Gaming for a Good Cause

On Saturday, November 6th, gamers from all over the United States will be picking up their controllers for a good cause. Extra Life, a charitable organization founded in 2008, is a way for the gaming community to give back by raising money for local children’s hospitals. One of our LearningWorks employees, Jonathan Myers has been participating in this cause for several years. We asked him some questions about what Extra Life means to him and what this year’s stream might look like for his team.

What is Extra Life and how did you get involved with it?

Extra Life is an annual fundraising event in which you play and stream games, often for a full day straight, while seeking donations for the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital of your choice. 

After seeing a few others participate online over the years, I thought it would be a fun challenge to join in. So, I gathered some friends, and we did our first Extra Life event in 2014. I haven’t stopped since.

What types of games do you like to play for your stream? What are some of the games you want to play this year? 

I’m a big fan of co-operative games, even when not doing Extra Life, and those lend themselves well to Extra Life, so it’s a win-win. This year I’m hoping to block off a decent chunk of time to dive into Wildermyth. It has a pretty dynamic story where character choices have interesting consequences that follow you through multiple campaigns, which could make for an engaging thing to watch, even when joining up with your characters in future Extra Life streams. I’m also excited to check out both Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos and Pokémon Unite with my Extra Life group.

What kind of work is involved in setting up for Extra Life? What EF skills are used for this?

One could argue that, with Extra Life, I use all of the executive function skills, the big ones being flexibility, organizing, and planning. I need these skills not only with everything leading up to the event but with making sure things are ready and going smoothly during those 24-25 hours. This includes:

  • Picking games that fit the needs of the stream.
  • Scheduling tests and the event itself.
  • Setting up the technical side of the stream.
  • Updating websites.
  • Communicating with viewers and donors. 
  • Tackling any issues that might come up during the stream itself. 

…and all while keeping a level head, having fun, and making the great cause the focus.

What advice would you give to people who might want to get involved in Extra Life? 

Check out some streams and the Extra Life website. It’s pretty easy to sign up, and it feels good to do good. Don’t worry too much about the technical side if you don’t have the budget or means to be like the fancier streamers out there. Even they started small. Most importantly, have fun and try to encourage a positive community. It’s all for a great cause!

What does someone need to do to watch the livestream?

If you’re curious, please check out my group’s stream, and say hello in the chat, anytime from 8:00 AM (CDT) on Saturday, November 6th, 2021 to 8:00 AM (CST) on Sunday, November 7th. All of the information and stream itself can be found on our Extra Life page at: https://www.extra-life.org/participant/plaidyeti. Lastly, if you are able, please donate to our cause—your donations all go to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. We would greatly appreciate it! 

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