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  1. Today marks the day that Gearbox Software releases the latest entry in their flagship franchise: Borderlands 3. Having missed the opportunity to preview the game at events leading up to its release, I decided to reach out to Allison Kurtz, patient treated at Cincinnati Children’s, gamer and Borderlands fan.. As a life-long Borderlands fan, Allison was kind enough to sit down with me to talk about what makes Borderlands so important to her and others. She also had the chance to play Borderlands 3 back in June and was able to talk about the insights she gleaned from her time with the game. Strap in and get ready to Catch-A-Ride with this fun interview that sheds some light on both the Borderlands series as a whole and the recently released game. - Jack Gardner: Let’s jump into Borderlands 3, a game, I am told, that is created by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. Allison Kurtz: That is true. JG: It’s coming out on September 13th- AK: And my paycheck comes to me on September 15th, so we are going to ride that two day streak like… sadness… JG: Sadness is one of the names of the horses in the back? That’s a reference you kids get right? AK: Oh, if you expect me to relate to the quote un-quote kids – I’m very sorry. I know of Lil Nas X, but all I know is that he’s gay and that I support him on that front. JG: Supposedly he has horses in the back. AK: Well… supposedly. JG: All I know about Borderlands 3 is that it’s a looter-shooter. I finished the first one, a significant amount of the second one. I loved Tales from the Borderlands- AK: Ah, so you have good taste! JG: [laugh] and then there was Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel which… I am not really sure what was going on there… AK: It’s sorta like a Super Mario Galaxy 2 thing? Super Mario Galaxy came out. Good game. This was before DLC packs were a thing for Nintendo, so they essentially made more game that was the length of a game. They called it Super Mario Galaxy 2, and they released that. Pre-Sequel uses the engine and mechanics of Borderlands 2 to make a new game out of what was already there. JG: That brings us to Borderlands 3. With that background in mind, can you tell us a bit more about your experience with Borderlands? How did it start? What really gets your attention and gets you excited about Borderlands? AK: That story don’t start off in the happiest place on earth. When I was in 8th grade to freshman year, I was not a happy camper for reasons that are pretty understandable. I was pre-transition. I did not like talking. I did not like being seen. I did not like being heard. So, I would just sink myself into video games. Borderlands 1 was like that for me. Borderlands 1 doesn’t go nearly as wild with the queer content as Borderlands 2. But I played it for hours. I played it for ages and ages. I absolutely loved the mechanics, absolutely loved the gameplay, absolutely loved the design, absolutely loved everything about it. I eventually transitioned and moved on and played Borderlands 2 and it just felt – it’s really hard to explain this – it felt like a world that I had known coming to accept me because Borderlands 2 is when they went buck wild with queer representation. And so that kind of transition that it made along with me resulted in a sort of… I kind of bonded with the game, if that makes any sense? Being in that situation where both things changed it was like, “Hey, same hat. We’re in the same hole here,” and I just felt grateful to have a series that was willing to accept that I exist. Because a lot of the queer representation at that time was new stuff – like people created new properties with queer characters in them. It was really nice to see something I had grown up with embrace queer identities and learn about it as I learned about it. JG: So what in Borderlands 2, you say it had more queer representation, can you talk a bit more about it? What specific parts of Borderlands 2 really spoke to you on that front? AK: The thing is that it’s not front and center. It’s not a big plot point in any sense. It’s just little things like how it is just as common to see a straight couple as a gay couple. Hammerlock has an ex-boyfriend. Some women would talk about their girlfriends, while other characters discussed their different sexualities. It was just… normal. That was really refreshing and honest and helpful to see in a time where I felt like I didn’t have the chance. So that’s how I got into Borderlands and then I just kinda went hog wild on it. I got in because I felt accepted and then the gameplay mechanics – normal shooters bore me which sounds a little harsh, but the customizability of Borderlands along with the humor and very diverse art style and environment really pulled me in. In a way similar to how the fallout games pull me in – at least Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas. Fallout 3 sucked, but that’s a totally different point. JG: Are you just saying that because you saw Hbomberguy’s video? AK: First of all, don’t call me out. Second of all, I had that opinion before he posted that video. JG: You fell in love with Borderlands 2 and then Tales from the Borderlands released. Did you feel differently about the narrative-focused direction or was it more of the same for you? It is quite a departure from the main series. AK: Okay, this is my embarrassment. It took me a very long time to finish Tales from the Borderlands. I just hadn’t gotten around to it because it was right around when shit started getting crazy with vis-à-vis my transition and coming out and everything. So I didn’t have quite as much time for games anymore since I was literally changing everything about myself and my environment. A lot of games from that time kinda slipped by me. Then I never went back to finish them because we got into 2015 and 2016 and got a ton of crazy genre defining games. Things that changed how we looked at games and took up my attention. Tales from the Borderlands just fell by the wayside… until I went to E3 and spoke to one of the writers for Tales from the Borderlands, Extra Life friend The Only Ryann. What he specifically said to me was, “Did you play Tales from the Borderlands?” and I said I never got to finish it, I got too busy. He gave me the most withering look in the world and he said, and I am quoting, “You’re busting my balls here, kid.” JG: Get called out! AK: Yeah, a little bit! I felt like, yeah, I should probably get back around to that game. Before I left he told me, “There is a sad point in Tales from the Borderlands. Please tweet at me angrily once you reach it.” I definitely, definitely went through with that promise. So I played that and I loved it and it was very nice to see Athena, local gay. Also, the soundtrack for that game kicks my ass. That soundtrack jumped out of my computer and put me in a headlock. In a good way. It’s well suited to the style Borderlands 1 and 2 had set up with musical theming. I especially enjoyed how well the ending fit with the beginning song. You would never guess that it was made by a different studio. JG: Thoughts on Pre-Sequel? AK: Pre-Sequel is excellent in my opinion. I enjoy it, but I am biased because it contains one of my favorite couples in video games, Athena and Janey. They’re just very cute. It’s basically Borderlands 2: More. It’s just more content and delves into backstory - I mean it is a prequel - but it delves into backstory and shows off new characters that come back later. It’s a game I very much enjoy even though Claptrap… well, I don’t know how I feel about Claptrap. That’s a thing for another day. That’s a thesis right there. Sometimes you’ll be like, “Aww, poor baby,” and then he’ll say something weird and perverted and you’re like, “Poor baby, stay five feet away from me at all times.” JG: So how are you feeling about Borderlands 3 now that we have talked about all the other Borderlands-y things? AK: I am incredibly excited for Borderlands 3. I love their voice acting choices. They have touched on sexuality a lot in the past but they have never really touched gender, so I am very excited that there is a non-binary protagonist who is voiced by ProZD from YouTube and Vine. He’s an excellent fellow and I enjoy his work quite a bit. It’s very exciting to see him in such a mainstream game. Before, the only game that I know of that he was in was 2064: Read Only Memories. JG: So the non-binary character and the voice