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Gaming for Good at Gen Con 2019

Jack Gardner

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We are winding down from Gen Con 2019 after an extremely productive time at the year’s largest tabletop convention in North America. We spent the weekend with the wonderful Extra Lifers from the Indianapolis and Chicago areas. Together, we managed to meet and talk with hundreds of people, inviting them to participate in Extra Life.


However, we did more than just talk with con-goers. One of the highlights of the event for us was a portion of the official Gen Con stream starring Extra Life Miracle Child Ethan McKinney, Extra Life’s own Lou Adducci, as well as Funko employee and Extra Lifer Stephanie Straw, with Maya, the community manager for Secret Hitler, acting as the host of the show. Together, the four chatted about Extra Life, Ethan’s experiences going through treatment for his heart condition, and played Funko’s new tabletop board game, Funkoverse. You can watch the full segment on Gen Con’s Twitch archive.



We also had a fantastic panel talking about how to use tabletop gaming to raise funds for children’s hospitals through Extra Life. That was headed by Ivan Van Norman, aka Hydra_Lord, and staffed by Ethan McKinney, Lou Adducci, and Mike Tyrian. Ivan Van Norman, featured on Geek and Sundry, led a panel at Extra Life United earlier this year, and it was a pleasure to work with him again at Gen Con. Mike Tyrian works with Magic: The Gathering, one of the biggest supporters of Extra Life out there. Hopefully panel attendees came away with new passion for gaming for a good cause.


A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who turned out to help us make Gen Con 2019 unforgettable. We couldn’t do these events without your help. It was great being able to hang with you all at the High Velocity Sports Bar during our low-key meet up. This is a phenomenal community and we are honored that you choose to spend your precious time helping us to get money and care to kids who need help.

Let’s take this energy and keep moving forward For The Kids.


One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

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