Extra Life is an annual event where gamers pledge to play games for twenty-four hours straight to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Each player calls for friends and family to make donations through email, social media and word of mouth. Started in 2008, Extra Life has raised millions for children's hospitals. Last year they raised four million dollars!
This year I decided to participate and see if I could raise money for my local children's hospital. Though you don't absolutely have to stay up and play for twenty-four hours, my friends always take the challenge and I didn't want to fall short on my first year. So I got some drinks and snacks together, shipped the kids off to different locations for the weekend (grandparents), had my games ready and set out to raise some dough!
My goal was to raise two hundred dollars. The plan was to start on Friday night and finish up on Saturday night, a bit ahead of my PUNI friends' schedules. I started out around 6:30pm by playing Wartune online. I had just started a new server and was making some good friends in my guild. Next, I played World of Warcraft for a bit. When my body was tired of sitting and staring at my computer, I decided to go fire up the Wii. I played Wii Sports Resort for a bit and actually had some of the best gaming I've ever had on that game. I murdered my previous score in Frisbee Dog!
Soon enough, I was ready to switch it up again. I tried to play Dragon Age 2 on the PS3 but I was still towards the beginning and it was so much dialogue. Blah, blah, blah, that was trying to put me to sleep! I swigged a gross tasting five hour energy drink and moved on.
I went back to my PC and played Wartune on a different server for a bit. Then I figured I'd play some League of Legends. Now LoL is a fun game, don't get me wrong, but I really suck at it. That's one of those games that I play for fun but have no expectations at all of doing well. Unless, I'm drinking, then I'm decent at it.
As night became day, sleepiness began tapping my shoulder. I ignored it. I took some caffeine pills at some point. Then, only a little over an hour later, I drank another energy drink, completely forgetting until afterwards that I'd just have caffeine pills. Big mistake. After hours of PC gaming, it was time to switch up again. I could have spent most of my time on the PC but my ADD wouldn't have it. I played a few games on my phone, all the while beginning to feel sicker and sicker. The caffeine overdose really started kicking my butt. I felt sick for the rest of the day and well into the night. But I kept going. Small trash can at the ready, stomach groaning and bitching, I was determined to push through and finish my first year, even if I had to puke and game simultaneously for the last five hours!
Sitting and playing on my phone had my eyes drooping so I switched up again and played a board game with my husband: Trouble. I honestly can't even remember who won but the competition of a live gamer right there woke me up. After that it was back to the ol' PC to wrap it up. I called on some friends and we played a few games of League of Legends. They even helped me improve on my game some, bless their dear hearts. I need all the help I can get!
Unfortunately, after my time was up, sleep didn't want to take me completely. After three hours of dozing I was back up feeling sickly so I decided to hop back online and support the team members who were still gaming.
In the end, I raised one hundred and fifty-one dollars. It was actually way more than I expected! I'm really grateful to everyone who supported me as I gamed by donating, sharing my posts and cheering me on. This was one hell of an experience that I hope I can do again.
When the day was done, our team, PUNI, raised three thousand, one hundred and seventy-five dollars for children's hospitals. All Extra Lifers raked in over five million, six hundred thousand dollars! And even better, donations can still be made until the end of the year. Please consider donating if you haven't already. It's for a worthy cause.
See, gamers are awesome people after all.