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Found 212 results

  1. Last week, thousands flocked to Anaheim, California to attend the tenth annual VidCon event. From July 10 – 13, showgoers were able to rub shoulders with the major players on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms that foster video content. On top of a chance to meet some of the best creators in the industry, VidCon attendees could participate in a wide variety of fun activities like obstacle courses, themed experiences, panels, and games. Of course, Extra Life had to be a part of the show, too. We were able to hold a presence there with the help of the Orange Country Extra Life Guild, who turned out to staff the booth and talk with people at the con. Sadly, we didn't have a human claw machine this time. However with the help of our incredible volunteers, we were able to engage with an incredible number of people despite all of the incredible attractions surrounding Extra Life booth. Logan, one of Extra Life’s national champions from Children’s Hospital of Orange County, was able to make it out to VidCon along with us. Logan has a rare heart condition that he has lived with since birth and have necessitated multiple open heart surgeries throughout his life. You might remember Logan from his time helping to serve as the face of Extra Life at E3 both last year and again this year. For a long time, Logan has been a fan of Jack Douglass, a YouTuber better known as jacksfilms. We were able to help Logan meet Jack at VidCon this year. Seeing the two connect stood out as a really heart-warming moment from a weekend full of amazing things. When the dust settled on VidCon, we had signed up over 700 new participants people for Extra Life. That’s freaking amazing! We want to extend a HUGE thank you to the people who volunteered their time to help us make that happen from the Orange County Guild. Your help really meant the world to us and helped to put together a hugely successful presence at VidCon. We couldn’t have done it without you, so thank you. We also want to thank VidCon and the awesome creators we were able to meet who met with us. Here’s hoping that 2019 was just the beginning with bigger and better things waiting for Extra Life in 2020. Let’s go forward together and keep fighting… For the Kids!
  2. Last week, thousands flocked to Anaheim, California to attend the tenth annual VidCon event. From July 10 – 13, showgoers were able to rub shoulders with the major players on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms that foster video content. On top of a chance to meet some of the best creators in the industry, VidCon attendees could participate in a wide variety of fun activities like obstacle courses, themed experiences, panels, and games. Of course, Extra Life had to be a part of the show, too. We were able to hold a presence there with the help of the Orange Country Extra Life Guild, who turned out to staff the booth and talk with people at the con. Sadly, we didn't have a human claw machine this time. However with the help of our incredible volunteers, we were able to engage with an incredible number of people despite all of the incredible attractions surrounding Extra Life booth. Logan, one of Extra Life’s national champions from Children’s Hospital of Orange County, was able to make it out to VidCon along with us. Logan has a rare heart condition that he has lived with since birth and have necessitated multiple open heart surgeries throughout his life. You might remember Logan from his time helping to serve as the face of Extra Life at E3 both last year and again this year. For a long time, Logan has been a fan of Jack Douglass, a YouTuber better known as jacksfilms. We were able to help Logan meet Jack at VidCon this year. Seeing the two connect stood out as a really heart-warming moment from a weekend full of amazing things. When the dust settled on VidCon, we had signed up over 700 new participants people for Extra Life. That’s freaking amazing! We want to extend a HUGE thank you to the people who volunteered their time to help us make that happen from the Orange County Guild. Your help really meant the world to us and helped to put together a hugely successful presence at VidCon. We couldn’t have done it without you, so thank you. We also want to thank VidCon and the awesome creators we were able to meet who met with us. Here’s hoping that 2019 was just the beginning with bigger and better things waiting for Extra Life in 2020. Let’s go forward together and keep fighting… For the Kids! View full article
  3. Each year, thousands of people descend upon Austin, Texas to experience RTX, a convention dedicated to the incredible Rooster Teeth community. It provides show-goers with an experience full of anime, games, and laughter. The event puts faces to the internet communities to combat the often isolating environment that the internet can foster. Of course, Extra Life had to be a part of the festivities, so last weekend we set up a booth and got to work for the kids. Rooster Teeth and Extra Life have a long-running partnership. Last year alone, the incredible Rooster Teeth community came together to raise over $1.4 million USD for kids across the country. That money makes a genuine difference in local communities. The Rooster Teeth team personally attended the opening of the Rooster Teeth Healing Garden, an outdoor recovery space for kids at Dell Children’s Medical Center made possible by the Rooster Teeth team’s fundraising efforts. The passion of the people who make RTX possible to help was tangible during our time there. The fine folks behind RTX were kind enough to provide us space to set up a booth and talk with their amazing community. Things got a bit goofy when Rooster Teeth’s Wheel of Vengeance (who could forget the time Elyse broke it?) was brought over to give RTX attendees the unique experience of feeling the silly spirit of vengeance for themselves. Rooster Teeth's own Barbara Dunkleman came by to support the booth! The people attending RTX readily embraced Extra Life. We were, and still are, blown away by how welcoming and receptive everyone was to our presence at the show. We were able to talk with so many friendly attendees and make meaningful connections. However, we still weren’t expecting to sign up over 350 people for Extra Life 2019 while living our best lives at RTX. That’s a frankly astounding number! Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by and showed their support for us and for the kids. A special thank you to Rooster Teeth for giving us the space to meet their community. You are all making such a big difference in the lives of kids in the hospitals near you. Let’s go forward together and keep fighting… For the Kids! View full article
  4. Each year, thousands of people descend upon Austin, Texas to experience RTX, a convention dedicated to the incredible Rooster Teeth community. It provides show-goers with an experience full of anime, games, and laughter. The event puts faces to the internet communities to combat the often isolating environment that the internet can foster. Of course, Extra Life had to be a part of the festivities, so last weekend we set up a booth and got to work for the kids. Rooster Teeth and Extra Life have a long-running partnership. Last year alone, the incredible Rooster Teeth community came together to raise over $1.4 million USD for kids across the country. That money makes a genuine difference in local communities. The Rooster Teeth team personally attended the opening of the Rooster Teeth Healing Garden, an outdoor recovery space for kids at Dell Children’s Medical Center made possible by the Rooster Teeth team’s fundraising efforts. The passion of the people who make RTX possible to help was tangible during our time there. The fine folks behind RTX were kind enough to provide us space to set up a booth and talk with their amazing community. Things got a bit goofy when Rooster Teeth’s Wheel of Vengeance (who could forget the time Elyse broke it?) was brought over to give RTX attendees the unique experience of feeling the silly spirit of vengeance for themselves. Rooster Teeth's own Barbara Dunkleman came by to support the booth! The people attending RTX readily embraced Extra Life. We were, and still are, blown away by how welcoming and receptive everyone was to our presence at the show. We were able to talk with so many friendly attendees and make meaningful connections. However, we still weren’t expecting to sign up over 350 people for Extra Life 2019 while living our best lives at RTX. That’s a frankly astounding number! Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by and showed their support for us and for the kids. A special thank you to Rooster Teeth for giving us the space to meet their community. You are all making such a big difference in the lives of kids in the hospitals near you. Let’s go forward together and keep fighting… For the Kids!
