Gamers! Have you ever wondered if there was a way to use your passion for playing the games you love to effect a positive change in this world? Have you ever wanted to do some real good? Well, there are lots of us out there who know that we CAN make a difference through positivity, cooperation, charity, and sharing our passion for gaming.
That’s where Extra Life comes in.
We’ve talked about Extra Life a few times here at PCU, and even shared some of our own experiences. Still, if you’re unfamiliar, let me explain: Extra Life is an annual event where thousands of gamers from around the world play their favorite board, tabletop, card, and video games for 24 hours straight, all while trying to raise money to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in the United States and Canada.
Since its humble beginnings in 2008, this worldwide campaign of gamers has raised over $40 MILLION DOLLARS for the kids being treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. These are kids who are not only battling with everyday injuries and illnesses, but even more intense stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, birth defects (like the one I’ve lived with), and lots more. Take a look at the story of just one of these kids, Victoria Enmon:
Those who participate in Extra Life choose a hospital that they want donations to go to, build a profile on the site, and share the link everywhere to friends, family, co-workers, etc. Anyone can donate! Not only do all donations go to the participants’ chosen hospital(s), but every donation is 100% tax-deductible! The hospitals then use the money to purchase stuff for the kids to enjoy themselves with, supplies for medical treatments, or even meal vouchers for families who need to stay close to their kids who are undergoing treatment.
Gamers who participate will usually stream their marathon sessions either on Facebook, Twitch, Mixer, or any of the other services out there, so folks can join in and be made aware of the fundraiser and its associated link(s). There are players out there who stick with a theme for their streams – playing one game (or one type of game) throughout the entire 24 hours. Still others (like me) even build a team of friends with whom they come together and play all manner of things. These streams can be rather intimate and low-key, or they can be raucous and wild. It all depends on who is doing the streaming, what they’re playing, and of course, how much caffeine they’ve imbibed and how hard the lack of sleep is hitting them.
Well, it’s now 2018, which means it’s the 10th anniversary of this incredible fundraiser for children’s healthcare. Ten years of gamers coming together for a cause larger than ourselves, to help out those who may not be as fortunate as the rest of us. This year, the folks at Extra Life and the players around the world are striving to make some serious leaps in the amounts of money raised for these hospitals and these kids.
This year, the event takes place THIS WEEKEND (November 3rd at 9:00am Eastern time). At that moment, gamers around the world will be booting up their streams, sucking down coffee and caffeinated sodas, and diving in to our stacks of board games, card games, tabletop RPGs, and video games – all to entertain you guys, and to raise as much money as we can for these great hospitals.
As a repeat participant in this awesome fundraiser, I’m personally playing for Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC. I was a patient there through much of my youth, and I’ve seen the great work that this hospital and their staff do for all of the kids treated there. I could not be happier to support them and the rest of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals every year. If you’re so inclined, please check out my Extra Life link here.
All in all, Extra Life is one of those events that many of us look forward to every year. It offers us the opportunity to join with our friends to play some awesome games, and to really do some good for kids who desperately need it. I speak from experience when I say that it feels great to be able to raise money to help these kids. It also hits me right in the feels whenever I look and see how much my friends and family reach deep to give for such an amazing cause.
Are you participating in Extra Life, dear readers? Do you plan to do it next year? Leave us a comment down below, letting us know your thoughts!