acting excite you. Do any of the other aspects seem interesting? AK: The gameplay itself! It’s very excellent from what I’ve played. I played the E3 demo as Moze, and it was excellent. She rides in a big D.Va style mech which I very much enjoyed. It blends the Catch-A-Ride cars from the past games with a summonable ally. You can climb on the back, turret style, like you’ve been able to with every other vehicle. I very much enjoy that you can customize to the max. If you want to be a brawler or do explosives or anything of the sort, you can do it. It’s amazing how customizable it is to me. The visuals are very excellent. I love how varied the character design is now. In previous games when you fought a bunch of psychos, it was the same psycho over and over again. It was cha boi psycho, cha boi psycho, cha boi psycho, cha boi fiery psycho, and cha boi psycho. But now all the psychos are a little different. They have different pants, some of them have hair, some of them don’t. Some of them are actually women now, which makes sense in-universe, but they had never done it before. And the colors. Okay, it has been a couple of months and I did not take notes, but I remember being very impressed by the colors. One thing about Borderlands that I have always adored is in a world of shooter games that tend to keep things muddy, Borderlands has moments where it can get really colorful and wild. The demo I played was one of those areas. In addition, the story seems really great, too. You have two villains who are very hateble and very lovable in the same way. They are equal parts… they are that perfect villain where you want to see them succeed and you also want to see them fail. So you love them and you hate them, you love to hate them. They are very well designed, too and they are very excellent. The four main characters are also excellent. I love how they tie into the past of Borderlands. Zane is part of one of the most gosh dang cursed families in Borderlands history because you kill every member of it throughout the series. We know Moze’s past, but I don’t remember if we have seen her in things before. Flak does what I have been wanting for the entire game series and shows us the skags, like, “Here are some nice bois that you can pet and you are expected to pet.” And I’m like yes this is all I have ever wanted! And Amara is a tall, buff GF. That’s all I have to say about her. I said, when I was at the E3 event, “Oh my god, Amara, my lesbian wife!” out loud without thinking about it. The PR person who was showing me the video laughed and then said, “I think they designed her with that in mind.” I honestly can’t imagine any other scenario, but that's because she exudes strong lesbian energy. JG: What’s your take on the story? You said it seemed good – is that impression due entirely to the villains or…? AK: One thing I can speak on is that I love how past characters are returning and they look different. Borderlands 1 to Borderlands 2, there was a time skip there and they look the exact same. Just the same dudes. But Borderlands 3, people look different. Maya, the siren from the second game, she looks different now and you can tell that a number of years have passed. Lilith looks the same, but that’s how it be sometimes. She’s one of the most, if not the most, recognizable characters for Borderlands except for Claptrap. I just enjoy how the world is changing now. We don’t know too much about the plot beyond the basics being that it has the Calypso Twins as the two villains. They run a cult called Children of the Vault, and they exploit their followers to try and unlock a vault for themselves. Lilith leads the army trying to fight back against them. Though she talks a big game, they have shown cutscenes of her being scared and beaten, so you know that it’s not as easy as she makes things seem. It’s interesting that we get to see Lilith, who is a very strong-hearted, strong willed, strong-in-general individual, get pushed to her limits, and I am excited to see that in full on the 15th, two days after it comes out. JG: Anything you hope to see in Borderlands 3? AK: I hope they show me post-marriage Athena and Janey. That’s kind of a separate thought, but there HAS been a time skip, time has passed! OH, and I totally forgot! We saw Rhys from Tales from the Borderlands in the trailer. Where’s Fiona, my dog? Where’s Fiona? Where’s the love of my life, Fiona? Where have you placed her? If they hurt Fiona, I will personally go to Gearbox and cry. Not to anyone in particular, just to the receptionist. Also, I have a soft spot for any robot that ever exists in any story ever, so Loader Bot better show up. If you tell me Loader Bot died, I will personally die, too. - A huge thank you to Allison for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with me for this silly and insightful interview! 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
  2. Today marks the day that Gearbox Software releases the latest entry in their flagship franchise: Borderlands 3. Having missed the opportunity to preview the game at events leading up to its release, I decided to reach out to Allison Kurtz, patient treated at Cincinnati Children’s, gamer and Borderlands fan.. As a life-long Borderlands fan, Allison was kind enough to sit down with me to talk about what makes Borderlands so important to her and others. She also had the chance to play Borderlands 3 back in June and was able to talk about the insights she gleaned from her time with the game. Strap in and get ready to Catch-A-Ride with this fun interview that sheds some light on both the Borderlands series as a whole and the recently released game. - Jack Gardner: Let’s jump into Borderlands 3, a game, I am told, that is created by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. Allison Kurtz: That is true. JG: It’s coming out on September 13th- AK: And my paycheck comes to me on September 15th, so we are going to ride that two day streak like… sadness… JG: Sadness is one of the names of the horses in the back? That’s a reference you kids get right? AK: Oh, if you expect me to relate to the quote un-quote kids – I’m very sorry. I know of Lil Nas X, but all I know is that he’s gay and that I support him on that front. JG: Supposedly he has horses in the back. AK: Well… supposedly. JG: All I know about Borderlands 3 is that it’s a looter-shooter. I finished the first one, a significant amount of the second one. I loved Tales from the Borderlands- AK: Ah, so you have good taste! JG: [laugh] and then there was Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel which… I am not really sure what was going on there… AK: It’s sorta like a Super Mario Galaxy 2 thing? Super Mario Galaxy came out. Good game. This was before DLC packs were a thing for Nintendo, so they essentially made more game that was the length of a game. They called it Super Mario Galaxy 2, and they released that. Pre-Sequel uses the engine and mechanics of Borderlands 2 to make a new game out of what was already there. JG: That brings us to Borderlands 3. With that background in mind, can you tell us a bit more about your experience with Borderlands? How did it start? What really gets your attention and gets you excited about Borderlands? AK: That story don’t start off in the happiest place on earth. When I was in 8th grade to freshman year, I was not a happy camper for reasons that are pretty understandable. I was pre-transition. I did not like talking. I did not like being seen. I did not like being heard. So, I would just sink myself into video games. Borderlands 1 was like that for me. Borderlands 1 doesn’t go nearly as wild with the queer content as Borderlands 2. But I played it for hours. I played it for ages and ages. I absolutely loved the mechanics, absolutely loved the gameplay, absolutely loved the design, absolutely loved everything about it. I eventually transitioned and moved on and played Borderlands 2 and it just felt – it’s really hard to explain this – it felt like a world that I had known coming to accept me because Borderlands 2 is when they went buck wild with queer representation. And so that kind of transition that it made along with me resulted in a sort of… I kind of bonded with the game, if that makes any sense? Being in that situation where both things changed it was like, “Hey, same hat. We’re in the same hole here,” and I just felt grateful to have a series that was willing to accept that I exist. Because a lot of the queer representation at