My ExtraLife Experience

My ExtraLife Experience

This weekend, I took part in the Extra Life charity gaming marathon. Lindsey explained exactly what this marathon was all about, but just in case you didn’t catch it, I’d be more than happy to tell you all about it!

Extra Life is  a direct charity for Children’s Miracle Network. Essentially, you play video games for 24 hours and have sponsors donate money to support your local children’s hospital.

This is the third annual Extra Life event. According to Sarcastic Gamer’s Extra Life figures, as of 8amEST this morning, Extra Life participants totalled more than 3600, with an astounding $417, 291 total in donations. And of course, that number will keep rising as donations are accepted until November 15! It should be noted that to date, Extra Life has raised over $300K, with approximate $120K in 2008 and $170K in 2009. So, for participants to rake in over $400K blows me away!

I was one of those lucky participants. I played for Pandora’s Hope, which is the charity team for PMS Clan. Sadly, we only reached 45% of our goal, with donations totalling $3329.50 as of this moment. However, that’s still a lot of money from one group!

My marathon began a little bit earlier than other’s, as I had a family reunion October 16th at about 5pEST (which I ended up not even going to!) So, my marathon began on October 15 at 4p. Just prior, I made a run to the store: Vitamin water, chips, chocolate, gum, lollipops and Dr. Pepper – the drink for real gamers! With my laptop opened in front of me, my gaming necessities close at hand, and a backup of batteries, my marathon began!

I started out playing Call of Duty on my Xbox. I was joined by some of the amazing ladies from PMS Clan. I played from 4p-8a without any real breaks. An occassional washroom break or run to the store for Dr. Pepper was all I needed.

Around 8a, and 16h into it, I felt very tired. I took a quick break, did some laundry, showered and changed clothes.

Around 11a, I was right back at it with only 8 hours to go! I played my little butt off until 7p, officially hitting my 24h mark. I focused mostly on Medal of Honor and Call of Duty, changing back and forth as friends signed on and off.

Then I took a nap, hitting it hard around 10p and didn’t stop playing until about 4a. Total time playing video games: 30 hours.

Tiredness was the one thing I was really having a hard time with. Last week I had been sent to the hospital after I had severe chest pains and difficulty breathing – both brought on by too much stress on my heart. So, lots of caffeine was out of the question. That meant I had to rely on good ol’ willpower, instead of the delicious cold taste of energy drinks. But, a friend of mine tweeted something that pushed us all through it: “Tired? Keep going. Like the kids that stare down unimaginable diseases. Keep going!” Don’t know if those were her words, or one of the many with the ExtraLife hashtag, but it drove us all to accomplish what so many other had!

Often, I would check other tweets with #ExtraLife to see what others were saying, their goals, their progress, etc. Often, I would get a direct message asking me what I was playing and if they could join. It felt like an entire community driven to meet one goal – healing the children of the world.

I can say that I am very proud of this event and the effort we all put into it. I was playing for the Toronto Sick Kids hospital, and sadly, I only raised $121, $75 shy of my goal, but I look forward to participating again next year and doubling my donations! Extra Life 2011 – here I come!

If any of you wonderful readers took part, let me know what you thought and what you played! Leave a comment below!

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