What is Extra Life?
It is hard to know where to begin describing Extra Life, so I will instead share my own Extra Life origin story. About six and a years ago, I was doing my usual random wandering around the internet and stumbled upon a news story about a charity fundraising program called Extra Life. Naturally I clicked through as any good wanderer would do and was immediately intrigued about what I found. In the article I learned that, not only was this an event that could greatly help children at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals around the country, but that it also involved an incredible community of gamers and streamers coming together to game their hearts out for 24 hours every year to drum up donations for those same children!
Needless to say, I was immediately hooked and wanted desperately to participate in the following Extra Life as well. So, I gathered up some like-minded friends in my area, created our team (go Team H.A.L.T.!), and set to planning our event. When participating or donating to Extra Life, you are able to choose any Children’s Miracle Network Hospital you want, so I chose the closest one and began trying to drum up donations. At first, I was not too optimistic as I am terrible at promoting myself, but the cause basically did the promoting for me, because helping kids is awesome.
Come game day, my team and I all piled in a friend’s apartment, had piles of snacks and such to sustain us, a plethora of games to play, and 24 hours to earn more donations for the children. Well, technically 25 hours because Extra Life has a sneaky habit of choosing the weekend when the time change occurs, but let us not nit-pick. All that being set, the team started up a twitch stream, fired up the first game (a Tetris tournament if I remember correctly), and we were off to the charitable gaming races.
A Lesson Learned
As the end of the 24(25) hours rolled around, looking around at my fellow teammates as they slept, and I alone blearily continued to game, we realized that we were not prepared for all of the joy and exhaustion of a proper Extra Life marathon. The following year, in order to defeat the evil spirit of “I don’t know what to play next, what do you want to play next?” that results in the wee hours, Team H.A.L.T. actually planned out the event. How about that for an idea? Now, 2018, the glorious 6th year that Team H.A.L.T. will be working to earn donations to heal children, a lot has changed. Streaming setups are more sophisticated than they once were, the schedule is more in line with health (gaming shifts FTW!), and we don’t plan on overloading on sugary snacks so less crash hits us. What hasn’t changed? The passion of the Extra Life community and the need for continued support to get the over 10 million wonderful kids every year the medical care they so desperately need.
Extra Life 2018 official weekend is 11/3/2018 to 11/4/2018, but you can still help all year long!
Visit extra-life.org right this minute and help out however you can, whether it be a donation or running an event of your own.
Ok, all of that wonderful stuff about Extra Life aside, I have a confession to make. This article was originally intended to be a newly released game review for Call of Cthulhu by Cyanide Studio. I am a huge H.P. Lovecraft fan (in a literary sense…not so much in social views…but I leave that research up to you fine readers), and have read nearly every single entry into his Cthulhu mythos, dreamland saga, and so on. Sadly though, I was quite disappointed after a mere 43 minutes of this game. I chose to not fully review at this point for a few reasons though. Firstly, as the “finished” product in my opinion was nothing like the trailer or pre-release information that the company provided. However, I am not calling foul and saying that they mislead the players. Perhaps this is a case of a game being severely rough around the edges at release and needed some tender loving care to get it where it deserves to be. Some of this roughness could be forgiven though, if it weren’t for the fact that it was priced like an AAA, well-polished release. So, optimistically speaking, I will return to this game and give it a proper review contingent upon some kinks being straightened out in the future.