that time was new stuff – like people created new properties with queer characters in them. It was really nice to see something I had grown up with embrace queer identities and learn about it as I learned about it. JG: So what in Borderlands 2, you say it had more queer representation, can you talk a bit more about it? What specific parts of Borderlands 2 really spoke to you on that front? AK: The thing is that it’s not front and center. It’s not a big plot point in any sense. It’s just little things like how it is just as common to see a straight couple as a gay couple. Hammerlock has an ex-boyfriend. Some women would talk about their girlfriends, while other characters discussed their different sexualities. It was just… normal. That was really refreshing and honest and helpful to see in a time where I felt like I didn’t have the chance. So that’s how I got into Borderlands and then I just kinda went hog wild on it. I got in because I felt accepted and then the gameplay mechanics – normal shooters bore me which sounds a little harsh, but the customizability of Borderlands along with the humor and very diverse art style and environment really pulled me in. In a way similar to how the fallout games pull me in – at least Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas. Fallout 3 sucked, but that’s a totally different point. JG: Are you just saying that because you saw Hbomberguy’s video? AK: First of all, don’t call me out. Second of all, I had that opinion before he posted that video. JG: You fell in love with Borderlands 2 and then Tales from the Borderlands released. Did you feel differently about the narrative-focused direction or was it more of the same for you? It is quite a departure from the main series. AK: Okay, this is my embarrassment. It took me a very long time to finish Tales from the Borderlands. I just hadn’t gotten around to it because it was right around when shit started getting crazy with vis-à-vis my transition and coming out and everything. So I didn’t have quite as much time for games anymore since I was literally changing everything about myself and my environment. A lot of games from that time kinda slipped by me. Then I never went back to finish them because we got into 2015 and 2016 and got a ton of crazy genre defining games. Things that changed how we looked at games and took up my attention. Tales from the Borderlands just fell by the wayside… until I went to E3 and spoke to one of the writers for Tales from the Borderlands, Extra Life friend The Only Ryann. What he specifically said to me was, “Did you play Tales from the Borderlands?” and I said I never got to finish it, I got too busy. He gave me the most withering look in the world and he said, and I am quoting, “You’re busting my balls here, kid.” JG: Get called out! AK: Yeah, a little bit! I felt like, yeah, I should probably get back around to that game. Before I left he told me, “There is a sad point in Tales from the Borderlands. Please tweet at me angrily once you reach it.” I definitely, definitely went through with that promise. So I played that and I loved it and it was very nice to see Athena, local gay. Also, the soundtrack for that game kicks my ass. That soundtrack jumped out of my computer and put me in a headlock. In a good way. It’s well suited to the style Borderlands 1 and 2 had set up with musical theming. I especially enjoyed how well the ending fit with the beginning song. You would never guess that it was made by a different studio. JG: Thoughts on Pre-Sequel? AK: Pre-Sequel is excellent in my opinion. I enjoy it, but I am biased because it contains one of my favorite couples in video games, Athena and Janey. They’re just very cute. It’s basically Borderlands 2: More. It’s just more content and delves into backstory - I mean it is a prequel - but it delves into backstory and shows off new characters that come back later. It’s a game I very much enjoy even though Claptrap… well, I don’t know how I feel about Claptrap. That’s a thing for another day. That’s a thesis right there. Sometimes you’ll be like, “Aww, poor baby,” and then he’ll say something weird and perverted and you’re like, “Poor baby, stay five feet away from me at all times.” JG: So how are you feeling about Borderlands 3 now that we have talked about all the other Borderlands-y things? AK: I am incredibly excited for Borderlands 3. I love their voice acting choices. They have touched on sexuality a lot in the past but they have never really touched gender, so I am very excited that there is a non-binary protagonist who is voiced by ProZD from YouTube and Vine. He’s an excellent fellow and I enjoy his work quite a bit. It’s very exciting to see him in such a mainstream game. Before, the only game that I know of that he was in was 2064: Read Only Memories. JG: So the non-binary character and the voice acting excite you. Do any of the other aspects seem interesting? AK: The gameplay itself! It’s very excellent from what I’ve played. I played the E3 demo as Moze, and it was excellent. She rides in a big D.Va style mech which I very much enjoyed. It blends the Catch-A-Ride cars from the past games with a summonable ally. You can climb on the back, turret style, like you’ve been able to with every other vehicle. I very much enjoy that you can customize to the max. If you want to be a brawler or do explosives or anything of the sort, you can do it. It’s amazing how customizable it is to me. The visuals are very excellent. I love how varied the character design is now. In previous games when you fought a bunch of psychos, it was the same psycho over and over again. It was cha boi psycho, cha boi psycho, cha boi psycho, cha boi fiery psycho, and cha boi psycho. But now all the psychos are a little different. They have different pants, some of them have hair, some of them don’t. Some of them are actually women now, which makes sense in-universe, but they had never done it before. And the colors. Okay, it has been a couple of months and I did not take notes, but I remember being very impressed by the colors. One thing about Borderlands that I have always adored is in a world of shooter games that tend to keep things muddy, Borderlands has moments where it can get really colorful and wild. The demo I played was one of those areas. In addition, the story seems really great, too. You have two villains who are very hateble and very lovable in the same way. They are equal parts… they are that perfect villain where you want to see them succeed and you also want to see them fail. So you love them and you hate them, you love to hate them. They are very well designed, too and they are very excellent. The four main characters are also excellent. I love how they tie into the past of Borderlands. Zane is part of one of the most gosh dang cursed families in Borderlands history because you kill every member of it throughout the series. We know Moze’s past, but I don’t remember if we have seen her in things before. Flak does what I have been wanting for the entire game series and shows us the skags, like, “Here are some nice bois that you can pet and you are expected to pet.” And I’m like yes this is all I have ever wanted! And Amara is a tall, buff GF. That’s all I have to say about her. I said, when I was at the E3 event, “Oh my god, Amara, my lesbian wife!” out loud without thinking about it. The PR person who was showing me the video laughed and then said, “I think they designed her with that in mind.” I honestly can’t imagine any other scenario, but that's because she exudes strong lesbian energy. JG: What’s your take on the story? You said it seemed good – is that impression due entirely to the villains or…? AK: One thing I can speak on is that I love how past characters are returning and they look different. Borderlands 1 to Borderlands 2, there was a time skip there and they look the exact same. Just the same dudes. But Borderlands 3, people look different. Maya, the siren from the second game, she looks different now and you can tell that a number of years have passed. Lilith looks the same, but that’s how it be sometimes. She’s one of the most, if not the most, recognizable characters for Borderlands except for Claptrap. I just enjoy how the world is changing now. We don’t know too much about the plot beyond the basics being that it has the Calypso Twins as the two villains. They run a cult called Children of the Vault, and they exploit their followers to try and unlock a vault for themselves. Lilith leads the army trying to fight back against them. Though she talks a big game, they have shown cutscenes of her being scared and beaten, so you know that it’s not as easy as she makes things seem. It’s interesting that we get to see Lilith, who is a very strong-hearted, strong willed, strong-in-general individual, get pushed to her limits, and I am excited to see that in full on the 15th, two days after it comes out. JG: Anything you hope to see in Borderlands 3? AK: I hope they show me post-marriage Athena and Janey. That’s kind of a separate thought, but there HAS been a time skip, time has passed! OH, and I totally forgot! We saw Rhys from Tales from the Borderlands in the trailer. Where’s Fiona, my dog? Where’s Fiona? Where’s the love of my life, Fiona? Where have you placed her? If they hurt Fiona, I will personally go to Gearbox and cry. Not to anyone in particular, just to the receptionist. Also, I have a soft spot for any robot that ever exists in any story ever, so Loader Bot better show up. If you tell me Loader Bot died, I will personally die, too. - A huge thank you to Allison for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with me for this silly and insightful interview! 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!
  3. We are very proud to say that Extra Life North will be this weekend! The event will take place in Winnipeg at the Bold Commerce headquarters from September 7-8. With the backing of dozens of organizations, Extra Life North has been created to be a focal point for Extra Life in Canada. All of the money raised at Extra Life North will go to Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. Extra Life North has been organized largely by Nadia Selby, Bold Commerce's culture and event specialist. The event will be held inside Bold's impressive headquarters which can accommodate over 235 gamers as well as support volunteers, spectators, and special guests. Between September 7th and the 8th, the gamers who registered prior to this week will be doing their own 24-hour gaming marathon in order to help the kids of Manitoba. While the gamers play and raise money, plenty will be going on in and around Bold Commerce HQ. Ace Burpee, the most popular morning radio host in Winnipeg will be lending his talents to the event. The host will MC the event with 103 Virgin Radio Live broadcasting from the gaming space. Additional guests will be spaced throughout the day. One such guest will be Nathan Beaulieu, defenseman for the Winnipeg Jets, will be on hand to compete against a number of the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba's Champion Kids (in video games, not ice hockey). The media on hand will even get in on the competition, too! To top if off, the Royal Bank of Canada Olympians will be joining the fun. Jill Officer, an Olympic gold medalist and holder of two World Curling Championship titles, and James Lavallée, a current member of the Canadian Olympic kayak team, will be making appearances throughout the event. Spectators will be allowed into the event to watch the gaming action, talk with volunteers, and see the celebrities. Doors open for spectators on Saturday at 11:30am and close again at 6pm. Doors will reopen on Sunday at 9am and remain open until 1pm. After everyone checks in and gets settled, Extra Life North will kick off with a brief opening ceremony hosted by Ace Burpee. Gamers will begin playing for the kids at 1pm. Food will be provided throughout the event for gamers and volunteers. Special events will help break up the gaming sessions, like Champion Kids challenging others to video game competitions and a variety of yet-to-be-revealed side games. Miracle Kids and their families will also be sharing their stories periodically throughout the days. It'll be a great time to be there for gaming or just to watch! Extra Life North has set a goal of raising $50,000 USD over the course of their event. That might seem like a tall order, but thankfully the event has the support of 25 wonderful sponsors. Bold Commerce, of course, gave the event space and helped organize it. Flocker, a platform that helps streamers and influencers to design merchandise, membership programs, and take donations, is helping to elevate Extra Life North's stream to the front page of Twitch. The Royal Bank of Canada also pitched in to bring high-profile guests and eyeballs to the event. Dozens of others are helping to provide food and supplies as well as other forms of support. Our community coming together to make Extra Life North a success leaves us so hopeful about the future of Extra Life. While the registration for Extra Life North has closed, you can still participate in Extra Life along with the gamers in Winnipeg or plan your own events for Game Day on November 2nd. Join us and help kids in your local area today. 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
  4. We are very proud to say that Extra Life North will be this weekend! The event will take place in Winnipeg at the Bold Commerce headquarters from September 7-8. With the backing of dozens of organizations, Extra Life North has been created to be a focal point for Extra Life in Canada. All of the money raised at Extra Life North will go to Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. Extra Life North has been organized largely by Nadia Selby, Bold Commerce's culture and event specialist. The event will be held inside Bold's impressive headquarters which can accommodate over 235 gamers as well as support volunteers, spectators, and special guests. Between September 7th and the 8th, the gamers who registered prior to this week will be doing their own 24-hour gaming marathon in order to help the kids of Manitoba. While the gamers play and raise money, plenty will be going on in and around Bold Commerce HQ. Ace Burpee, the most popular morning radio host in Winnipeg will be lending his talents to the event. The host will MC the event with 103 Virgin Radio Live broadcasting from the gaming space. Additional guests will be spaced throughout the day. One such guest will be Nathan Beaulieu, defenseman for the Winnipeg Jets, will be on hand to compete against a number of the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba's Champion Kids (in video games, not ice hockey). The media on hand will even get in on the competition, too! To top if off, the Royal Bank of Canada Olympians will be joining the fun. Jill Officer, an Olympic gold medalist and holder of two World Curling Championship titles, and James Lavallée, a current member of the Canadian Olympic kayak team, will be making appearances throughout the event. Spectators will be allowed into the event to watch the gaming action, talk with volunteers, and see the celebrities. Doors open for spectators on Saturday at 11:30am and close again at 6pm. Doors will reopen on Sunday at 9am and remain open until 1pm. After everyone checks in and gets settled, Extra Life North will kick off with a brief opening ceremony hosted by Ace Burpee. Gamers will begin playing for the kids at 1pm. Food will be provided throughout the event for gamers and volunteers. Special events will help break up the gaming sessions, like Champion Kids challenging others to video game competitions and a variety of yet-to-be-revealed side games. Miracle Kids and their families will also be sharing their stories periodically throughout the days. It'll be a great time to be there for gaming or just to watch! Extra Life North has set a goal of raising $50,000 USD over the course of their event. That might seem like a tall order, but thankfully the event has the support of 25 wonderful sponsors. Bold Commerce, of course, gave the event space and helped organize it. Flocker, a platform that helps streamers and influencers to design merchandise, membership programs, and take donations, is helping to elevate Extra Life North's stream to the front page of Twitch. The Royal Bank of Canada also pitched in to bring high-profile guests and eyeballs to the event. Dozens of others are helping to provide food and supplies as well as other forms of support. Our community coming together to make Extra Life North a success leaves us so hopeful about the future of Extra Life. While the registration for Extra Life North has closed, you can still participate in Extra Life along with the gamers in Winnipeg or plan your own events for Game Day on November 2nd. Join us and help kids in your local area today. 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!
