Hey guys! VinceInTheNorth here with my small article about why I joined the Extra Life movement this year and will in the future years to come!
So a quick run down of my story that may give an insight as to why I think being part of this amazing initiative should be more popular and "casual" or Non-gaming people should also join our effort! Then I'll share with you an experience I've had in the past and how it has created a drive in me to entertain others and try to bring some form of soothing and relief through that medium.
Who am I?
First off; my name is Vincent, 24 years old, I was born in Quebec City, QC, Canada into a loving and very upright family, I have three little sisters for who I care very much - even more so now that I had to move away from home for work - and both my parents are college teachers in the field of radiology (That's the people who take your X-Rays at the hospital!). Ever since I've had the ability to remember stuff, I remember gaming being a part of what I did. No older than 2 years old I was completing "Megaman 2" and thought playing games was the most wonderful thing there was. I would get up at 4 in the morning to secretly continue my game of Super Mario Bros 3. only to get caught and sent back to bed. Now, you may be wondering "What does all of this have to do with Extra-Life?!" and you would be damn right to ask. Let me explain to you what happened to me at the age of 4.
A Life-Changing Experience
When I was 4 years old, something terrible happened to me. I was quietly enjoying some cartoons on the TV when I started feeling messed up a bit ; like the world was spinning and everything was going dim. So I limped up to my mom who was in the bathroom doing whatever, and barely had the time to utter a sentence before I collapsed to the ground. The rest are just fuzzy memories of my parents panicking and an ambulance ride. I don't remember much of the first day at the hospital but what I have gotten to know a lot later is that I suffered from a Cerebrovascular Accident - Basicly a blood clot in a brain artery that cuts blood flow to the nervous system, to be clear. I spend about a week or two in the hospital as i was being monitored for different consequences of what had happened. Now, this could have been the most horrible time of my life. But surprisingly enough, it was not. The nurses had been kind enough to provide my room with a TV and a SNES, NES and a Sega Game Gear. I was ecstatic! I came to forget about this whole ordeal, and all I really have memories of is that I sure did shred "Super Mario World" and "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" during my hospitalization.
Now there were some physiological consequences to the accident I had. Half of my cerebellum had "died out" (Sorry if this is medically inaccurate ; it is how it was presented to me!) during that momentary lack of blood. Principally the part that was responsible for balance and spatial depth recognition. So for a few months - and even to this day to some extent - I couldn't walk straight and would blunder into walls and obstacles for lack of being able to tell at which distance they are.
Bottom of the line being : The actions of a few people and their initiative completely changed my hospitalization from terrifying to actually enjoyable.
My own Mission
Today, I am now a functional adult with a career in a local airline company. I still play video-games a whole lot - maybe too much some would say - and enjoy a very exciting relationship with my significant other. Furthermore, I own two twitch channels that have mitigated success but that I enjoy running nonetheless for a reason that is very simple : I REALLY enjoyed having people watch me play when I was a kid. Explaining why I would choose a line of actions rather than another, discussing my take on the game's story, my feelings for what the game offered ; it was really all I was about and my closest friends spent a LOT of our childhood sitting their butts down and watching - and they usually enjoyed it! That sparked my interest in live-streaming a couple years back and I still enjoy it regularly.
Then I saw the Extra-Life initiative last year as some of my friends in the video-game industry would take on a 24-hours marathon to collect funds for our local organism to help children who are sick and could use some assistance. "Opération Enfants Soleil" is that organism, and at the time I thought "Ehh maybe I should try gathering for them as well!" but I stopped myself thinking "You don't have enough followers, nobody is gonna show up and you will end up giving a miserable amount of money". So I didn't do it in 2015. Earlier this year, severe wildfires ravaged the province of Alberta in Canada. There was an effort going on at the time to donate to the Red Cross and help the people who became homeless in a matter of days. I had no money to donate myself, being a student and needing every penny I had to pay bills and eat, BUT I thought it's not because I cannot donate that I cannot help! I set up some kind of makeshift schedule on one of my days off during the holidays and fired up my #YMMFire stream and was blown away by people who would give a little something. We ended up donating a total of a little under 200$ to the Red Cross through that effort, and I thought it was pretty cool!
Afterwards, I told myself that I would do one such thing again, in a more organized, more professional fashion. Now Extra-Life is right around the corner and I took the decision to hold my word and participate! I want to be able to make any children having to go through the hospital for a long time or repeatedly not to feel that his life is miserable. I want them to stay strong and fight whatever is giving them a hard time, AND WIN! I wish they can then have a good memory of their hardship because they had people to help them, to provide them with means of staying strong and keep them happy throughout their ordeal, just like some people did for me! So many of these children are promising successful members of society, and it would be a damn shame not to provide them with the support they need to accomplish their goals. If there is one thing I have learned about the experience that these children and myself have been through and are still going through ; it's that surviving these ordeals make you part of the strongest people there is in this world : Survivors. I firmly believe these children are destined to something great, because being a survivor means you understand that you have the opportunity to become someone so incredible, it's like having a super-power!
Help me help these future Super-Heroes
Apologies for the exhausting read ; I think understanding the commitment to which I feel bound is much easier when people know the story behind the man. As I have stated in the previous segment : Survivors have this kind of super-power, right? Mine's enthusiasm and empathy; there's something about human relationships that feeds me energy, and I like to entertain people!! I hope to inspire fellow survivors into making something of their victory, something that can in turn inspire others so we can all gain from each others' experiences and hardships.
So please consider donating generously during this whole campaign. I myself will be collecting funds on my French twitch channel ; VinceInTheNorth, on my regular streaming days : Mondays and Thursdays, 6PM-10PM EST and Sundays starting at 10AM EST through 3 PM EST. Additionally : I'll be hosting a super-marathon on November 5th, starting at 8AM and up until I drop and can't physically do it any more (Don't worry I usually crumble after 16-20 hours, no 48h stream nonsense for me!).
I do not have anything specific planned as of now, but there is several Ideas when it comes to activities held on stream : There definitely will be some Super Mario World and Megaman 2 speedrunning going on, so I hope i'll be able to have some of you on there; I will probably try to grind out some Path of Exile, as it is the main game of my channel plus/or some multiplayer games that viewers will be able to join me for and chat it up on my Discord server!!
I really hope you guys will help me reach out to different communities and perhaps some streaming personalities that could assist me in boosting the reach of this endeavor in order to help me smash through that 500$ goal!
Until then, I hope I get to see your beautiful face on my stream for support! Follow me on twitter @VinceInTheNorth for contact and updates!
Addendum: Let me help you in helping those who need help........?
As of writing the conclusion of this post : it occurred to me that there is something important I have not talked about.
I'M A GRAPHIC DESIGNER ON THE SIDE!!
I'll be more than thrilled to help you sauce up your Extra-Life stream with stunning graphics, overlays, logos, banners, name it!
I'll open a separate post in the relevant section of this forum to offer my services FOR FREE!
Just contact me on twitter @Vinceinthenorth or by E-mail at this address : Vince.email@example.com with your Extra-Life profile address and what you would have me do, and we'll work together to have your stream real saucy for November 5th's Game Day!