As I stumbled, bleary eyed and blinking, towards the dinner table last Sunday, my mother in law said, “Mike, you look really tired!” Well, yes, other-Mom, I was. I was tired because I had not slept more than forty minutes on Saturday night. And why? Because I was using video and board games to help sick kids.
There’s been a lot of talk over the last few months about the negative aspects of the gaming community. And there certainly have been some really negative aspects in the last few months. But we here at the Ace of Geeks believe in the power of gaming to help people, and Extra Life is one of the best ways to do just that.
Extra Life is a charity event that asks gamers to play games – any kind of game, from board games to pen and paper RPGs to League of Legends – for 24 hours straight. During your playtime, your convince your friends and family to donate money on your team’s page, which then in turn is donated to a Children’s Hospital of your choice. It’s played by people from all walks of life and all over the world. And for the last two years, we’ve participated as well.
Our first year, last year, was the first time we’d ever streamed anything. And while we had a great audience and raised some good money, it definitely all could have improved. This year, our Empress of Events, Stephanie Cala, went all out, contacting our friendly local game shops Gator Games and Hobby, Gamescape San Francisco, Games of Berkeley, and Anime Imports. Together with a few private donors, they donated over 300 items for us to giveaway to donors on the stream.
Over the course of the day, we played Minecraft, Thunderstone, Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons, Betrayal at the House on the Hill, Neverwinter, Aye Dark Overlord, Ticket to Ride, and finally Red Dragon Inn. Every hour we were able to give away four different items to happy viewers, including our grand prize of an Atari 2600.
And in the end, we raised over twelve hundred dollars for the Oakland Children’s Hospital. That’s about ten times what we raised last year.
Overall, Extra Life raised, well, I’ll just show you:
Holy crap, everybody.
That “and counting” is important, because while October 25th was the official streaming day, the event doesn’t actually end until the end of the year. If you want to set up your own fundraiser, head to extra-life.org and set up a team, there’s still time.
There’s a lot of talk out there about the dark side of gaming these days. But for one shining day, gamers rose up and together, did something amazing. When we take stock of our culture, that should come into effect, too.
Mike Fatum is the Editor in Chief of the Ace of Geeks, and one of the hosts of its flagship podcast. He is really, really tired.
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The Ace of Geeks is proud to, for the second year in a row, be hosting a 24 hour live stream event for Extra Life. Extra Life is an organization that, through the magic of gaming, raises money for Children’s Hospitals around the country. Just like last year, we’re going to be raising money for the Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland – they received $300k in donations last year, but we’re looking to try and blast that number out of the water. Want to join us? Want more details? Check out this lovely video, and then hit the jump for the full schedule and a live feed of our Twitch stream!
In addition to the crowd of hilarious Ace of Geeks staffers entertaining you all twenty four hours, we will be raffling off over $2000 worth of prizes excellent prizes from Gator Games and Hobby in San Mateo, California, Anime Imports in Pacifica, California, and Gamescape in San Francisco, California. The only way to win them is to tune in to the stream and donate! Here’s how:
Here’s the full schedule of our time on the stream on October 25th:
(subject to change)
10am-1pm Minecraft Contest
3pm-7pm Firefly (Blue Sun expansion)
7pm-11pm D&D 5th ed
11pm-3am Betrayal at the House on the Hill
3am-6am Neverwinter D&D MMO
6am-7am Aye, Dark Overlord!
7am-8am Ticket to Ride
8am-9am King of Tokyo/Fluxx
9am-10am Red Dragon Inn
If you want to help, please go to our donation page, come RSVP on our Facebook Event, and make sure to tune in to our Twitch stream on October 25th! Where do I find that stream, you ask? Why….right here: