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Jack Gardner
The year is 1347. A strange, creeping illness has been sweeping throughout Europe, leaving a trail of corpses in its wake. Corpses that have begun to rise again in shambling processions. In an almshouse on the fringe of society, a group of people living with disabilities, blindness, deafness, mobility impairments, and more, make the decision to survive against the tide of death. 
Survival of the Able is a tabletop roleplaying game created by Accessible Games, a company staffed almost entirely by individuals living with disabilities or otherwise marginalized people. Headed by Jacob Wood, a blind game designer, Survival of the Able was born out of the desire to tell a story about people living with a variety of disabilities in a time when such conditions were viewed as rendering people useless. To some extent, a lot of the prejudices and beliefs about those with disabilities persist even centuries later. To help challenge those perspectives, Wood and his team created a tabletop experience unlike any other. 
In the setting of Survival of the Able, players will have to overcome the challenges presented by the disease, the wandering undead, harsh weather conditions, and the discriminatory attitudes of those around you. To top it off, the absence of accessibility technology or accommodations means that the deaf won't have sign language, the blind won't have braille, and those who aren't able to stand won't have wheelchairs. This will force characters to figure out other ways to survive in a setting so full of death. Players will be armed with the knowledge a character in 1347 might have - they won't be able to readily identify the symptoms or effects of the Black Plague, meaning that the disease could prove even deadlier than the zombies. 
Survival of the Able is based on the Fudge System to encourage roleplaying and eliminate the need for typical attributes that exist in many RPGs. Instead, the underlying system allows the developers to present a sliding scale to represent how those with disabilities often have differing degrees of ability. The reason for this is that Survival of the Able isn't supposed to be a story about strong heroes accomplishing incredible feats - just a story about average people who want to live. 
If all of this sounds intriguing, you can actually play a beta version of the game for free by downloading it directly from the publisher's website.
If you enjoy the game or simply want to support the project, the team has launched a Kickstarter to raise $8,000 that will be used to create art, edit the beta version, and organize the book into an easily understood layout. The team has also presented stretch goals that include being able to better compensate the team, creating an audiobook version of the game, and penning additional settings for Survival of the Able that include the likes of 1980s USA during the AIDs epidemic. 
There aren't really any other tabletop games quite like Survival of the Able, so check it out if you have the time! Maybe even give the beta a whirl on Game Day?
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Hideki Kamiya, the director of Clover Studio's Okami, has tweeted indicating that the beloved action-adventure title will be receiving a sequel. The hints of a sequel in the works came in the form of several tweets between Kamiya and Ikumi Nakamura, the creative director formerly employed at Tango Gameworks. Nakamura has been touring a number of prominent game studios around the world with her latest stop being PlatinumGames where Kamiya now works.  
There are those on the internet, however, that remain skeptical. Kamiya has a history of playing with fan expectations on Twitter. The director, who know works as a game designer at PlatinumGames, teased impatient fans of Scalebound back in 2015 by routinely telling them that new screenshots would be released next week. Each week, the elusive screenshots were pushed back another week and never emerged. His account even puts forward rules for followers and fans. Those who violate his Twitter rules find themselves quickly blocked.
However, the announcement was made alongside Ghostwire Tokyo's former creative director, Ikumi Nakamura. Nakamura posted a video to Twitter earlier today in which Kamiya said with a smile and a thumbs up that "Okami is going to come back." Nakamura looks surprised and asks, "Really?" "Really," Kamiya responds, before laughing.

The cheeky announcement might well be a joke, but Nakamura seems to sincerely want Okami 2 to become a reality. She worked at Clover Studio as a concept artist alongside Kamiya on the original Bayonetta. While Kamiya is one to pull a joke on fans, Nakamura's sincerity and energy has made her a popular developer in the game industry, even after her departure from the recently announced Ghostwire Tokyo. Nakamura followed up her video with Kamiya by saying, "Okami is going to be back. We want to make Okami sequel and fans are looking forward to it too. You guys want to see Kamiya’s Okami again, right, everyone? I want to work on it too!”
While this is all very exciting to hear, Capcom has confirmed to outlets like Polygon that it hasn't made any official announcements. However, the love for Okami runs deep. The game originally released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 before transitioning over to the Wii via a port in 2008. In 2010, a Nintendo DS sequel released called Okamiden. 2012 saw an HD remaster release on the PlayStation 3. A five year lull followed without much in the way of Okami happening before a surprise port of the PlayStation 3 remaster appeared on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2017. A year later, the remaster appeared on Nintendo Switch. 
Capcom sits on a game franchise that has become known as one of the greatest artistic achievements in gaming. The reaction to this strange, small tweet (regardless of whether it's a joke or not) speaks to how eager fans are for more Okami. With a new console generation coming up and the recent ports selling well, there might very well be another Okami in the works at this moment or in the near future - and that's very exciting. 
Kamiya capped all of this off by tweeting: “Okami will be back,” he wrote. “... Someday ... I believe.”
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Tomorrow marks the beginning of Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo (EGLX) weekend. This will be the fifth year the show has been put on and Extra Life is happy to be a part of the event. You will be able to see us from our traditional booth presence on the show floor as well as during various stretches of time on the EGLX main stage. The weekend will be highlighting a number of streamers and special guests from both the game industry and SickKids, the local Children's Miracle Network Hospital in Toronto. 
EGLX 2019 takes place from October 18-20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center in Toronto. The event brings gamers from across Canada together to celebrate gaming. There are both casual and competitive tournaments, live shows, free play areas for casual, communal gaming, unique convention storefronts, as well as recently released and upcoming games from indie studios and AAA publishers. The list of confirmed guests includes the likes of Kinda Funny Games' Greg, Nick, and Andy, the creators of Death Battle, the team behind Game Attack, and Kris Wilson of Cyanide & Happiness. 
Extra Life will be appearing on the main stage throughout the event during 10 minute intervals that EGLX has been gracious enough to provide for us. We'll be talking about Extra Life's wider mission to help kids in Canada and the United States while also getting into more specifics about Toronto's own SickKids hospital. Keep your eyes peeled for a lengthier appearance on Sunday where Extra Life will be taking the stage for a full half-hour along with a Champion Child from SickKids. 
If you will be at the event in person, be sure to stop by and say hello at booth 311. We will have our own free play stations, host a rotation of special guests for attendees to interact and play with, and be giving away prizes sponsored by Arozzi Gaming Chairs, Dell, and more! The booth will be staffed by employees from SickKids, Extra Lifers, and maybe even one of the kids who has been helped by Extra Life donations. 
SickKids, also known as The Hospital for Sick Children, is one of the most research-oriented hospitals in Canada. It offers cutting-edge care, both specialized and general, for kids in the Toronto area and beyond. Their goal is to keep pushing the boundaries of care to make sure that every child receives comprehensive, safe, and effective care. 
To learn more or participate in raising money for SickKids through Extra Life, you can head over to:
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Today is Canadian Thanksgiving, a day for celebrating accomplishments and being thankful for the blessings of the past year. We wanted to take a minute to celebrate the amazing things the Extra Life community has helped accomplish across Canada in just the last month or so. It has been incredible watching Extra Life's partners and dedicated participants come together to raise awareness, shatter fundraising goals, and even help start entirely new hospitals. This year, we are thankful for all of you. Thank you! 
DreamHack Montreal - September 6-8 

DreamHack Montreal kicked off an amazing month for Extra Life in Canada. The competitive gaming event brought together gamers from across all of Canada as well as a large number from the United States. The event was generous enough to provide Extra Life with two booth spaces, one for streamers to raise money for local hospitals and another to talk with attendees throughout the weekend. Streamers took shifts at the booth that varied between 4 -24 hours. Hospital Champion, Jean-Gilles, attended the final two days of DreamHack with his mom, playing new games, interviewing streamers, and chatting with Extra Lifers. In total, the amazing efforts of Extra Lifers at DreamHack Montreal were able to raise over $14,000 CND (over $10,000 USD) for local kids.  
Extra Life North - September 7-8 

The same weekend as DreamHack Montreal, Extra Lifers from across central Canada descended upon Winnipeg to participate in Extra Life North, a weekend-long fundraiser to help the kids in the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. Numerous organizations worked with local Extra Lifers to pull the event together, particularly Bold Commerce, Flocker, and RBC. The event was attended by several Miracle Children, local celebrities, and Canadian Olympians. In total, the event raised over $73,000 CND (over $50,000 USD) for the kids of Manitoba. 
First Patient Day at Jim Pattison Children's Hospital - September 29 

Jim Pattison Children's Hospital opened its doors to the very first kids in need of treatment late last month. That tremendous occasion, which was made possible with the support of partners like Extra Life, marked the first time patients in the province had access to a dedicated maternal and children's hospital. The facility provides tailored care to the needs of babies, kids, and moms who come from across Saskatchewan for help. Hospitals can be scary for kids, so Jim Pattison Children's Hospital has been built to be as friendly and welcoming as possible to its youngest patients. We here at Extra Life are so proud to have been able to play a small part in making JPCH into a reality. Photos from the event were taken by Lisa Landrie - A Photogenic Life.
Extra Life Ottawa Summit - October 5 

Extra Life guild members in Ottawa were able to partner with their local Marriott Hotel to put together their own gaming event earlier this month! Extra Life Ottawa Summit created a free play area where attendees could enjoy both tabletop and video games while taking in the expansive views from the space the hotel was able to provide. Those who attended the event had a fantastic time gaming, networking, and taking in the event itself. There are currently plans in motion to grow the event for next year while working with the wonderful people at the Ottawa Marriott.  
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Join in the fun tomorrow as one of our most dedicated Extra Lifers kicks off a 12 hour charity marathon! Aureylian will be playing a variety of games (and even doing some live singing!) on her Twitch stream while working to raise $12,000 USD for the kids at St. Louis Children's Hospital. There will be a number of incentives for fundraising including pies to the face, gift packages, and more! 
If you aren't aware, Aureylian has been participating in Extra Life for the past five years making use of her platform as a Twitch Ambassador to help kids in her local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. She regularly gives key note speeches at TwitchCon, Twitch's PAX events, appears prominently in Mindcrack events, and served as a co-host for MineCon Earth in 2018. Her streaming channel is best known for Minecraft and The Sims, but she also branches out into a variety of FPS games. She even played a part in Michelle Obama's Twitch stream that was held for #CollegeSigningDay alongside Ninja and Anne Munition!
Over the past several years, Aureylian has raised over $47,000 USD for the kids at St. Louis Children's Hospital. With her goal this year, she's hoping to reach or surpass the $60,000 USD mark. She boasts a following of over 150,000 on Twitch and just shy of 300,000 on YouTube. She has been one of our biggest supporters, earning her the title of Extra Life Ambassador for 2019. We are so proud to be able to work with such a positive force in the gaming community to build something amazing for children across the United States and Canada.  

If you are curious about what will be going down on the stream itself, a wide variety of activities are planned. The action will start off with a chill morning stream of the house renovation game House Flipper at 8am PT. Following that, get ready for some spooky fun at 10am PT with a playthrough of a Minecraft adventure set in an eerie realm. Speaking of realms, the latest expansion for The Sims, Realm of Magic, will be up at 12pm PT. Subnautica will be the core afternoon game from 2pm PT until 4pm PT. In the late afternoon and into the evening, Aureylian will be putting her voice to the test with two hours of Twitch Sings where donors will choose which songs she belts out live until 6pm PT. The last two hour segment of the stream will be either Green Hell Game or Resident Evil II depending on whether donors have reached the $5,000 USD incentive mark. There will be plenty of other things popping up on the stream on top of all of that, from guests to incentive breaks to giveaways. It's gonna be a great time! 
Finally, Aureylian's Twitch stream has been sponsored by MadeGood, a company that produces organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO snacks for kids in a facility free from the 8 common allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, dairy, egg, soy, sesame, fish and shellfish. At least one of the prizes being given away during her stream will consist of a MadeGood giveaway.

One of the really neat things about this sponsorship is that during the month of October, MadeGood will be donating a portion of their Chocolate Chip Granola Mini Bar sales to support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals! These bars are limited and will only be sold during the month of October, so get 'em while they're hot from most major retailers or online through Amazon or MadeGood itself! If you have any questions about the product, be sure to reach out to MadeGood's social media presence on Twitter: @MadeGoodFoods.
Be sure to tune in to Aureylian's Twitch stream any time tomorrow from 8am PT until 8pm PT. Hope we'll see you there! 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
With the rise of digital streaming platforms, the Extra Lifers who participate in fundraising efforts on Game Day and beyond have become incredibly visible and shaped the way that people think about Extra Life. However, Extra Life is more than just streaming! We have a large and passionate community that exists in spaces that are left out of the streaming world by choice or technical limitations. If you're looking to up your fundraising game without streaming, here are several ideas that will make your efforts to help your kids in your community successful.
Make the First Donation to Your Page
This first point might raise a few eyebrows. When it comes to fundraising, momentum is important. Participants who already have a donation, even if it is from themselves, are more easily able to attract future donations. In fact, making the initial donation yourself before any fundraising effort is so effective that, according to our friends at DonorDrive who have crunched the numbers, people who self-donate are likely to raise 10 times more than those who don't.  

Join D&D Adventurers League
This should be of interest to the tabletop gamers in our community: Participating in Extra Life fundraising can help you earn rewards at the table in Dungeons & Dragons' Adventurers League! Adventurers League helps new people to learn how to play D&D while providing high-quality, regulated adventures for players of all skill levels. Since Wizards of the Coast began working with Extra Life several years ago, many local Adventurers League events have offered ways to earn in-game items or a re-roll of the dice via charitable donations. This year, Adventurers League is offering extended Liars Night (the name of their month-long Halloween event) festivities to everyone who has donated to a fundraising page on the Extra Life website, bought a re-roll ticket that benefited Extra Life, or otherwise helped in local fundraising efforts. This will extend the spooky celebration through November 7th, allowing more time for players to fight Wandering Monsters through Game Day and beyond. Defeating those monsters earns in-game candy corn that can be used for unique, holiday-related items.  
Download the Apps
A reminder to download the apps might cause some to roll their eyes. However, if everyone in the Extra Life community downloaded and made the attempt to use the Mobile Fundraising Apps, Extra Life would be able to raise another $1 million USD for the kids! 
Set Up a $1 Donation Playlist
One of the most creative unstreamed fundraising efforts we have encountered is a sponsored cross-country road trips. This involves an Extra Lifer soliciting $1 USD donations per song suggestion to construct a playlist of music they must listen to during their journey. Community member Rich Moser recently put this tactic to the test on a journey from Pittsburgh to Phoenix. "People could choose songs, ANY song, by donating $1 per song," explained Rich. "If my math is right, I raised $614 by doing this! [There were] so many great and terrible songs that I had to keep the playlist playing for a day or so after we got here in order to complete it!"
If you want to take a gander at Rich's playlist, here’s the link (be warned some songs are NSFW).

Launch a Facebook Fundraiser
One of the features on Facebook that has gained traction over the years has been giving users on the social media site the ability to create fundraisers for causes near and dear to their hearts. This feature has raised over $1 billion USD since it was launched back in 2015. Due to a recent update to Extra Life's website, it has never been easier to create a Facebook Fundraiser. Through your account page on Extra Life's main website, you will have a small button that streamlines the fundraiser creation process with clear prompts to help you connect your Extra Life account with your Facebook. Once the process is complete, any donations to your Facebook fundraiser will be reflected in your fundraising total on Extra Life! 
On average, people who create Facebook Fundraisers raise $150 USD from the effort. If everyone in the Extra Life community created one, our fundraising totals for 2019 would be mind-boggling! 

Host a Classic Game Night
If streaming isn't your thing, consider throwing a game night for your friends or community. Game nights are a classic way to get people engaged with your fundraising efforts, especially if it's a laid back, less formal event. Dust off the Rock Band or Guitar Hero controllers, grab a few board games, your tabletop dice, whatever will help everyone have a great time. The flexibility of fundraising during an occasion like this depends on your imagination. Ideas to raise money for the kids range from a $10 donation to attend the festivities to micro-donations to turn the tide of various games from Super Smash Bros. to Monopoly. The key is for everyone to walk away having had fun and armed with the knowledge that they helped kids in their communities. 
What are the most fun fundraising ideas with no streaming required that you have come up with? Share with us in the comments!  
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
For Hispanic Heritage Month, we here at Extra Life wanted to highlight the incredible work San Jorge Children's Hospital does in Puerto Rico. The hospital provides every kind of sub-specialty to the children who pass through its doors. That puts the hospital in a unique position where it can handle bone marrow transplants, asthma, diabetes, cancer treatment, plastic surgery, as well as intensive and emergency room care. With hundreds of pediatricians and specialists, San Jorge Children's Hospital does everything it can to help everyone it can. 
One of the amazing things about San Jorge Children's Hospital is that 95% of charitable donations goes directly toward charitable care. Extra Life donations make treatment for many of the kids who need care possible. We are proud of being able to work with the hospital to make sure that every kid can receive the care they need regardless of their family's ability to pay. 