  5. Here we are, the last day of Pride Month 2019. It has been incredible celebrating alongside the LGBTQIA+ community, and we will continue to support kids and participants of all sexualities and genders. For the final bit of Pride Month, we wanted to highlight the ways Extra Life supports the community and a few of the amazing people who have been helping us better serve every kind of kid. We rang in the month talking about how our Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals help youth address issues specific to LGBTQIA+ people. Some kids enter these facilities in need of mental health help in the form of individual and family therapy. Other teens pass through the doors of these places of healing in search of specialized medical support for transgender and gender non-conforming people. Not only that, but one of our newest Extra Life Ambassadors, Allison, was actually treated in one of those hospitals. Allison is an openly transgender young woman and we are honored that she joined with us to promote Extra Life. She even launched a fundraising effort for Pride Month where she raised over $1,100 USD despite having to end her stream early due to feeling sick. E3 occurs in the middle of Pride Month. I’ve worked with Extra Life since 2013 and been to each one from then until now, but this was my first one out as a trans woman. The experience was difficult, but it provided the motivation to share an intensely personal look into my experiences. Of course, I did that while talking about my favorite game of all-time, Shadow of the Colossus. It’s amazing how games can help us through the difficult times in our lives and allow us to process and find clarity on those times after the fact. The Extra Life community is full of LGBTQIA+ folk who fell in love with gaming as a way of escaping from bad situations or to find themselves. We wanted to highlight a few of those wonderful folks who take a bit of time out of their lives to share their hobby with those around them in order to raise money for sick and injured kids. If you haven’t heard of Gnome, you really should get on that. He’s a killer podcaster, a performing cast member of both Rise of the Demigods and Encounter Roleplay, and runs the social media for Kobold Press, a fantastic indie tabletop developer. Gnome also happens to be an openly trans man who has been volunteering and raising money for Extra Life (as well as numerous other good causes) since 2015! I mean, come on, he streamed less than three hours ago as of this writing to raise money to help an injured dog – how great is that? Sashirle has spent the last several years building up her streaming presence with the goal of raising money for homegrown charities. So far she has raised over $2,000 USD over the past two years for her local hospital and is almost a third of the way to her 2019 goal of $1500 USD. In the future, she wants to create a non-profit that will promote literacy through gaming which seems like an absolutely amazing thing! Stop by her stream sometime to show your support, donate to her cause, and catch a glimpse of Severus Snape and Dobby the Housecat, her two feline friends. Of course, it isn’t just individuals that support Extra Life, whole groups do, too! Houston Gaymers is the largest organized group of gamers in Texas. The community supports one another by providing a safe and loving environment for LGBTQIA+ folk and allies, both in-game and in real life. Each year, the group turns out to support Texas Children’s Hospital through Extra Life, something they have done every year since they were founded in 2009. They also work to provide portable gaming gear to hospitals, nursing homes, and shelters in their community. If you’re in or around the Houston area, you should definitely check out Houston Gaymers. We here at Extra Life know that we have one of the best communities in all of gaming. It’s made up of people from all walks of life with different skills and passions who choose to come together every year to help the kids. Some of the people who freely give their labor haven’t had the easiest time because of who they are in the context of our world. Thank you for giving us your energy and time. We will always stand by your side, for Pride Month and for all other months to come. Happy Pride Month, everyone! If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to sign up to participate in Extra Life this year. If you are looking for a team to join or just want to make a contribution, be sure to check out Team Allison. Allison might not have been able to finish her fundraising weekend, but that doesn’t mean she has stopped accepting donations – and she’ll be back for Game Day later this year. View full article
  6. Here we are, the last day of Pride Month 2019. It has been incredible celebrating alongside the LGBTQIA+ community, and we will continue to support kids and participants of all sexualities and genders. For the final bit of Pride Month, we wanted to highlight the ways Extra Life supports the community and a few of the amazing people who have been helping us better serve every kind of kid. We rang in the month talking about how our Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals help youth address issues specific to LGBTQIA+ people. Some kids enter these facilities in need of mental health help in the form of individual and family therapy. Other teens pass through the doors of these places of healing in search of specialized medical support for transgender and gender non-conforming people. Not only that, but one of our newest Extra Life Ambassadors, Allison, was actually treated in one of those hospitals. Allison is an openly transgender young woman and we are honored that she joined with us to promote Extra Life. She even launched a fundraising effort for Pride Month where she raised over $1,100 USD despite having to end her stream early due to feeling sick. E3 occurs in the middle of Pride Month. I’ve worked with Extra Life since 2013 and been to each one from then until now, but this was my first one out as a trans woman. The experience was difficult, but it provided the motivation to share an intensely personal look into my experiences. Of course, I did that while talking about my favorite game of all-time, Shadow of the Colossus. It’s amazing how games can help us through the difficult times in our lives and allow us to process and find clarity on those times after the fact. The Extra Life community is full of LGBTQIA+ folk who fell in love with gaming as a way of escaping from bad situations or to find themselves. We wanted to highlight a few of those wonderful folks who take a bit of time out of their lives to share their hobby with those around them in order to raise money for sick and injured kids. If you haven’t heard of Gnome, you really should get on that. He’s a killer podcaster, a performing cast member of both Rise of the Demigods and Encounter Roleplay, and runs the social media for Kobold Press, a fantastic indie tabletop developer. Gnome also happens to be an openly trans man who has been volunteering and raising money for Extra Life (as well as numerous other good causes) since 2015! I mean, come on, he streamed less than three hours ago as of this writing to raise money to help an injured dog – how great is that? Sashirle has spent the last several years building up her streaming presence with the goal of raising money for homegrown charities. So far she has raised over $2,000 USD over the past two years for her local hospital and is almost a third of the way to her 2019 goal of $1500 USD. In the future, she wants to create a non-profit that will promote literacy through gaming which seems like an absolutely amazing thing! Stop by her stream sometime to show your support, donate to her cause, and catch a glimpse of Severus Snape and Dobby the Housecat, her two feline friends. Of course, it isn’t just individuals that support Extra Life, whole groups do, too! Houston Gaymers is the largest organized group of gamers in Texas. The community supports one another by providing a safe and loving environment for LGBTQIA+ folk and allies, both in-game and in real life. Each year, the group turns out to support Texas Children’s Hospital through Extra Life, something they have done every year since they were founded in 2009. They also work to provide portable gaming gear to hospitals, nursing homes, and shelters in their community. If you’re in or around the Houston area, you should definitely check out Houston Gaymers. We here at Extra Life know that we have one of the best communities in all of gaming. It’s made up of people from all walks of life with different skills and passions who choose to come together every year to help the kids. Some of the people who freely give their labor haven’t had the easiest time because of who they are in the context of our world. Thank you for giving us your energy and time. We will always stand by your side, for Pride Month and for all other months to come. Happy Pride Month, everyone! If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to sign up to participate in Extra Life this year. If you are looking for a team to join or just want to make a contribution, be sure to check out Team Allison. Allison might not have been able to finish her fundraising weekend, but that doesn’t mean she has stopped accepting donations – and she’ll be back for Game Day later this year.
  7. As E3 2019 draws to a close, Jack Gardner, Naomi Lugo, Zak Wojnar, and Marcus Stewart gather to talk about the best games they've seen during the final day of the show. They are also joined by freelance writer, social media wiz, and game dev-in-training Kevin Slackie to break down the overall feeling of the show this year. Cool games, conflicting opinions, and more await in the last podcast from this year's E3. You can listen to all of the daily recaps in the handy playlist embedded below! Music from https://filmmusic.io: "Spellbound" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) Licence: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! 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!
  8. As E3 2019 draws to a close, Jack Gardner, Naomi Lugo, Zak Wojnar, and Marcus Stewart gather to talk about the best games they've seen during the final day of the show. They are also joined by freelance writer, social media wiz, and game dev-in-training Kevin Slackie to break down the overall feeling of the show this year. Cool games, conflicting opinions, and more await in the last podcast from this year's E3. You can listen to all of the daily recaps in the handy playlist embedded below! Music from https://filmmusic.io: "Spellbound" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) Licence: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! 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! View full article
  9. After a day spent exploring the E3 show floor, the writing team reconvenes to discuss what they learned after spending time talking with developers and publishers. There's a lot to discuss! Jack Gardner, Naomi Lugo, Zak Wojnar, and Marcus Stewart gather to talk about the best games they've seen so far and what might be just around the corner in gaming. Together, the group has assembled to help parse the massive number of games and experiences brought on by the year's biggest gaming trade show. They will be doing daily recaps of each day of the event, cataloging what they've seen, heard, and played. Music from https://filmmusic.io: "Spellbound" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) Licence: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! 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!
  10. After a day spent exploring the E3 show floor, the writing team reconvenes to discuss what they learned after spending time talking with developers and publishers. There's a lot to discuss! Jack Gardner, Naomi Lugo, Zak Wojnar, and Marcus Stewart gather to talk about the best games they've seen so far and what might be just around the corner in gaming. Together, the group has assembled to help parse the massive number of games and experiences brought on by the year's biggest gaming trade show. They will be doing daily recaps of each day of the event, cataloging what they've seen, heard, and played. Music from https://filmmusic.io: "Spellbound" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) Licence: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! 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! View full article
  11. After a day spent exploring the E3 show floor, the writing team reconvenes to discuss what they learned after spending time talking with developers and publishers. There's a lot to discuss! Jack Gardner, Naomi Lugo, Zak Wojnar, and Marcus Stewart gather to talk about the best games they've seen so far and what might be just around the corner in gaming. Together, the group has assembled to help parse the massive number of games and experiences brought on by the year's biggest gaming trade show. They will be doing daily recaps of each day of the event, cataloging what they've seen, heard, and played. Music from https://filmmusic.io: "Spellbound" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) Licence: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! 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!
  12. After a day spent exploring the E3 show floor, the writing team reconvenes to discuss what they learned after spending time talking with developers and publishers. There's a lot to discuss! Jack Gardner, Naomi Lugo, Zak Wojnar, and Marcus Stewart gather to talk about the best games they've seen so far and what might be just around the corner in gaming. Together, the group has assembled to help parse the massive number of games and experiences brought on by the year's biggest gaming trade show. They will be doing daily recaps of each day of the event, cataloging what they've seen, heard, and played. Music from https://filmmusic.io: "Spellbound" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) Licence: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! 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! View full article
  13. From the beginning, Extra Life has been about helping children. Every day almost 90,000 kids enter facilities supported by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. A significant number of them identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual, or any one of the colorful label used to describe the complicated workings of the human heart. These kids often need specialized care, or sometimes just the support of hospital staff, to ensure they can live happy and healthy lives. Extra Life’s central mission has brought together people with different backgrounds, beliefs, genders, and sexualities to make sure kids, all kids, get the care they need. And the kids aren’t alone. Extra Life has a thriving community of people who identify as LGBTQIA+ and participate every year to raise money for the kids. So, this Pride Month we want to make sure that everyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+, from the kids to the people who fundraise for them, know that they have the support of everyone here at Extra Life. If we haven’t said it loudly enough before, let us say it now: Extra Life unequivocally supports the LGBTQIA+ community. Healthcare facilities like St. Louis Children’s Hospital have been improving the quality of care for LGBTQIA+ patients over the past decade and Extra Life is honored to be a small part of that. Last year, St. Louis Children’s Hospital earned the “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation from the Human Rights Campaign. That label means that the hospital scored a perfect 100/100 on the HRC’s evaluations of the quality of care, support for patients, inclusive staffing policies, and engagement with patients and the surrounding community. There’s also Children’s National Health System’s Youth Pride Clinic that seeks to address the unique health problems that occur within the LGBTQIA+ community. These sometimes life threatening issues include depression, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV, just to name a few. The clinic specializes in providing both primary and mental health services to LGBTQIA+ youth and treats anyone ranging in ages 12 to 21. Additionally, the clinic is able to offer the support and medical assistance needed by transgender and gender non-conforming young adults. While this includes hormone replacement therapy or hormone blockers to delay puberty for questioning adolescents, the Youth Pride Clinic also offers specialized therapy for individual kids as well as their families. The relatively recent inclusion of services centered on transgender youth helps to reduce the risks that accompany the particularly elevated risks of depression, anxiety, and attempted suicide in the community. That’s why places like the Transgender Health Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center become so important. The facility helps kids and young adults from 5 to 24, as well as their families, to navigate the sometimes confusing world of genders. Their services help parents to understand their child’s experiences and find a path toward acceptance and, if necessary, transition care. One of the kids who has experienced Cincinnati Children’s Transgender Health Clinic for herself is one of Extra Life’s newest ambassadors, Allison. Allison lives with polycystic kidney disease and she will need lifelong care to deal with the complications. It also means that she will likely need a kidney transplant when she gets older. Right now, however, she’s more focused on attending this year’s E3, a show she’s been experiencing via livestreams since she was 10 years old. She’s also active in being a visible supporter of the transgender community. Allison, with the support of her family, marched in last year’s Cincinnati Pride Parade, helping to represent Cincinnati Children’s Transgender Clinic. Allison stands as Extra Life’s first transgender national champion and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her with us. Extra Life has never been about celebrating and supporting one particular kind of child. From the beginning, Extra Life has been bringing people from all walks of life together to help every kid who enters a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Kids like Allison represent everything we’ve all worked for; giving children and young adults the care they need to live healthy and happy lives. We hope you’ll join us this Pride Month to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of genders and sexualities that have made Extra Life possible and are represented in the kids who need our help. Have a happy Pride Month! If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to sign up to participate in Extra Life this year. If you are looking for a team to join or just want to make a contribution, be sure to check out Team Allison. Allison’s team will be dedicating June 22-23 to play games and bring in donations from supporters and friends. Maybe even a friend like you? View full article
  14. From the beginning, Extra Life has been about helping children. Every day almost 90,000 kids enter facilities supported by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. A significant number of them identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual, or any one of the colorful label used to describe the complicated workings of the human heart. These kids often need specialized care, or sometimes just the support of hospital staff, to ensure they can live happy and healthy lives. Extra Life’s central mission has brought together people with different backgrounds, beliefs, genders, and sexualities to make sure kids, all kids, get the care they need. And the kids aren’t alone. Extra Life has a thriving community of people who identify as LGBTQIA+ and participate every year to raise money for the kids. So, this Pride Month we want to make sure that everyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+, from the kids to the people who fundraise for them, know that they have the support of everyone here at Extra Life. If we haven’t said it loudly enough before, let us say it now: Extra Life unequivocally supports the LGBTQIA+ community. Healthcare facilities like St. Louis Children’s Hospital have been improving the quality of care for LGBTQIA+ patients over the past decade and Extra Life is honored to be a small part of that. Last year, St. Louis Children’s Hospital earned the “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation from the Human Rights Campaign. That label means that the hospital scored a perfect 100/100 on the HRC’s evaluations of the quality of care, support for patients, inclusive staffing policies, and engagement with patients and the surrounding community. There’s also Children’s National Health System’s Youth Pride Clinic that seeks to address the unique health problems that occur within the LGBTQIA+ community. These sometimes life threatening issues include depression, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV, just to name a few. The clinic specializes in providing both primary and mental health services to LGBTQIA+ youth and treats anyone ranging in ages 12 to 21. Additionally, the clinic is able to offer the support and medical assistance needed by transgender and gender non-conforming young adults. While this includes hormone replacement therapy or hormone blockers to delay puberty for questioning adolescents, the Youth Pride Clinic also offers specialized therapy for individual kids as well as their families. The relatively recent inclusion of services centered on transgender youth helps to reduce the risks that accompany the particularly elevated risks of depression, anxiety, and attempted suicide in the community. That’s why places like the Transgender Health Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center become so important. The facility helps kids and young adults from 5 to 24, as well as their families, to navigate the sometimes confusing world of genders. Their services help parents to understand their child’s experiences and find a path toward acceptance and, if necessary, transition care. One of the kids who has experienced Cincinnati Children’s Transgender Health Clinic for herself is one of Extra Life’s newest ambassadors, Allison. Allison lives with polycystic kidney disease and she will need lifelong care to deal with the complications. It also means that she will likely need a kidney transplant when she gets older. Right now, however, she’s more focused on attending this year’s E3, a show she’s been experiencing via livestreams since she was 10 years old. She’s also active in being a visible supporter of the transgender community. Allison, with the support of her family, marched in last year’s Cincinnati Pride Parade, helping to represent Cincinnati Children’s Transgender Clinic. Allison stands as Extra Life’s first transgender national champion and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her with us. Extra Life has never been about celebrating and supporting one particular kind of child. From the beginning, Extra Life has been bringing people from all walks of life together to help every kid who enters a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Kids like Allison represent everything we’ve all worked for; giving children and young adults the care they need to live healthy and happy lives. We hope you’ll join us this Pride Month to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of genders and sexualities that have made Extra Life possible and are represented in the kids who need our help. Have a happy Pride Month! If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to sign up to participate in Extra Life this year. If you are looking for a team to join or just want to make a contribution, be sure to check out Team Allison. Allison’s team will be dedicating June 22-23 to play games and bring in donations from supporters and friends. Maybe even a friend like you?
  15. Situated in the heart of Honolulu, the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children treats the children of Hawai’i. Despite its relative isolation, the staff and facility are able to provide excellent care to the kids who come to them for help. Since Kapi’olani is a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Extra Lifers in the area have supported the hospital for years now, giving the hospital access to additional resources they can use to help kiddos with a wide variety of medical issues big and small. Julie Kobayashi was an energetic and rambunctious child. At just 11 years old, she knew she loved video games, food, sleep, and playing clarinet in band. Julie had been pushing herself to practice for an upcoming school performance and began feeling like she was coming down with a case of stomach flu. However, something about her symptoms didn’t seem right to her parents. They took her to see her doctor who ordered some routine blood tests, but as she walked down the hall of the doctor’s office she began seeing white spots and her vision went blurry. From there, Julie was rushed to Kapi’olani so doctors could figure out what was happening to her. Once admitted to Kapi’olani, Julie’s story took on an even scarier tenor. Doctors discovered that her heart was enlarged, diagnosing her with dilated cardiomyopathy just a few weeks short of her 12th birthday. That diagnoses meant that her heart wasn’t pumping blood through her body correctly, moving blood at a more than 90% reduced rate. After admitting her to Kapi’olani’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to stabilize her, the talented hospital staff and doctors helped both Julie and her family to understand the situation: She would need a heart transplant. Being isolated from the mainland, Kapi’olani doesn’t have access to the donor organs that hospitals across the continental United States do. Julie would need to be transported to the West Coast for the operation. Thankfully, Kapi’olani is able to field a communicative team of nurses and specialists to transport children to mainland facilities. “The transport team was excellent. They called us before they left. They called us when they landed. They called us when they handed her off in Seattle,” said Julie’s mom, Lori Kobayashi, “They really, really tried to make it less painful for us to let her go.” Julie got her heart thanks to the quick work of Kapi’olani’s medical staff and the surgeons at the pediatric transplant center in Seattle. That was years ago, and Julie is now making the most of her heart as a healthy 18-year-old senior in high school. She still plays video games and practices clarinet in her school’s band, but she has developed a love of lion dancing, drawing, and anime. Julie has also been accepted at the University of Hawai’i and received the UH Heart of a Lion Scholarship. On top of her academics and figuring out college admissions, Julie also brought her enthusiasm to bear for the Kapi’olani hospital. Julie served as the face of Kapi’olani as their miracle child from 2016-2017. She also participates in Extra Life, giving back to the hospital that helped her all those years ago. If you’d like to support her efforts, you can find her fundraising page here. However, Julie doesn’t fight alone for the kids of Kapi’olani. Hundreds of people work to raise money for Kapi’olani every year. Among them, Extra Life Ambassador Sevadus works tirelessly to help the children who come through Kapi’olani’s doors every day. Sevadus streams as part of the Mindcrack Team to raise money for Kapi'olani. The amount of good going on in Hawai’i for its hospitals is simply breath-taking. --- Please join Extra Life in making a difference for the kids and families who seek help at your local children’s hospital.