  5. This past weekend, gamers from all over the world traveled to Seattle, Washington to attend PAX West, one of the largest gaming conventions in North America. Of course, where there are gamers there are also Extra Lifers! Extra Life turned out for PAX West in a big way, coming to the event with a booth, a panel, and moving stories from the kids themselves. The dedicated Extra Life booth has become a staple of events around the United States and Canada. For PAX West, we were set up in a nice corner between two of the major convention halls on the 4th floor of the Seattle Convention Center. The location afforded a degree of protection from the overwhelming noise of the show floor proper, allowing the amazing volunteers from the Seattle Extra Life Guild to have amazing conversations with con-goers. We were fortunate for PAX West to have a miracle child ambassador from Seattle Children's Hospital. Kennedy and her father volunteered at the Extra Life booth, sharing their stories with people who stopped by to say hello. Not only that, but Kennedy was able to tour the show floor and experience one of the most amazing events in gaming. Their help was invaluable in demonstrating the good that Extra Life does in the lives of those it touches. In total, over 700 people decided to sign up to participate in Game Day! That's freaking amazing! This year, Extra Life's Game Day takes place on November 2, so make sure that you've also signed up over on Extra Life. To top off the booth experience at PAX West, we were able to reveal a special collaboration with gaming chair manufacturer DXRacer. They graciously gave us an incredible version of one of their chairs decked out in Extra Life's colors and the iconic gaming controller with wings. We decided to put the chair up for auction to raise some additional money, so please check out the eBay page and place your bids before the opportunity disappears forever in only a handful of hours! A big thank you to KontrolFreek for taking on the task of organizing an Extra Life scavenger hunt, as well. PAX West attendees could obtain a card at KontrolFreek's booth and then needed to visit Astro, Gunnar, and Extra Life's booth to fill it up. Once filled, the card could be turned in for a chance to win a prize that changed daily. KontrolFreek organized all of the partnered organizations to support this event and deserve all our love and gratitude. Finally, Extra Life was included in an official PAX West panel. The talk, titled Gaming for "Charity: Inspiring Through Play," provided an informed look at how to engage communities effectively to gain charitable support for a good cause and how that scales depending on the size of a person's audience. The panelists included Extra Life ambassadors TheOnlyRyann and Deejay Knight, I Need Diverse Games' Tanya DePass, Twitch's Jon Brence, Child's Play's Erick Blandin, and Extra Life's very own director of community Lou Adducci. It was inspiring to see people turn out to listen to all of these talented and important voices in the industry tell stories about their experiences and share their expertise. With PAX West in the rear view mirror, TwitchCon 2019 approaches! On September 27-29, the streaming community will gather for their yearly celebration of their primary platform. Extra Life will be there with the customary booth in order to represent Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, but we will be bringing back one of our most popular event spectacles: The human claw machine! DonorDrive will be hosting a charity streaming area called the DonorDrive Charity Arcade. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has been selected as one of the premier charities that the arcade will raise money for during TwitchCon. Attendees will be able to grab free prizes as they dangle above a pit of mystery prizes, suspended by a huge claw machine. Don't miss us if you're planning on attending! 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
  6. This past weekend, gamers from all over the world traveled to Seattle, Washington to attend PAX West, one of the largest gaming conventions in North America. Of course, where there are gamers there are also Extra Lifers! Extra Life turned out for PAX West in a big way, coming to the event with a booth, a panel, and moving stories from the kids themselves. The dedicated Extra Life booth has become a staple of events around the United States and Canada. For PAX West, we were set up in a nice corner between two of the major convention halls on the 4th floor of the Seattle Convention Center. The location afforded a degree of protection from the overwhelming noise of the show floor proper, allowing the amazing volunteers from the Seattle Extra Life Guild to have amazing conversations with con-goers. We were fortunate for PAX West to have a miracle child ambassador from Seattle Children's Hospital. Kennedy and her father volunteered at the Extra Life booth, sharing their stories with people who stopped by to say hello. Not only that, but Kennedy was able to tour the show floor and experience one of the most amazing events in gaming. Their help was invaluable in demonstrating the good that Extra Life does in the lives of those it touches. In total, over 700 people decided to sign up to participate in Game Day! That's freaking amazing! This year, Extra Life's Game Day takes place on November 2, so make sure that you've also signed up over on Extra Life. To top off the booth experience at PAX West, we were able to reveal a special collaboration with gaming chair manufacturer DXRacer. They graciously gave us an incredible version of one of their chairs decked out in Extra Life's colors and the iconic gaming controller with wings. We decided to put the chair up for auction to raise some additional money, so please check out the eBay page and place your bids before the opportunity disappears forever in only a handful of hours! A big thank you to KontrolFreek for taking on the task of organizing an Extra Life scavenger hunt, as well. PAX West attendees could obtain a card at KontrolFreek's booth and then needed to visit Astro, Gunnar, and Extra Life's booth to fill it up. Once filled, the card could be turned in for a chance to win a prize that changed daily. KontrolFreek organized all of the partnered organizations to support this event and deserve all our love and gratitude. Finally, Extra Life was included in an official PAX West panel. The talk, titled Gaming for "Charity: Inspiring Through Play," provided an informed look at how to engage communities effectively to gain charitable support for a good cause and how that scales depending on the size of a person's audience. The panelists included Extra Life ambassadors TheOnlyRyann and Deejay Knight, I Need Diverse Games' Tanya DePass, Twitch's Jon Brence, Child's Play's Erick Blandin, and Extra Life's very own director of community Lou Adducci. It was inspiring to see people turn out to listen to all of these talented and important voices in the industry tell stories about their experiences and share their expertise. With PAX West in the rear view mirror, TwitchCon 2019 approaches! On September 27-29, the streaming community will gather for their yearly celebration of their primary platform. Extra Life will be there with the customary booth in order to represent Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, but we will be bringing back one of our most popular event spectacles: The human claw machine! DonorDrive will be hosting a charity streaming area called the DonorDrive Charity Arcade. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has been selected as one of the premier charities that the arcade will raise money for during TwitchCon. Attendees will be able to grab free prizes as they dangle above a pit of mystery prizes, suspended by a huge claw machine. Don't miss us if you're planning on attending! 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!
  7. PAX West, the annual gaming convention held annually in Seattle, Washington, will be happening this weekend, and we'd love to see you there! This year, the event runs from August 30 through September 2. We've got several initiatives that will be of interest to people attending the show in person or observing from afar. Here's everything you need to know about Extra Life at PAX West 2019! We will, of course, have a dedicated Extra Life booth at the event. PAX West will feature a stellar area run with the invaluable support of the Seattle Extra Life Guild. Not only that, but Kennedy, a miracle child from Seattle Children's Hospital and member of the Seattle Guild, will be on hand on Sunday with her father to say hello, too. The people working the booth are volunteering their time to register participants, collect donations, and confirm when attendees share about Extra Life on social media. Doing each will net attendees distinct buttons, while doing all three will get attendees a sweet enamel pin. We are so incredibly thankful for our volunteers, without whom none of this would be possible, and our words can't do them justice. If you are attending the show in person, KontrolFreek has organized an Extra Life scavenger hunt! After visiting KontrolFreek's booth to obtain a punch card, attendees will need to track down the Astro, Gunnar, and Extra Life booths to fill it out. Once the card has been filled, head back to the KontrolFreek booth to enter to win a neat prize that will change daily. For those who won't be able to attend in person, there's still a chance to get your hands on something truly special. We have a customized Extra Life DXRacer chair for this event! We are incredibly excited about it. Both show attendees and Extra Lifers who aren't at PAX West will be able to bid on the chair via an eBay. Keep an eye on our social media channels for the announcement that bidding is live! On top of that, Extra Life will be included in an official PAX West panel. The talk, titled Gaming for "Charity: Inspiring Through Play," will be held in the Sandworm Theater. The panelists include Extra Lifer TheOnlyRyann, I Need Diverse Games' Tanya DePass, Twitch's Jon Brence, Child's Play's Erick Blandin, and our own senior manager of community Lou Adducci. The discussion will get into the nitty-gritty of fundraising and community building necessary for people to do the most good with their gaming efforts. The panel begins at 12pm and goes until 1pm. Be there or be square! Finally, TwitchCon 2019 is on the horizon, September 27-29. It's time to start getting hyped because, on top of all the usual awesome stuff, DonorDrive will be hosting a charity streaming area called the DonorDrive Charity Arcade. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has been selected as one of the premier charities that the arcade will raise money for during TwitchCon. Extra Life will be there representing Children's Miracle Network Hospitals with the human claw machine we debuted at E3 earlier this year. Attendees will be able to grab free prizes as they dangle above a pit of mystery prizes, suspended by a huge claw machine. Don't miss us if you're planning on attending! 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. PAX West, the annual gaming convention held annually in Seattle, Washington, will be happening this weekend, and we'd love to see you there! This year, the event runs from August 30 through September 2. We've got several initiatives that will be of interest to people attending the show in person or observing from afar. Here's everything you need to know about Extra Life at PAX West 2019! We will, of course, have a dedicated Extra Life booth at the event. PAX West will feature a stellar area run with the invaluable support of the Seattle Extra Life Guild. Not only that, but Kennedy, a miracle child from Seattle Children's Hospital and member of the Seattle Guild, will be on hand on Sunday with her father to say hello, too. The people working the booth are volunteering their time to register participants, collect donations, and confirm when attendees share about Extra Life on social media. Doing each will net attendees distinct buttons, while doing all three will get attendees a sweet enamel pin. We are so incredibly thankful for our volunteers, without whom none of this would be possible, and our words can't do them justice. If you are attending the show in person, KontrolFreek has organized an Extra Life scavenger hunt! After visiting KontrolFreek's booth to obtain a punch card, attendees will need to track down the Astro, Gunnar, and Extra Life booths to fill it out. Once the card has been filled, head back to the KontrolFreek booth to enter to win a neat prize that will change daily. For those who won't be able to attend in person, there's still a chance to get your hands on something truly special. We have a customized Extra Life DXRacer chair for this event! We are incredibly excited about it. Both show attendees and Extra Lifers who aren't at PAX West will be able to bid on the chair via an eBay. Keep an eye on our social media channels for the announcement that bidding is live! On top of that, Extra Life will be included in an official PAX West panel. The talk, titled Gaming for "Charity: Inspiring Through Play," will be held in the Sandworm Theater. The panelists include Extra Lifer TheOnlyRyann, I Need Diverse Games' Tanya DePass, Twitch's Jon Brence, Child's Play's Erick Blandin, and our own senior manager of community Lou Adducci. The discussion will get into the nitty-gritty of fundraising and community building necessary for people to do the most good with their gaming efforts. The panel begins at 12pm and goes until 1pm. Be there or be square! Finally, TwitchCon 2019 is on the horizon, September 27-29. It's time to start getting hyped because, on top of all the usual awesome stuff, DonorDrive will be hosting a charity streaming area called the DonorDrive Charity Arcade. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has been selected as one of the premier charities that the arcade will raise money for during TwitchCon. Extra Life will be there representing Children's Miracle Network Hospitals with the human claw machine we debuted at E3 earlier this year. Attendees will be able to grab free prizes as they dangle above a pit of mystery prizes, suspended by a huge claw machine. Don't miss us if you're planning on attending! 