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hoodedarche0

Extra Life Panel - What would you do?

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Hey there everyone,

 

So to give a brief overview, we have been asked to present 1-2 panels at our biggest events of our Extra Life Guild year on the topic of Extra Life. I have already found a video online that someone recorded of the panel "Gaming for Good" that was held at RTX last year (Extra Life Panel Recording). I have spoken with @LeaveIt2Beaver about it and have decided to follow that same format and topic.

 

I wanted to see what the community would come up with in terms of things that you guys think would be the most important things to touch on during the panel. I've already got alot of things in mind for it but just wanted to open it up a awesome group of Extra Lifers :D

 

So what do you think are some things you guys can think of for a panel on Extra Life? I look forward to seeing what you all think!

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Perhaps something along the lines of Extra Life: A large charity that stays local.  I think one of the best things about Extra Life is that, despite some folks raising for hospitals far away, much of the money we're raising is used directly to the benefit of our local communities.  Your dollars to other charities may end up benefitting those far across the country, but dollars raised for your local hospital stay there.  And may well end up benefitting someone you know - two of my co-workers have relatives that have benefitted directly from CMN (one's nephew was treated, another had his daughter's medical bills made affordable during the recovery from Katrina). 

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I like what Doc said in the panel about it not just being one event.  Sure we have the 24 hour gaming marathon, which is what we have as our "Main Event", but there is so much more you can do with it.  I see my fellow Extra Lifers doing stuff to raise money for the kids all year long and in several different ways.  So you may want to say something to the effect that raising money through Extra Life is nice because how you do it can be customizable.

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I love the ideas so far, Keep them coming! The Panel itself isn't until July so I've still got some time to work on it. Hoping that this eventually helps create an Extra Life Panel Template others can use when they get asked to host a panel.

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So is this going to be more towards the angle of "How to Extra Life", or "What is Extra Life"...or both?

 

The thing that keeps popping into my head is networking.  When you get really "into" Extra Life, you end up doing much more than playing games for a cause.  In the past 3 1/2 years I've done a ton of networking.  Basically reaching out to people that might be interested in participating, hosting an event, or just donating.  I've talked to ton of different people...everything from Board game groups to more recently a Geek Biker group (yeah, geeks with motor cycles).   So maybe you could have Extra Life networking itself as subject...    

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@CAWZY That is a very good idea to incorporate into the panel.... I will need to think about how to best showcase this to the wide range of people and levels of engagement/experience that they may have had with Extra Life.

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I always like to focus on "Play". That it does not have to be video games. That it can be just about anything really, but that "Play" should be a communal thing. By bringing people together to play for a cause it creates momentum and that in and of itself is a very special call to action. 

 

When I get caught up in "events" and "marathons" it is always easy to forget that we do this for the kids and our hospitals. I always felt that "play" captures that spirit perfectly. 

 

Good luck, let us know how it goes!

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Well, it just so happens I'm now doing an Extra Life panel in Lethbridge (south of Calgary) on Saturday, May 21!

 

Will definitely use the heck out of the ideas in this thread. We've got an hour, so I imagine it'll be easy to fill. All depends on turnout I suppose.

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Here's some more guidance:

 

So if I can suggest a general flow for the panel --

- Who are you guys?
- What is Extra Life?
- How do you raise money? (follow-up q's re: services, back-end stuff)
- Where does the money go? 
- Tell us some success stories.
- How does the Extra Life organization coordinate everything?
- How can we work with Extra Life ourselves?

 

Assuming the panel's an hour or so, that'll be more than enough to fill it, leave space for audience questions, and lead nicely into possible signups and interest for you.

 

this is what our producer came up with for the format of our panels @Sean Rooney

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On 5/3/2016 at 5:44 PM, CAWZY said:

everything from Board game groups to more recently a Geek Biker group (yeah, geeks with motor cycles).   So maybe you could have Extra Life networking itself as subject... 

Very cool to have all walks (or rides in this case) of life join in to help the kids!

Awesome! :)

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I've always been a fan of the flexibility of it.  It covers games in general and not just one targeted kind of gaming.  They have "event day", but you're free to hold your own event whenever you'd like, also wherever you'd like.  You can pick a local hospital, but if you have a special attachment to a hospital somewhere else you can play for them.  

 

I just think the more flexible something like this is the easier of a sell it is for people.  

 

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1 hour ago, dmpaskiet said:

I just think the more flexible something like this is the easier of a sell it is for people.  

 

We've actually met people that are wary because it seems too simple. We have to assure them that it really is as easy as it sounds! :D

 

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16 hours ago, K8Morosky said:

 

We've actually met people that are wary because it seems too simple. We have to assure them that it really is as easy as it sounds! :D

 

Yea we've run into some hesitation.  A lot of people as soon as they hear about it think they'll have to go to some kind of event and when you tell them they can just stay home they look a little unsure at first.  

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Just let them know it's really similar to a charity walk or run, except there's no where you need to go.  

 

I really like the three steps that appear on the Extra Life home page.

1. Sign up for a fundraising page.

2. Encourage friends and family to sponsor you.

3. Play Whatever, Wherever, Whenever, because it's all honor system. There are no Extra Life police to tell you what, where, or when to game.

 

Then I segue into anecdotes about different things I know people have done. I make it clear that you can stream or not, or that you can play solo or with a team, or play from home or your favorite gaming store, play on the official day or whenever you think it'll be most special. I stress that the idea is to make it your own. It's really the anecdotes that seem to help people grasp what it's all about, so build up a stock pile of stories about what you and others do.

 

"<Link and Zelda> get their whole team together and have a house party and play tons of different games for 24 hours straight."

"<Mario's Party> spends a whole month streaming Extra Life content for a couple of hours per day."

"<Team Rocket> does a 6 hour marathon and each person counts their hours towards the 24."

"<Cooking Mama> just uses the gaming time as a reward for a successful bake sale raising money for her hospital." 

 

It helps to give people a starting point. And true to the topic, I think an Extra Life panel should take a few minutes to cover the HOW as well as the why of the program. Because it really is as easy as it sounds!

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I've thought about doing an Extra Life panel before in the past, but with an angle more about what it's like to participate. So naturally you discuss what the charity is, who it goes to, and that you can do a variety of activities, but I'd also try and make it a bit less official business and a bit more "here's the mistakes we made, here's what we learned, and here's why it was a lot of fun". I have plenty of those, including being startled by a friend on Vent at 3a.m. while playing Alien: Isolation. Or how last year, to show how lenient things can be, I had to call it quits at the 22 hour mark because I was nodding off and walking into walls and right past enemies in Dragon Age: Inquisition, but then resumed the next day.

 

However, it should be noted I've not yet run a panel, but I would try and make it feel like less of a commercial or Paid Programming and more friendly without sacrificing being informative. After all, stories about how you poorly prepared one year can be amusing while also informative. Or something as simple as asking the other panelists "Hey, what do you guys do for food?"

 

So I'd say I'd make the first half the official stuff. Here's why Extra Life was founded, who we support, and how to get involved. Show what sort of communities participate and how people will do streams throughout the year instead of the marathon, or play board games or D&D, or a variety of other activities. Mini-seminar type stuff. But then in the latter half, let the human side show and present that feeling of shared community, or show that you, the panelists, do this because you, individually, love it.

That's just a take on it, though. I imagine for some conventions the more official method would work better, and others a laid back approach would be preferred. It also depends on the panelists you have.

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