  16. Situated in the heart of Honolulu, the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children treats the children of Hawai’i. Despite its relative isolation, the staff and facility are able to provide excellent care to the kids who come to them for help. Since Kapi’olani is a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Extra Lifers in the area have supported the hospital for years now, giving the hospital access to additional resources they can use to help kiddos with a wide variety of medical issues big and small. Julie Kobayashi was an energetic and rambunctious child. At just 11 years old, she knew she loved video games, food, sleep, and playing clarinet in band. Julie had been pushing herself to practice for an upcoming school performance and began feeling like she was coming down with a case of stomach flu. However, something about her symptoms didn’t seem right to her parents. They took her to see her doctor who ordered some routine blood tests, but as she walked down the hall of the doctor’s office she began seeing white spots and her vision went blurry. From there, Julie was rushed to Kapi’olani so doctors could figure out what was happening to her. Once admitted to Kapi’olani, Julie’s story took on an even scarier tenor. Doctors discovered that her heart was enlarged, diagnosing her with dilated cardiomyopathy just a few weeks short of her 12th birthday. That diagnoses meant that her heart wasn’t pumping blood through her body correctly, moving blood at a more than 90% reduced rate. After admitting her to Kapi’olani’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to stabilize her, the talented hospital staff and doctors helped both Julie and her family to understand the situation: She would need a heart transplant. Being isolated from the mainland, Kapi’olani doesn’t have access to the donor organs that hospitals across the continental United States do. Julie would need to be transported to the West Coast for the operation. Thankfully, Kapi’olani is able to field a communicative team of nurses and specialists to transport children to mainland facilities. “The transport team was excellent. They called us before they left. They called us when they landed. They called us when they handed her off in Seattle,” said Julie’s mom, Lori Kobayashi, “They really, really tried to make it less painful for us to let her go.” Julie got her heart thanks to the quick work of Kapi’olani’s medical staff and the surgeons at the pediatric transplant center in Seattle. That was years ago, and Julie is now making the most of her heart as a healthy 18-year-old senior in high school. She still plays video games and practices clarinet in her school’s band, but she has developed a love of lion dancing, drawing, and anime. Julie has also been accepted at the University of Hawai’i and received the UH Heart of a Lion Scholarship. On top of her academics and figuring out college admissions, Julie also brought her enthusiasm to bear for the Kapi’olani hospital. Julie served as the face of Kapi’olani as their miracle child from 2016-2017. She also participates in Extra Life, giving back to the hospital that helped her all those years ago. If you’d like to support her efforts, you can find her fundraising page here. However, Julie doesn’t fight alone for the kids of Kapi’olani. Hundreds of people work to raise money for Kapi’olani every year. Among them, Extra Life Ambassador Sevadus works tirelessly to help the children who come through Kapi’olani’s doors every day. Sevadus streams as part of the Mindcrack Team to raise money for Kapi'olani. The amount of good going on in Hawai’i for its hospitals is simply breath-taking. --- Please join Extra Life in making a difference for the kids and families who seek help at your local children’s hospital. View full article
  17. Staying mentally healthy can be a difficult task. The stresses and struggles of modern life often require people sacrifice their mental health just to keep up with day-to-day living. While often people think of adults confronting mental illness, children are often dismissed as just “going through a phase” when they are facing down an oncoming mental crisis. As many as one in five children under 17 have a diagnosable mental disorder according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thankfully, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Extra Life’s amazing community are helping to build the facilities necessary for treating those kids. One of the biggest mental health projects accomplished by the fundraising of dedicated Extra Lifers definitely goes to Rooster Teeth’s efforts with Dell Children’s Medical Center in central Texas. The Rooster Teeth community rallied around the hospital to raise over $3 million over three years to fund the creation of the Rooster Teeth Healing Garden, a space for kids to play outside while still receiving the care they need. Brandy Hart, a clinical administration officer at Dell Children’s Medical Center explained the importance of the space, saying: “We know that being in a hospital for several days is not ideal. You’re removed from family and friends and often need an outlet. We treat kiddos as young as six and everyone needs physical activity. Research also shows that physical activity helps with dealing with stresses, mental illnesses, so [having access to] that space is amazing. […] It really shows that we can have a holistic approach to mental healthcare and not just what is within the walls of the hospital.” Extra Lifers support far more than just Dell Children’s, however. Hospitals across the United States and Canada are able to better provide for the mental health of kids coming through their doors. Here are just a few of the exciting things going on at a handful of the hospitals Extra Lifers fight for every year. Alberta A new mental health center for children and adolescents has been revealed. The building is set to be built in Calgary to provide walk-in services, community treatment, and a day hospital for the surrounding area. The center has been designed to provide a balance of architecture and natural space all specifically geared toward children. The construction will begin later this fall and the building will begin offering care to children starting in 2019. Colorado Suicide has become a huge problem facing the children of Colorado. In fact, it has become the leading cause of death for children aged 10-14. The state’s children are facing a crisis in mental health, but many who live there can’t get access to care. The Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Colorado wants to change that. The goal of the program is to add beds, provide education for parents and kids about mental health, reach out to kids in rural communities, and redesign parts of the hospital to better accommodate mental health needs. Ontario Toronto is home to The SickKids Centre for Brain & Mental Health, a facility and program that helps to identify and treat mental health disorders. Many of the difficulties brought on by mental illnesses, especially those in children, can be alleviated by early detection and beginning treatment as soon as possible. The center helps to reach out across the communities of Ontario, bringing specialized care into schools and hospitals across the province. Detecting and providing care for infant strokes, autism, epilepsy, and more are important parts of the center. It also conducts research to help both children and adults, paving the way for a healthier mental future. --- Attitudes regarding mental health, especially when it comes to children, are beginning to shift. People across the world are learning that a sizable number of people, both big and small, need mental health help. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so please join Extra Life in making a difference for the kids and families who seek help at your local children’s hospital.