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. Another Tabletop Appreciation Weekend has come and gone and the Extra Life community, as always, did not disappoint. It was truly awesome seeing you all break out your board games, pen & paper RPGs, and even digital tabletops to support the kids in hospitals across the United States and Canada. Some of you got in some incredible games with your friends and families while others in the community streamed their experiences online. The leading tabletop gamers of Extra Life came up with a ton of great ideas. We wanted to share just a few of them. By far, one of the coolest moments of the weekend were the marathon sessions of Dungeons & Dragons that were streamed out of the basement where it all started. Extra Lifers from the Milwaukee-Madison area came together to host a day filled with D&D fun in the basement of Gary Gygax's home, the place where Dungeons & Dragons came into its own. The sessions were hosted on Extra Life's official Twitch channel and spanned 12 hours on Saturday. The stream starred Larry Hamilton, Bill Allan, Fenway Jones, Grant Ellis, GM Travis, Jason O’Brien, and John Gilbert who were also joined by Alex and Mike Gygax, Gary's sons, for four different D&D one shots over the course of the day. In total, the crew managed to raise over $3,100 USD! They managed this impressive feat by giving viewers the chance to name player characters lacking for $25 USD each. For varying levels of donations, viewers could also grant a re-roll to the players, impose advantage or disadvantage on certain actions, or even turn a roll into a natural 1 or 20. If someone donated $100 USD, the DMs would grant players a magic item. The players had a blast and it was a great time for everyone involved. If you missed it live, you can find links to all of the relevant places to go on Larry Hamilton's website, Follow Me and Die. Olympian-turned-YouTuber Shawn Johnson East streamed tabletop games with her spouse Andrew to her nearly 900,000 subscribers. The duo managed to not only raise awareness of Extra Life to their colossal audience, but they also raised over $10,000 USD. That far outstrips their original streaming goal of $5,000 USD. That money goes to their local hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. To top it off, we had so many of you coming out to play tabletop games for the kids. It was a really beautiful thing to see. Sean Rooney, one of the pillars of our community and #Dominicstrong, turned up to play Root. Tabletop Bellhop organized a play event in Windsor that featured a dazzling number of tabletop games to support Extra Life. Nikki Drake reached the $3,000 USD mark with her tabletop gaming over the weekend, approaching her $3,333 USD goal. LessThanGreg, Greg Davis, streamed for Extra Life over the weekend and showed the community some really awesome digital board games. Did you know there's a digital tabletop version of Tetris that's multiplayer? I didn't! If you can't get enough tabletop gaming in your life, check out the barrage of features, interviews, tabletop games, and more that we put out over the weekend! Need to get out of an awkward Monopoly night? We've got you covered. Looking to up your tabletop game and avoid some of the unintentional racial or gendered assumptions that can sometimes make players or DMs uncomfortable during role-playing? Our interview with Tanya DePass will help you. Love Stranger Things and want to bring that to your tabletop? There are several options out there. New to Dungeons & Dragons and looking to spice up a campaign? We wrote up some modules that might give you ideas. Want to play a fun social card game? Consider breaking open The Red Dragon Inn. Want a fun tabletop roleplaying podcast to listen to during your commute? We released the final episodes of the liveplay campaign that began during 2018's Tabletop Appreciation Weekend. There's a ton for you to check out, and we hope that you all enjoy what we've put together. Thank you to everyone who rolled dice, shuffled cards, or moved around board piece over Tabletop Appreciation Weekend. All of us here at Extra Life appreciate you and the work you do that's making a difference in your community. You constantly leave us amazed. Let's all use this to get our rears in gear for Game Day which is coming up faster than ever. 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. Another Tabletop Appreciation Weekend has come and gone and the Extra Life community, as always, did not disappoint. It was truly awesome seeing you all break out your board games, pen & paper RPGs, and even digital tabletops to support the kids in hospitals across the United States and Canada. Some of you got in some incredible games with your friends and families while others in the community streamed their experiences online. The leading tabletop gamers of Extra Life came up with a ton of great ideas. We wanted to share just a few of them. By far, one of the coolest moments of the weekend were the marathon sessions of Dungeons & Dragons that were streamed out of the basement where it all started. Extra Lifers from the Milwaukee-Madison area came together to host a day filled with D&D fun in the basement of Gary Gygax's home, the place where Dungeons & Dragons came into its own. The sessions were hosted on Extra Life's official Twitch channel and spanned 12 hours on Saturday. The stream starred Larry Hamilton, Bill Allan, Fenway Jones, Grant Ellis, GM Travis, Jason O’Brien, and John Gilbert who were also joined by Alex and Mike Gygax, Gary's sons, for four different D&D one shots over the course of the day. In total, the crew managed to raise over $3,100 USD! They managed this impressive feat by giving viewers the chance to name player characters lacking for $25 USD each. For varying levels of donations, viewers could also grant a re-roll to the players, impose advantage or disadvantage on certain actions, or even turn a roll into a natural 1 or 20. If someone donated $100 USD, the DMs would grant players a magic item. The players had a blast and it was a great time for everyone involved. If you missed it live, you can find links to all of the relevant places to go on Larry Hamilton's website, Follow Me and Die. Olympian-turned-YouTuber Shawn Johnson East streamed tabletop games with her spouse Andrew to her nearly 900,000 subscribers. The duo managed to not only raise awareness of Extra Life to their colossal audience, but they also raised over $10,000 USD. That far outstrips their original streaming goal of $5,000 USD. That money goes to their local hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. To top it off, we had so many of you coming out to play tabletop games for the kids. It was a really beautiful thing to see. Sean Rooney, one of the pillars of our community and #Dominicstrong, turned up to play Root. Tabletop Bellhop organized a play event in Windsor that featured a dazzling number of tabletop games to support Extra Life. Nikki Drake reached the $3,000 USD mark with her tabletop gaming over the weekend, approaching her $3,333 USD goal. LessThanGreg, Greg Davis, streamed for Extra Life over the weekend and showed the community some really awesome digital board games. Did you know there's a digital tabletop version of Tetris that's multiplayer? I didn't! If you can't get enough tabletop gaming in your life, check out the barrage of features, interviews, tabletop games, and more that we put out over the weekend! Need to get out of an awkward Monopoly night? We've got you covered. Looking to up your tabletop game and avoid some of the unintentional racial or gendered assumptions that can sometimes make players or DMs uncomfortable during role-playing? Our interview with Tanya DePass will help you. Love Stranger Things and want to bring that to your tabletop? There are several options out there. New to Dungeons & Dragons and looking to spice up a campaign? We wrote up some modules that might give you ideas. Want to play a fun social card game? Consider breaking open The Red Dragon Inn. Want a fun tabletop roleplaying podcast to listen to during your commute? We released the final episodes of the liveplay campaign that began during 2018's Tabletop Appreciation Weekend. There's a ton for you to check out, and we hope that you all enjoy what we've put together. Thank you to everyone who rolled dice, shuffled cards, or moved around board piece over Tabletop Appreciation Weekend. All of us here at Extra Life appreciate you and the work you do that's making a difference in your community. You constantly leave us amazed. Let's all use this to get our rears in gear for Game Day which is coming up faster than ever. 