The Carrot Blog

People often don’t take video games or gamers seriously. Despite it being one of the largest entertainment industries of our time, there are still many who think of video games as a time sink, an activity that does nothing for the individual or those around them.

I’m of a very opposite mindset. I’ve been playing video games for more than 20 years and I believe they allow people to experience new worlds, inspire creativity, and can even become a learning tool. Or, in the case of Extra Life, turned into a charitable event.

This is my third year participating in Extra Life, but what exactly is it? It’s a fundraising platform that started out as a grassroots movement to bring gamers together to play games and raise money for children’s hospitals. The catch is, you have to play video games for 24 hours straight.

This is not a challenge for the lighthearted! When it’s 5 a.m. and your eyes are blurred over and your hand-eye coordination is not what it was 10 hours ago, it can be pretty tough to keep muddling through.

Part of what makes the experience fun is that I get to do it with two of my very good friends and we live stream it to the world. Twenty-four hours of unedited gaming fun to a live audience who can chat with us, request us to play certain games, and help keep up morale when we’re falling asleep with a controller in our hands.

This year, we’re kicking off on Saturday, Nov. 7th. I am personally raising money for The Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation. My friends have each chosen their own hospitals to donate their money to. The money can be used to fund research and training, purchase equipment or help families pay for care they may otherwise not be able to afford for their children.

The true beauty of Extra Life isn’t just in the good that it does, but in proving that almost any passion can be turned into something charitable. When groups with the same interests, culture or sense of community come together, anything can be turned into a force for good – even pixels moving across a television screen.

To help support with a donation:

To watch the live stream on Saturday Nov 7th at 1:30pm: