If you’re like me, you may be looking for a way to give back to people, especially kids, in your community. But, if you’re also like me, running 5ks or marathons is not exactly your ideal way of participating in non-profit work. Well, geeks everywhere are discovering there is no better way to help sick or injured children in their cities than by doing what they love: gaming.
Extra Life is a grass roots experience that mobilizes passionate game lovers to help sick and injured kids treated at their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since it began in Texas in 2008, Extra Lifers have raised over $8 million for Children Miracle Network Hospitals all over the country. That money supplies care to children battling debilitating diseases, drives research efforts, and provides funding for medical procedures and more.
Extra Life is similar to a 5k or charity walk, where you register yourself and/or a team, have people sponsor you and/or donate money, and then attend the event. However, instead of walking or running, Extra Life involves 24-hours of gaming, whether it be video games, table-top games, board games, mobile games, LARPing, or otherwise. Also, unlike traditional fundraising events, Extra Lifers typically participate from the comfort of their own home. This year’s official marathon date is October 25, but if that date doesn’t work, participants are more than welcome to do it anytime in October, even if it is just an hour a day for 24 days.
Not only is Extra Life a massive charity event, it’s a COMMUNITY. Extra Lifers all over the country interact via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Twitch, and a variety of blogs, but it’s not just an online community. Over the past few months, 28 Extra Life Guilds have been formed across the United States and Canada, and Extra Lifers are meeting face-to-face to host gaming events, promote Extra Life, and expand recruitment efforts. Gamers of all kinds are coming together to help their local hospitals, and the power of the gaming community is not going unnoticed.
How can you get involved? First, REGISTER HERE
. There you can register and select the hospital for which you want to raise money. All the money you raise goes directly the hospital you choose. After that, you can start a team or join a team (Ontological Geek has a team HERE
you can join). Or, you can choose to play solo. Then, you can reach out to all your friends, family, coworkers, and more for donations and raise money for the hospital you have chosen. Once you’ve done all that, you GAME
-hours on October 25th
, starting at 8am
your local time (or any other date you’ve previously decided)! Extra Lifers are encouraged to game with friends online or host LAN
or table-top parties. Also, many Extra Lifers stream their gaming via Twitch or other services to the community, but it is not required! If you aren’t interested in participating or cannot participate, but want to help, you can donate to our Ontological Geek team HERE