Extra Life Gaming Marathon to Raise Money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Extra Life, a video-gaming marathon started by Sarcastic Gamer in 2008 after the loss of a young girl to cancer, will hold its next marathon fundraising event 8 a.m Saturday until 8 a.m. Sunday (notice that for US participants, that’s 25 hours, due to Daylight Savings Time ending).

Extra Life was founded in 2008 after a groundswell movement by gamers helped make a little girl’s remaining time a bit more enjoyable as she struggled with leukemia.  The 24-hour marathon was developed as a fundraiser for the hospital that supported Victoria Enmon in her battle with the disease.  In their first event, they managed to raise $302 thousand, all of which went directly to Texas Children’s Hospital, the leader’s local Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hospital.

This year’s event is drawing many participants from all over the country to raise money for each of their own local CMN hospitals.  The gamers are being asked to set up an account on the website (http://www.extra-life.org/) and find sponsors for their gaming time.  They recommend finding four friends or family members to sponsor participants for one dollar per hour for the 25 hour marathon (for a total of $100).

Obviously, not everyone is physically capable of doing the 25 hour marathon.  However, there are many attempting it, so the site provides advice on staying safe during the marathon sessions:

“We appreciate your participation in our Extra Life video game fundraiser. Please keep these tips in mind and be sure to put your health and safety first when participating:

  • Drink plenty of hydrating fluids, like water or juice.
  • Stand up and walk around every hour.
  • Stretch.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • marathonIf you’re not feeling well, stop playing! You can always make up time later — there are no rules on how or when you complete your playing time.
  • If you have any concerns about your health, safety or ability to participate in the Extra Life events, please seek the advice of a medical professional.
  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals supports healthy and safe gaming for kids.  If you have questions or concerns about your child’s gaming, please visit www.cmch.tv/ for resources on healthy gaming habits for kids.”

For those who at least attempt to do the marathon, there are some minor incentives.  Trion Worlds, developers of RIFT, are providing a free code for Defiance and a starter pack for RIFT, and you’ll be able to download a PS3 Extra Life theme.  In addition, for those who manage to raise $15, Xsplit (a popular livestreaming software) is offering one month of their premium service.

Platinum participants (those who register with an entry fee) have the opportunity to earn other interesting bonuses.  At $200, they’ll receive an Extra Life t-shirt, at $500, a silver Extra Life medal, and at $2000, a gold Extra Life medal.

Remember though, it’s not about the prizes.  It’s about supporting Children’s Miracle Network hospitals in their fight to give kids the childhood they deserve.

Ed. – I am participating in the event by doing a 25-hour stream at http://www.twitch.tv/cesium_knight.  I’d love to have you there.  Support VCU Children’s Hospital at this link: http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=67273 Thanks.