The giving that Extra Life helps to bring out of the gaming community goes to helping kids like Juan Diego. His father developed cancer in his ear, necessitating costly treatment. Shortly after that, Juan Diego became ill, too. While he fought to become healthy again, his sister developed a serious condition. "[The hospital] appeared when we needed them; when we don't have enough for some lab test... or he needs psychological or psychiatric help," explained Juan Diego's mother. "[His father] gets cancer in his ear, after that Juan Diego, and it last happened with our daughter. She went to live with God."
The family was able to continue on with the help of funds that came from Extra Life donations to the hospital, something that they might not have been able to do in the wake of destruction from Hurricane Maria which damaged their home along with the homes of hundreds of thousands of others. San Jorge Children's Hospital does great work, so spare a moment of your time to learn more about them and the amazing things they are doing for the kids of Puerto Rico.
September 15th through October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. This period stands as a time for Americans to celebrate the cultures and histories of friends, family, and neighbors whose roots stem from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. The month-long event began in 1988. The unique dating of the month comes from the annual independence observances of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, which all occur on September 15th. The date is followed by the independence days of Mexico (September 16) and Chile (September 18). You can learn more about the day on the month's dedicated website.   
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Cerebral palsy can make life difficult. Movement and communication can become a challenge. The differences those challenges present give those with cerebral palsy a unique perspective on the world, one that can be hard to understand for those without the condition. However, that doesn't mean that kids or adults with cerebral palsy don't need love or connection. They dream just as big as anyone else. 
October 6th is World Cerebral Palsy Day, a time for everyone to consider the community of people living with the condition alongside all of us. Those with cerebral palsy travel a difficult road with all kinds of challenges both physical and mental. Their perspectives on the world teach us the importance of creating more accessible environments, buildings, and devices for those who might lack the ability to effectively move across short or long distances - or even play games.
With input from physicians and numerous groups including the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Microsoft was able to release the Xbox One Adaptive Controller, a device that allows those with conditions affecting their mobility to game with a wide variety of peripherals that can be mapped to different buttons on a traditional controller. Developers on the software side of things in the games industry have been creating different in-game settings to accommodate those who might have a hard time playing due to audio or visual impairment or even easier difficulty settings that allow everyone to experience their games. 
One of the people trying her best to make the world a better place for kids with cerebral palsy is Boston Children's Hospital's Miracle Child Stella and her mother. Born over a month early, Stella had numerous complications while growing up. Her mom had to call 911 numerous times to have her resuscitated and it became clear early on that Stella had cerebral palsy. As she grew older, her mom found it difficult to do little things like take her to the beach or go on walks. Stella's grandfather had an idea: A beach buggy. 
The device Stella's grandfather created out of PVC piping and four wheels altered the family's life:
Going down to the beach was so much easier. I could just put her in the chair and we could go over all types of terrain. Even just going on field trips for her, like we went apple picking on a field trip and we were able to bring the buggy. And then we realized, after we had her buggy, that we were able to take her for walks along the street which was just awesome. 
After experiencing how much the buggy changed their lives, Stella and her mom started a non-profit, Stepping Stones for Stella, a group that has helped hundreds of families to open up the world for those with cerebral palsy. "It’s not an easy road at first," says Stella's mom, "but it gets easier — and less scary.”
Extra Life is proud to be able to support kids like Stella in Children's Miracle Network Hospitals around the United States and Canada. Thank you to everyone who helps build up facilities like Boston Children's Hospital with the best equipment, buildings, and people to make sure that every child who comes through their doors gets the care and attention they need. 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Many games revolve around conflict and fighting, the struggle to prove one's superiority to another via online competition or by overcoming single-player challenges. With October being Bullying Prevention Month, we thought it might be a great idea to spotlight some game series that focus on learning to appreciate and work with others. No one likes bullying, but it's unfortunately the case that children who need medical care or live with conditions that lead others to perceive them differently are more at risk to be on the receiving end of bullying. 
We've taken the opportunity of this month to talk about a few games that might help someone who has been bullied feel less alone. On the flip side, these titles might be used to teach kids who may engage in bullying behavior about empathy and learning to appreciate the differences between people. Plus, they are all just great game series that everyone should play at least once!
Stardew Valley
ConcernedApe, the lone developer behind one of the most beloved indie games of the past few years, really knows how to put together a town of interesting characters. Players take on the role of a character who leaves the bustling and soul-crushing city to take care of their grandfather's farm in a town called Stardew Valley. The dilapidated old farm leaves much to be desired, but through hard work and dedication players can restore the farm to its former glory and befriend the colorful cast of locals. 
Stardew Valley doesn't really have an antagonist outside of the looming corporate interests of Jo-Jo Mart. The game emphasizes friendship and co-operation, something that came into clearer focus when a co-op mode was added to the game last year. This lack of social friction makes Stardew Valley an ideal escape from the stresses of real world living. Many people find it to be a comforting experience that helps them heal and face the world again.
People looking for a game that teaches kindness and emphasizes communal harmony, two things that fly in the face of bullying, couldn't do much better than this game about farming and friendship.
Animal Crossing