  18. Staying mentally healthy can be a difficult task. The stresses and struggles of modern life often require people sacrifice their mental health just to keep up with day-to-day living. While often people think of adults confronting mental illness, children are often dismissed as just “going through a phase” when they are facing down an oncoming mental crisis. As many as one in five children under 17 have a diagnosable mental disorder according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thankfully, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Extra Life’s amazing community are helping to build the facilities necessary for treating those kids. One of the biggest mental health projects accomplished by the fundraising of dedicated Extra Lifers definitely goes to Rooster Teeth’s efforts with Dell Children’s Medical Center in central Texas. The Rooster Teeth community rallied around the hospital to raise over $3 million over three years to fund the creation of the Rooster Teeth Healing Garden, a space for kids to play outside while still receiving the care they need. Brandy Hart, a clinical administration officer at Dell Children’s Medical Center explained the importance of the space, saying: “We know that being in a hospital for several days is not ideal. You’re removed from family and friends and often need an outlet. We treat kiddos as young as six and everyone needs physical activity. Research also shows that physical activity helps with dealing with stresses, mental illnesses, so [having access to] that space is amazing. […] It really shows that we can have a holistic approach to mental healthcare and not just what is within the walls of the hospital.” Extra Lifers support far more than just Dell Children’s, however. Hospitals across the United States and Canada are able to better provide for the mental health of kids coming through their doors. Here are just a few of the exciting things going on at a handful of the hospitals Extra Lifers fight for every year. Alberta A new mental health center for children and adolescents has been revealed. The building is set to be built in Calgary to provide walk-in services, community treatment, and a day hospital for the surrounding area. The center has been designed to provide a balance of architecture and natural space all specifically geared toward children. The construction will begin later this fall and the building will begin offering care to children starting in 2019. Colorado Suicide has become a huge problem facing the children of Colorado. In fact, it has become the leading cause of death for children aged 10-14. The state’s children are facing a crisis in mental health, but many who live there can’t get access to care. The Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Colorado wants to change that. The goal of the program is to add beds, provide education for parents and kids about mental health, reach out to kids in rural communities, and redesign parts of the hospital to better accommodate mental health needs. Ontario Toronto is home to The SickKids Centre for Brain & Mental Health, a facility and program that helps to identify and treat mental health disorders. Many of the difficulties brought on by mental illnesses, especially those in children, can be alleviated by early detection and beginning treatment as soon as possible. The center helps to reach out across the communities of Ontario, bringing specialized care into schools and hospitals across the province. Detecting and providing care for infant strokes, autism, epilepsy, and more are important parts of the center. It also conducts research to help both children and adults, paving the way for a healthier mental future. --- Attitudes regarding mental health, especially when it comes to children, are beginning to shift. People across the world are learning that a sizable number of people, both big and small, need mental health help. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so please join Extra Life in making a difference for the kids and families who seek help at your local children’s hospital. View full article
  19. The musician and producer deadmau5 and his team won a charity gaming tournament this past weekend giving all $20,000 to Extra Life. This isn't the first time deadmau5 has supported Extra Life. Last year, he placed the winning bid on a coveted McDonald's Szechuan sauce being sold to benefit a number of charities, one of which was Extra Life! The tournament was put together by a partnership between eSports broadcasting network OGN and Player Unknown's Battlegrounds. OGN designed the event to bring fans and influencers together for charity while also commemorating the opening of OGN's Super Arena, one of the largest eSports arenas in the United States. The stage holds the unique distinction of being the only eSports arena in the country that can accommodate battle royale style competitions. Over the weekend, deadmau5 led his team of fans into battle at the OGN Supermatch: Alpha against fan teams captained by the professional gaming team Cloud9, streaming personality Jericho, YouTube stars The Try Guys, and more. Team deadmau5 came out on top in three of the four PUBG matches to secure the tournament win. The teams performed in front of a sold out crowd of about 400 people as they duked it out on the digital battlefields. You can watch the full broadcast below. OGN also took the opportunity to launch an ongoing partnership with PUBG called the National PUBG League. The league will keep tournaments going year-round while OGN moves part of its operations from South Korea to the US. The Super Arena will play a major part in their plans for the future, allowing them to have an exclusive, professional stage from which to stream large competitive titles like Player Unknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite. “With this event, our U.S. launch is now official and we are very excited to be able to unveil our new arena and studio for fans here and around the world,” said CJ E&M America (the parent company of OGN) CEO DJ Lee. “We can’t wait to show everyone the next phase in this journey.” It's so rad to see prominent people out there using their powerful platforms to rep for Extra Life. It's even more awesome when they are able to go out there and fight for the kids in such a public-facing way that gets people wondering about how they can play games and heal kids, too. You're amazing deadmau5, thank you! 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! View full article
  20. The musician and producer deadmau5 and his team won a charity gaming tournament this past weekend giving all $20,000 to Extra Life. This isn't the first time deadmau5 has supported Extra Life. Last year, he placed the winning bid on a coveted McDonald's Szechuan sauce being sold to benefit a number of charities, one of which was Extra Life! The tournament was put together by a partnership between eSports broadcasting network OGN and Player Unknown's Battlegrounds. OGN designed the event to bring fans and influencers together for charity while also commemorating the opening of OGN's Super Arena, one of the largest eSports arenas in the United States. The stage holds the unique distinction of being the only eSports arena in the country that can accommodate battle royale style competitions. Over the weekend, deadmau5 led his team of fans into battle at the OGN Supermatch: Alpha against fan teams captained by the professional gaming team Cloud9, streaming personality Jericho, YouTube stars The Try Guys, and more. Team deadmau5 came out on top in three of the four PUBG matches to secure the tournament win. The teams performed in front of a sold out crowd of about 400 people as they duked it out on the digital battlefields. You can watch the full broadcast below. OGN also took the opportunity to launch an ongoing partnership with PUBG called the National PUBG League. The league will keep tournaments going year-round while OGN moves part of its operations from South Korea to the US. The Super Arena will play a major part in their plans for the future, allowing them to have an exclusive, professional stage from which to stream large competitive titles like Player Unknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite. “With this event, our U.S. launch is now official and we are very excited to be able to unveil our new arena and studio for fans here and around the world,” said CJ E&M America (the parent company of OGN) CEO DJ Lee. “We can’t wait to show everyone the next phase in this journey.” It's so rad to see prominent people out there using their powerful platforms to rep for Extra Life. It's even more awesome when they are able to go out there and fight for the kids in such a public-facing way that gets people wondering about how they can play games and heal kids, too. You're amazing deadmau5, thank you! 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!
  21. 1. Numbers Money Raised - $12,384 (up $85 from last month) Registered - 120 (up 20 from last month) 2. Game Day with Kids Today's was great! Microsoft came and brought volunteers. Microsoft also donates per volunteers so we got $200 from that alone. They brought the portable Xbox's with small displays. This would be something really great for us to have permanently if we could get funds or donations for. They'd be more practical than having the big monitors and consoles. We've also been talking with Child Life about portable equipment that can be used in patient rooms. 3. Grand Ole Gameroom - November 9 - 11 So the event this year is going to have some esports tournaments and gaming outside of arcade games. We've been asked if we'd like to participate somehow so we're going to be the "official" partner for the Fortnite tournament. We need to figure out exactly how we want to utilize this and be present in it. We could charge a couple extra dollars which would go to Extra Life. We're probably not going to actually TO the event but we need to have as much presence there as possible. This IS the weekend after Game Day but please try to sign up to come if you're available that weekend. 4. Mid-Week Jam with Platforms - Every Wednesday Platforms is doing a "Mid-Week Jam" tournament every wednesday. Typically it includes Rocket League and Mario Kart and possibly some others in the future. One of the owners, Luke, said he would be willing to get us involved in it somehow. Typically they charge $5 for entries so we discussed possibly charging $7 and the extra $2 goes to Extra Life. Luke said they've had upwards of $20 every week. This might not be a lot of money coming in but it's at least something and it's exposure and recruitment as well. Right now we're going to partner for the Oct. 10th Mid-Week Jam and see how it goes, possibly do this once a month or maybe more in the future. We'll have advertising details and more about this soon. 5. Maker Faire - The Wondr'y October 6th-7th. Setup October 5th 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. We've secured a booth at the Maker Faire again this year. We'll have a table and we'd like to have some monitors and games setup. We need as many volunteers as possible, this will be a great opportunity to advertise Game Day for streamers and recruitment for signups. Please signup if you're available to volunteer. 6. Game Day - Tech Hill Commons November 3rd As we've discussed previously, we're making this years Game Day exclusive to streamers, guild members and sponsors. Essentially the main goal of Game Day is to raise money, how do we do that? Primarily by live streaming. Now we need to figure out the best way to execute it and publicize it to streamers in Nashville and Tennessee. We've had issues in the past where we're having to "babysit" our equipment because the event has been opened to the public so we're also doing this to limit any of those issues. While everyone should be fundraising throughout the year anyway, we'll be using this as a celebration, along with a big fundraising push. Marcus has put together a *short* "application" that we will use to vet people that are interested in coming and streaming for the event. We'll set a fundraising goal that every member will have to raise by Game Day (something like $5 or $10). We'll also set a streaming requirement, like you must stream for at least 2 hours or something. Everyone must bring their own equipment, we'll still try to have monitors from Dell so if you're bringing consoles you won't have to bring your own. We'll be utilizing the Extra Life Nashville live stream again and we'll still have Miracle Families come and speak, it just won't but fully opened to the public. We're having a planning meeting TONIGHT September 17th at 7 p.m. on the Discord channel. I apologize that this is such a late notice but if you're interested in helping with planning and logistics please try to be present. I'll be sending out notes from tonight and we'll probably have another meeting in a week or so. 7. Game Stop Initiative As you've probably seen Game Stop is doing a push with Children's Miracle Network right now. If you have the chance please go by your local store and thank them for their support! 8. Next Meeting - October 3rd at Tech Hill Commons at 6 p.m. Don't forget to join our discord channel discord.gg/extralifenashville and like us on facebook facebook.com/extralifenashville !!
