Written by Brock Poulsen, brockst4r Friday, 21 October 2011 11:00
Extra Life is an organization that helps gamers raise money for their local Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Several members of GoozerNation participated in this year's event -- a 24-hour gaming marathon -- on October 15th. Here's my story.
From the outset it seemed like the universe was conspiring against my charitable efforts. The week preceding October 15th my job chose to offer overtime. We can always use extra money, so this resulted in me waking up every day at 4:15 so I could get in early and stay late. This also led to a 10-hour work day immediately preceeding my gaming marathon. But I persevered for the children!
In the time leading up to the event, it became increasingly apparent that I was getting in over my head. For a less attached man, it would be a small matter to take a couple days off from life. Ideally, I would get a good night's rest, and wake up at 6 o'clock in the morning to start the adventure. I'd play all day and night and then crash at 6 o'clock the next morning, and sleep half the day away. The reality is that I'm married, and I have a 17-month-old son and a 2-month-old daughter who require pretty regular maintenance. I couldn't in good conscience leave my wife to child-wrangling duties for what would basically amount to two full unassisted days.
So it was time to get creative. Like the fourth of the Five Stages of Grief, I started bargaining. I borrowed my younger brother's PSP so I could take andvantage of any fleeting gaming moments. I kept track of every spare moment of playing games that could count toward my hour count. As I gamed I took plenty of breaks to change diapers and feed babies, but I got a good amount of game time under my belt.
Ultimately, the important thing is raising some money for a good cause, and Extra Life really did an awesome amount of good this year. The last total I saw was something like 1.1 million dollars, which is something we can all be proud of. Gamers are increasingly being perceived in a positive light, and organizations like Extra Life do a lot to help that perception.