From the very beginning of the series, Animal Crossing has been about making friends, performing acts of community service, and contributing to the greater good. Those same basic concepts have been present across all future entries in the franchise. It's a game about interacting with a world where conflict is largely absent, a rarity in video games. It also takes place in real time, encouraging players to make continual, daily investments into their digital communities.  
In Animal Crossing, players move to a new town and find themselves unexpectedly roped into a money-making scheme by local businessman Tom Nook. From there, players can weed the town to make it more pleasant for themselves and their neighbors and give gifts to their fellow townsfolk. When the various animals in town like the main character enough, they might choose to live in town permanently. This is all done without a main antagonist (unless you count the comedic opposition of characters like Tom Nook or Mr. Resetti). Players can also contribute to the local museum to help the community learn more about wildlife and the natural wonders of the world. There are countless ways players are encouraged to live in harmony with the other residents of their town. 
If ever there was a game that emphasized the greater good and living in peace with all kinds of different people, it's Animal Crossing.  
Fire Emblem

The Fire Emblem series has a long and storied history of encouraging social interaction between its myriad of different characters. Sometimes they begin as enemies and other times as amicable rivals, but over time they learn to respect and even love one another. A major theme across all of the games deals with the bonds people forge between one another in their communities. 
Unlike the other two games highlighted so far, Fire Emblem does involve a fair bit of combat. Players take on the role of a strategic commander giving orders to units on a battlefield. The more that the player's units, who all have names, histories, and personalities, fight next to one another, the more their bond develops. Once that bond reaches certain levels, the two unites can hold a conversation in which they poke fun at one another, express their desires and passions, or even reveal crucial plot details. 
Fire Emblem is a series where numerous people from different social and political backgrounds with differing views and physical appearances all come together to work for a common goal. Watching people learn about those differences and embrace them, learning about the little quirks that make them human, it helps the player appreciate the differences between people in the real world - and maybe help bridge the divide when things seem unfamiliar.
What sorts of games do you play to find a positive sense of community or connection with others?
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Joe Joe is 13 years old. He loves to swim and surf. He's been competing in track and field. His family keeps him active in school and the community by involving him in extracurricular activities and services at their local church. He never gets mad or upset, and he tries to lift up everyone around him. Joe Joe also lives with Down syndrome, a condition his doctors discovered shortly after his birth along with a rare form of cancer affecting his bone marrow. 
Joe Joe's mom, Kris, loves her son. "He wears us out!" she laughs, "He is an 8-to-8 kid; he is on the go all day." Joe Joe is a miracle kid in every sense of the word. He was born with a rare form of cancer called transient myeloproliferative disorder. This condition can affect fetal blood-forming organs like the liver and bone marrow. This can have wide-ranging effects from permanent organ damage to death. With the help of his skilled team of doctors, Joe Joe was able to recover from the condition and become the happy, healthy kid he is today.
While Joe Joe has Down syndrome, Kris believes firmly in the advice she received from the pediatrician who helped her right after Joe Joe was born. "If you want a disabled, sick child, treat him like a disabled, sick child. You want a healthy, active child in society? Then that's how you treat him." Those few sentences have shaped how Kris and her family have raised Joe Joe, letting him live in the world without sheltering him from the challenges he has to overcome.
Down syndrome arises in individuals due to a quirk that can occur in chromosome 21, often caused by an extra copy of the chromosome being present in their DNA. This extra genetic material can result in a divergence in brain development, facial structure, as well as certain developmental delays. Though they might face certain difficulties, individuals who have Down syndrome live lives very similar to those who don't have it. Those with Down syndrome have personalities, interests, and talents, with the ability to learn the same skills as people born without Down syndrome. 
You can watch Kris and Joe Joe on the reality series produced by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals called Real Moms. The twelve episode series follows the lives of several moms out in the world as they raise kids who deal with life-altering medical complications. The series premiered earlier this year and you can watch the entire run on YouTube for free. 
Don't forget 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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