experiences.

Doug T.
This was the first year of Extra Life participation for all of us in Team #SPEEDERCRASH, so we had some trepidation about whether or not we were going to be able to pull this off. We like sleep – we’re good at it!

That being said, let me tell you: This was not an easy undertaking, but it was SERIOUS fun. Our team sucked down copious amounts of caffeine, ate a ton of delivery & junk food, and laughed A LOT. I am honored to have such good people in my life. I was thrilled to see the support we were getting on social media, and the texts that I received throughout the event (yes, some people were actually texting & Facebook messaging me even at 3 in the morning).

All of this support really kept us going through the board, card, and video game mayhem.

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Team #SPEEDERCRASH’s original line-up of games

We were psyched to get to try out some new games and some other favorites, and we definitely had our work cut out for us. Of course, the group of us being the twisted people that we are, we chose some interesting titles to play. Our list, in order, was:
Kittens in a Blender’, ‘Abuse: The Final Insult’, ‘Betrayal at the House on the Hill’, ‘Building an Elder God’, ‘Smashy Brick’, ‘Zombidle’, a couple of games of ‘Cards Against Humanity’, ‘Oregon Trail’, ‘Sentinels of the Multiverse’, ‘Poo: The Card Game’, ‘Nuts’, ‘Skyrim: Special Edition’, and ‘Everquest 2’.

As I mentioned earlier, there was some EPIC silliness. The high point of that, for my team, was our 2-hour Facebook Live Stream of one of our Cards Against Humanity games. *PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS VIDEO IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK, CHILDREN, OR ANIMALS (tame or wild)*

The members of team #SPEEDERCRASH were conservative in our fundraising goals, as it was our first year, so we wanted to play it safe. That being said, we did end up exceeding our original goal, and are extremely thankful to those who donated, shared our links, and supported us through this endeavor. We are already looking forward to and planning out logistics for next year’s event.

Brook H.
Although my stream was only a drop in the bucket of donations, I’m happy to say it was a good year. I had increased my goal 100% from 2015, and ended up going way over, receiving over double my previous year’s donations!

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Brook & his adorable cheering section

Of course, the donations are the reason for the event, but not the experience itself. I had previously written about what it’s like to game for 24 hours straight, but this year was even tougher. The additional hour tacked on by the end of Daylight Savings Time might not seem like much, but when you’ve been gaming for that long, it can push you to your limits. Luckily, that’s why we have people cheering us on and worked in teams. I was pleased to be part of the MOGNation team, a meta-guild across numerous games, for my fourth year running. Our guild leaders kept our Twitch channel hosting different members’ streams, bringing in many viewers that kept us going. I also was pleased to have those who helped me out stick with me to the end. Whether it was people talking about my Obduction playthrough, a friend grouping up with me for Overwatch matches in the wee hours, or an acquaintance watching me play Civilization VI in the final hours… this marathon was a group experience, not just me.

Of course, this is all done for a good cause: children. And as always, I was interrupted by my own… sometimes gladly. There’s only so much time a father can go without contact with his kids, so even if I was annoyed it was a welcome distraction. In fact, as promised to my backers, at one point my son (and even his younger sister) joined us for a dance. We proceeded to perform the “Booty Butt” dance, to a remix of Booty Butt Cheeks from the Boondocks. As one viewer remarked, “I did not expect that,” and that was somewhat of a theme for the night. If you’re tired of all of the election stuff, this should help:

Will I do it again next year? Absolutely. No matter how exhausting or racking the experience, no matter how much pain and disorientation the next day, it’s an experience that’s worth it. I put myself through this to raise awareness and money for a worthwhile cause, and it’s heartwarming to see all those who join me on my journey.

A special note on donations
‘Extra Life’ is still accepting donations for all of the individuals & teams involved until December 31st, 2016. This is an excellent cause, so we here at PCU urge you to get out there and donate! You can donate via Doug’s page here, and/or to Brook’s page here. See you all in November 2017 for the next one! As the motto says, “Play games… heal kids.”

About Doug T. (311 Articles)
A lifelong gamer, a foodie, an advocate for people with disabilities, and an avowed geek. Doug was born in South America, currently resides in Northern VA, and spends the majority of his time indulging in his current passions of gaming & food, while making sure not to take life or himself too seriously.
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