  22. Now through September 30, GameStop stores and online at GameStop.com will be accepting donations to help local kids. One hundred percent of all customer donations collected will be equally distributed to help kids going through treatment at one of the 170 local CMN Hospitals or by having their wish granted by Make-A-Wish. Learn more about our partnership and how you can help kids like Mia treated at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals by reading GameStop's official campaign announcement.
  23. Now through September 30, GameStop stores and online at GameStop.com will be accepting donations to help local kids. One hundred percent of all customer donations collected will be equally distributed to help kids going through treatment at one of the 170 local CMN Hospitals or by having their wish granted by Make-A-Wish. Learn more about our partnership and how you can help kids like Mia treated at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals by reading GameStop's official campaign announcement. View full article
  24. If you're reading this, that means you've decided to consider participating in the ancient and venerable art of tabletop roleplaying. Congratulations! Infinite worlds of adventure await you, full of adventures to tackle alongside trusty companions. However, that rather large prospect can be quite daunting to those unfamiliar with tabletop RPGs. I promise that with this guide you will be able to stand proudly alongside your nerdy brothers and sisters when the time comes to roll initiative. Now, before you pull a Magnus and rush in, take some time to consider what, exactly, you'd like to do in a roleplaying setting. Are you the kind of person who loses themselves in fictional worlds within your own mind? Do you stand in the shower until it runs cold while dreaming about an epic adventure? Maybe you don't want to play just one character and want to take on a wide array of different roles? If those describe you, you might want to consider becoming a Game Master or GM. GMs act as a kind of author and arbiter of the world within the game. A GM typically brings the game to life at the table. They are the ones who craft the world in which the game takes place and breathe life into its various denizens. They also weave an evolving story that changes over time in response to the actions of other players in the group. The GM enforces the rules and attempts to give fair judgments that help everyone at the table have a good time. The flipside of the GM is the PC, the Player Character. Everyone in the game who is not the GM controls an avatar in the game, their own player character. PCs typically bring their own characters to life and then respond to the world and inhabitants that the GM conjures into being. By inquiring about the world and interacting with different characters, the PC forces the GM to expand the setting in new and interesting ways that the GM might never have expected. It is best to think of the GM and PCs as collaborators working to build a fun and interesting world that becomes more alive and reactive with each choice the players make while advancing through what the GM has created. Once you have decided which role you think might be good for you, it’s a really good idea to talk about boundaries. In a world of infinite possibilities, what some might think dramatic or funny might be deeply traumatizing or offensive to others. If a player has a phobia and requests that it not come up in-game, respect their wishes. Other players might be uncomfortable with torture or sex scenes. Have an open conversation with your group about what everyone’s boundaries are and then respect those limits. Remember: The goal is for everyone to have fun. That brings us t- wait, have you read the rules of the game you’re playing? Whether you’re going to be a GM or a PC, you need to know the most basic rules. It will still be a bit bumpy your first time playing even if you do read the rules, but it helps to have some understanding of what’s going on before you’re thrown to the wolves (sometimes literally thrown to wolves). If you are acting as the GM, you should absolutely have a firm grasp on the fundamentals. PCs have a lot more leeway on rules, but know your character well enough to be able to look at your character sheet and understand about 80% of it. Knowing your PC’s abilities will help the GM quite a bit; it is unlikely they have memorized every rule for every class in the entire game. Now comes one of the best parts about tabletop roleplaying games: Creation. Once you know the rules, you can get to work making the building blocks of the world and the people who inhabit it. This is where the GM and the PC really diverge. A lot depends on what the GM wants to achieve with the game. Is it meant to be a sweeping tale of adventure with a party of heroes and/or villains? Or is it a smaller, more intimate tale meant for only a session or two? Both approaches necessitate different amounts of planning. For example, if it is intended to be a sprawling campaign that takes place over vast geographical areas with varied peoples and cultures, it is worth thinking about the histories, religions, and conflicts that have sprouted up between the various groups. Having broad ideas regarding those subjects will help you to think on your feet if you need to improvise and plan out potential courses your campaign could take. A shorter campaign or a one-shot don’t necessarily need the same level of planning since it is unlikely the players will deviate far from the smaller scope of the GM’s planned and prepared content. It doesn’t hurt, certainly, but less of a necessity. However, put some thought into the non-player characters. Your NPCs should all relate to different things in the world. What does each character care about? What are they willing to do to obtain or protect what they care about? Having those motivations in place will help make your NPCs feel more like real people when the PCs interact with them. Or perhaps you aren’t super interested in using the rules to create a new setting and world on your own. It’s certainly a daunting task, even for experienced tabletop aficionados. A great option to gain some experience or save time is to grab a pre-made adventure. Most game systems have years of stories and quests drawn up in either physical or digital forms. For five dollars (and often less than that) you can find yourself a whole new adventure to run made by another player. Or you could jump into a more expensive and polished journey created by the company behind the system. There’s a definite upside to having all the information readily available and organized. The only catch is that there can be a lot of reading and remembering to do that can get overwhelming for the inexperienced. These pre-fabricated settings and adventures usually come with pre-made characters for PCs, too, making them great introductions to the game system. For players, once the GM gives you the basic parameters of the world, ask questions with the goal of finding out how your character concept might fit best into their world. It might, for example, profoundly change the adventure if your character is an elf if most people in the GM’s world haven’t seen an elf for a thousand years. You should also consider making a second character to keep in your back pocket in case the worst happens. The GM shouldn't be actively trying to kill your characters, but sometimes things happen; the die rolls poorly or goofs are goofed. And when your character dies, as painful as that might sometimes be, it helps to be able to slap down a new character sheet and introduce them. It's your opportunity to be someone completely different, so run with it and have fun. Once all of that has been settled, it's time to actually show up to the sessions and play! Some general points of courtesy if you have never been to a table before. First, if you disagree with the GM's ruling, bring it up for discussion after the session concludes so the two of you can share your respective points of view without stalling the game and making everyone uncomfortable. Second, be respectful of everyone's time. Most people came to play, so try to give all of your attention to what's going on. Chances are your GM or your players put a lot of effort into making the adventure you're participating in, so value them. Finally, Not everyone gels well with every group. Some tabletop players are more involved in the tactical and mechanical aspects of combat while others live for the story or puzzles. Different groups will have different dynamics, so don't feel bad if the group you initially join up with doesn't quite click with you. There are players out there for you! If you can't wrangle some friends to play and are still interested, keep an eye out for local comics or games stores. These will often have weekly or monthly tabletop events that welcome newcomers. If all else fails, you can always find games played in various forms online (forums, voice chat, voice and tools like Roll20, and more). You've got options! With that, you are ready to hop into the wild world of... well, any one of an infinite number of wild worlds, really. Have fun and happy questing, you crazy kids! 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!
