After hearing a lot of people talking about having gaming marathons for Extra Life, I became very curious. I was given the contact information for a wonderful lady named Megan that works for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. She was kind enough to share this information with me:
Extra Life was started 5 years ago by a guy named Jeromy Adams. A radio DJ working on a Children's Miracle Network Hospital's radiothon in Houston, he met a lively leukemia survivor named Tori Enmon. Though Tori eventually lost her battle, Jeromy realized that gamers wanted to give back—they just didn't have a way to do it yet. From there, he created Extra Life. For the first two years, it only benefited Texas Children's Hospital—where Tori was treated. Since 2010, Extra Life has been a national program through Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, raising funds for our 170 network hospitals throughout the US and Canada. While many of our participants chose to play video games, you can play whatever you'd like. Tabletop games, video games, card games, basketball—anything. We're looking for you to do something fun, challenge yourself to do it for a longer amount of time, and ultimately raise lifesaving funds for kids in need by reaching out to your family and friends for support! Just be sure to sign up at Extra-Life.org to get started.
Now, of course, I didn't let Megan off the hook that easily. This just brought up some more questions that I had. So, here are a few more questions I asked, as well as the answers that she provided:
Can someone organize an Extra Life campaign at any time during the year?
Our official date is October 20th, but you can play whenever you'd like! Just be sure to sign up at Extra-life.org to get started. (Our 2012 player fundraising pages will be shut down to make way for the 2013 ones by the end of December though.)
Do you have a list of Extra Life campaigns, specifically by geography? I think that this would help people see if there was a campaign they could join.
During registration, each players picks their benefitting hospital. Essentially, we are one big program tied to all our partner hopsitals. Wherever you are in the US and Canada, you can find your local CMN Hospitals affiliated children's hospital. A great place to do that is right here: CMNH Search This will allow you to search by state or zip code to find your local children's hospital. The other great part about this is that say you grew up in Indiana, but you moved to Washington, D.C. You could choose to play for either hospital; it's totally up to you as the player!
Yes—Extra-life.org is the very best place to learn more. From there, you can also access our blog to see what's the buzz.
So, having heard and read all about Extra Life, I was fortunate to discover that there was a gaming marathon very close to where I lived! So, on October 21, I was able to participate in a 12 hour gaming marathon at Games Keep in West Chester, PA. The entry fee was "officially" $5, but you could contribute as much as you'd like. Pizza was provided by the store owner, and several people and/or game companies had provided games to be raffled off during the event. That was all amazing, but I really would have showed up just for the 12 hours worth of gaming! Ultimately, I had a blast at our gaming session, and I was thrilled that I was able to play games while supporting an amazing charity. (Not to mention I discovered an awesome "Local" Game Store. If it took me less than 45 minutes to get to Games Keep, I'd go there much more often - if you live near West Chester, I'd really encourage you to check it out.) Hopefully, I can participate in another Extra Life gaming marathon next year. Or, who knows - we might eventually try to have multiple events per year. After all, I like gaming, and there are always sick children!