Guess what? This year Extra Life, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals gaming fundraiser, proved that gaming can be used to do more than rot the brains of millions of American’s and destroy the productivity of freelance writers everywhere. 43,000 volunteers spent 25 hours playing video and board games to raise a total of $3,991,244 to help sick and injured kids.
That story alone would be worth writing about, but it gets even better. The day of the event, there were multiple DDoS attacks on the donation website, extra-life.org. While we may never know what soulless monster thought attacking a CHILDREN’S CHARITY was a good idea, we can confirm that you can always depend on the kindness of strangers. The words of Blanche Dubois were made real when the participants (who had already dedicated 25 hours, thanks to Daylight Savings) insisted in having a “make-up” day. Unbelievably, on November 9th, the scheduled make-up day, there was ANOTHER ATTACK ON THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY WEBSITE!!!!!!! (Side note: What is wrong with the people who do stuff like this? I mean… I get wanting to buck the system, to stick it to the man, but this isn’t “the man” you’re hurting… it’s LITTLE KIDS!! SICK KIDS! Rant over) Still, despite the second website attack, the organization was able to raise enough money to nearly match all total fundraising from all previous years combined! Faith in humanity restored (sorta)!!!
From the press release:
“The support from this community of gamers has blown me away,” said Jeromy ‘Doc’ Adams, Extra Life’s founder and a director at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “The tenacity and perseverance of these players to overcome the DDoS setbacks and absolutely crush their fundraising goals has been incredible. I’m also extremely grateful to our partners who helped spread the word and grow this grassroots event that now helps millions of kids fighting for their lives in children’s hospitals across North America.”Dollars raised wasn’t the only Extra Life record made in 2013. This year’s event also involved the highest number of gamers: 43,000 participants, each raising funds for the member hospital of their choice, and its highest social media engagement to date. The Extra Life Facebook page achieved a record number of new likes and the Twitter account, @extralife4kids, gained more followers than ever before. The hashtag #ExtraLifeRT trended on Twitter thanks to major fundraising team “Rooster Teeth” and other Extra Life supporters.Extra-Life.org is still accepting player sign-ups and donations for member children’s hospitals through Dec. 31, 2013. The next annual Extra Life event will take place in late October 2014. Interested participants can visit Extra-Life.org to learn more, to register and to start raising critical funds for local children in need.Extra Life is in its sixth year and was created by Adams in 2008 to honor his friend, the late Victoria ‘Tori’ Enmon, a 15-year-old Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals patient who played video games during her battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Since then, thousands of Extra Life participants have raised more than $8 million to benefit 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in North America, mostly by playing video and tabletop games. The program’s previous fundraising record was in 2012 when it raised $2.1 million.