  25. If you're reading this, that means you've decided to consider participating in the ancient and venerable art of tabletop roleplaying. Congratulations! Infinite worlds of adventure await you, full of adventures to tackle alongside trusty companions. However, that rather large prospect can be quite daunting to those unfamiliar with tabletop RPGs. I promise that with this guide you will be able to stand proudly alongside your nerdy brothers and sisters when the time comes to roll initiative. Now, before you pull a Magnus and rush in, take some time to consider what, exactly, you'd like to do in a roleplaying setting. Are you the kind of person who loses themselves in fictional worlds within your own mind? Do you stand in the shower until it runs cold while dreaming about an epic adventure? Maybe you don't want to play just one character and want to take on a wide array of different roles? If those describe you, you might want to consider becoming a Game Master or GM. GMs act as a kind of author and arbiter of the world within the game. A GM typically brings the game to life at the table. They are the ones who craft the world in which the game takes place and breathe life into its various denizens. They also weave an evolving story that changes over time in response to the actions of other players in the group. The GM enforces the rules and attempts to give fair judgments that help everyone at the table have a good time. The flipside of the GM is the PC, the Player Character. Everyone in the game who is not the GM controls an avatar in the game, their own player character. PCs typically bring their own characters to life and then respond to the world and inhabitants that the GM conjures into being. By inquiring about the world and interacting with different characters, the PC forces the GM to expand the setting in new and interesting ways that the GM might never have expected. It is best to think of the GM and PCs as collaborators working to build a fun and interesting world that becomes more alive and reactive with each choice the players make while advancing through what the GM has created. Once you have decided which role you think might be good for you, it’s a really good idea to talk about boundaries. In a world of infinite possibilities, what some might think dramatic or funny might be deeply traumatizing or offensive to others. If a player has a phobia and requests that it not come up in-game, respect their wishes. Other players might be uncomfortable with torture or sex scenes. Have an open conversation with your group about what everyone’s boundaries are and then respect those limits. Remember: The goal is for everyone to have fun. That brings us t- wait, have you read the rules of the game you’re playing? Whether you’re going to be a GM or a PC, you need to know the most basic rules. It will still be a bit bumpy your first time playing even if you do read the rules, but it helps to have some understanding of what’s going on before you’re thrown to the wolves (sometimes literally thrown to wolves). If you are acting as the GM, you should absolutely have a firm grasp on the fundamentals. PCs have a lot more leeway on rules, but know your character well enough to be able to look at your character sheet and understand about 80% of it. Knowing your PC’s abilities will help the GM quite a bit; it is unlikely they have memorized every rule for every class in the entire game. Now comes one of the best parts about tabletop roleplaying games: Creation. Once you know the rules, you can get to work making the building blocks of the world and the people who inhabit it. This is where the GM and the PC really diverge. A lot depends on what the GM wants to achieve with the game. Is it meant to be a sweeping tale of adventure with a party of heroes and/or villains? Or is it a smaller, more intimate tale meant for only a session or two? Both approaches necessitate different amounts of planning. For example, if it is intended to be a sprawling campaign that takes place over vast geographical areas with varied peoples and cultures, it is worth thinking about the histories, religions, and conflicts that have sprouted up between the various groups. Having broad ideas regarding those subjects will help you to think on your feet if you need to improvise and plan out potential courses your campaign could take. A shorter campaign or a one-shot don’t necessarily need the same level of planning since it is unlikely the players will deviate far from the smaller scope of the GM’s planned and prepared content. It doesn’t hurt, certainly, but less of a necessity. However, put some thought into the non-player characters. Your NPCs should all relate to different things in the world. What does each character care about? What are they willing to do to obtain or protect what they care about? Having those motivations in place will help make your NPCs feel more like real people when the PCs interact with them. Or perhaps you aren’t super interested in using the rules to create a new setting and world on your own. It’s certainly a daunting task, even for experienced tabletop aficionados. A great option to gain some experience or save time is to grab a pre-made adventure. Most game systems have years of stories and quests drawn up in either physical or digital forms. For five dollars (and often less than that) you can find yourself a whole new adventure to run made by another player. Or you could jump into a more expensive and polished journey created by the company behind the system. There’s a definite upside to having all the information readily available and organized. The only catch is that there can be a lot of reading and remembering to do that can get overwhelming for the inexperienced. These pre-fabricated settings and adventures usually come with pre-made characters for PCs, too, making them great introductions to the game system. For players, once the GM gives you the basic parameters of the world, ask questions with the goal of finding out how your character concept might fit best into their world. It might, for example, profoundly change the adventure if your character is an elf if most people in the GM’s world haven’t seen an elf for a thousand years. You should also consider making a second character to keep in your back pocket in case the worst happens. The GM shouldn't be actively trying to kill your characters, but sometimes things happen; the die rolls poorly or goofs are goofed. And when your character dies, as painful as that might sometimes be, it helps to be able to slap down a new character sheet and introduce them. It's your opportunity to be someone completely different, so run with it and have fun. Once all of that has been settled, it's time to actually show up to the sessions and play! Some general points of courtesy if you have never been to a table before. First, if you disagree with the GM's ruling, bring it up for discussion after the session concludes so the two of you can share your respective points of view without stalling the game and making everyone uncomfortable. Second, be respectful of everyone's time. Most people came to play, so try to give all of your attention to what's going on. Chances are your GM or your players put a lot of effort into making the adventure you're participating in, so value them. Finally, Not everyone gels well with every group. Some tabletop players are more involved in the tactical and mechanical aspects of combat while others live for the story or puzzles. Different groups will have different dynamics, so don't feel bad if the group you initially join up with doesn't quite click with you. There are players out there for you! If you can't wrangle some friends to play and are still interested, keep an eye out for local comics or games stores. These will often have weekly or monthly tabletop events that welcome newcomers. If all else fails, you can always find games played in various forms online (forums, voice chat, voice and tools like Roll20, and more). You've got options! With that, you are ready to hop into the wild world of... well, any one of an infinite number of wild worlds, really. Have fun and happy questing, you crazy kids! 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! View full article
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