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. Daylight begins creeping through the blinds. Your eyes beg to be shut. Your butt aches. The lifeline of snack food has been exhausted. Monopoly night has claimed you and your friend’s collective souls, and now you’re wondering how to pull yourself out of its abyss. Unfortunately, your buddies still seem committed to seeing the game to its end (if you took hours to capture Boardwalk and Park Place you’d want to milk it too). You don’t want to be the party pooper. Never fear, though, for I’m here to offer some fool-proof tips for ending a Monopoly session in the least table-flipping way possible. Keep Getting Up Until People Get The Hint Whenever someone gets up during a board game to go to the bathroom or grab a drink, it can bring everything to a halt or, at the least, disengages everyone a little bit. Do this repeatedly, as in every couple of minutes, and people will get anxious. Throw in an obnoxious yawn or two while you’re at it. Eventually they’ll feel like stretching their legs, which then leads to the realization that the game has lasted the length of a Lord of the Rings marathon. It soon dawns on them that they promised their spouses at they’d return home at a reasonable hour, especially since they’re already on thin ice after their last all-night escapade. It only takes one person to vamoose for the rest of the party to crumble to pieces. Offer to Suspend the Game Intact for Another Session The group has invested too much time and fake money into this game to see it end without a winner no matter how fatigued they may be. Throw out that you’re tired, BUT you’ll be more than happy to leave the game in its place for a return session. It’s like suspending a video game except more inconvenient (for you). Still, doing so staves off the worst part of any board game: the clean-up. In reality, you’re likely good on Monopoly until the next, next Olympics, so play this card only as a Hail Mary compromise. Otherwise, prepare to spend the next week enjoying all of your meals on the floor if the group takes up the offer. Form Convoluted Alliances Savvy Monopoly players know that sometimes the only way to get ahead is to make deals along the way. Greatest hits include swapping a utility for that crucial missing railroad. Such agreements can annoy other players so dial this idea up to 11. Start by making a deal with Carrie to only charge half the fee for landing on each other’s properties. Then later strike an agreement with Derek to split the $200 Go reward if he’ll waive any fees on his turf. Unbeknownst to all of them, you’ve already arranged for Samantha, the banker, to have her regularly slip you money under the table in exchange for dinner and a movie. What does this George R.R. Martin-esque web of alliances accomplish? I’m not sure, but it’ll probably ruin the game due to the sheer chaos it would cause. Try Switching To A Video Game Video games are the natural predators to board games; the mongoose to its king cobra. Simply put, interactive entertainment is, arguably, more stimulating, takes up less table space, and always has all of its pieces in the box. Instead of merely suggesting Mario Kart or Jackbox, boldly fire up a game during a supposed bathroom break. When your friends wonder where you’ve disappeared to they’ll follow the siren call of digital merriment like a moth to a bright TV. This is another emergency option as it won’t actually get these people out of your house. But hey, it’s progress. Claim A Medical Emergency True story: in middle-school my friends and I were more or less abducted by a neighborhood gang over a now-humorous misunderstanding. They shuffled us back to their “crib” and made various threats until I came up with an ingenious solution. Harnessing my best fake tears, I pleaded with the hoodlums to let us go, claiming I needed to visit an ailing grandmother in the hospital who suffered from an ulcer (which was actually kind of true). To my surprise, the gang experienced genuine empathy and let us go. If such an excuse is good for diffusing potential gang violence, I’m fairly confident it can rescue you from this accursed board game. And that’s that! Now that you’ve escaped Monopoly’s black hole you’re now free to dive into the wealth of tabletop games! Enjoy the rest of the month! 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
  12. Daylight begins creeping through the blinds. Your eyes beg to be shut. Your butt aches. The lifeline of snack food has been exhausted. Monopoly night has claimed you and your friend’s collective souls, and now you’re wondering how to pull yourself out of its abyss. Unfortunately, your buddies still seem committed to seeing the game to its end (if you took hours to capture Boardwalk and Park Place you’d want to milk it too). You don’t want to be the party pooper. Never fear, though, for I’m here to offer some fool-proof tips for ending a Monopoly session in the least table-flipping way possible. Keep Getting Up Until People Get The Hint Whenever someone gets up during a board game to go to the bathroom or grab a drink, it can bring everything to a halt or, at the least, disengages everyone a little bit. Do this repeatedly, as in every couple of minutes, and people will get anxious. Throw in an obnoxious yawn or two while you’re at it. Eventually they’ll feel like stretching their legs, which then leads to the realization that the game has lasted the length of a Lord of the Rings marathon. It soon dawns on them that they promised their spouses at they’d return home at a reasonable hour, especially since they’re already on thin ice after their last all-night escapade. It only takes one person to vamoose for the rest of the party to crumble to pieces. Offer to Suspend the Game Intact for Another Session The group has invested too much time and fake money into this game to see it end without a winner no matter how fatigued they may be. Throw out that you’re tired, BUT you’ll be more than happy to leave the game in its place for a return session. It’s like suspending a video game except more inconvenient (for you). Still, doing so staves off the worst part of any board game: the clean-up. In reality, you’re likely good on Monopoly until the next, next Olympics, so play this card only as a Hail Mary compromise. Otherwise, prepare to spend the next week enjoying all of your meals on the floor if the group takes up the offer. Form Convoluted Alliances Savvy Monopoly players know that sometimes the only way to get ahead is to make deals along the way. Greatest hits include swapping a utility for that crucial missing railroad. Such agreements can annoy other players so dial this idea up to 11. Start by making a deal with Carrie to only charge half the fee for landing on each other’s properties. Then later strike an agreement with Derek to split the $200 Go reward if he’ll waive any fees on his turf. Unbeknownst to all of them, you’ve already arranged for Samantha, the banker, to have her regularly slip you money under the table in exchange for dinner and a movie. What does this George R.R. Martin-esque web of alliances accomplish? I’m not sure, but it’ll probably ruin the game due to the sheer chaos it would cause. Try Switching To A Video Game Video games are the natural predators to board games; the mongoose to its king cobra. Simply put, interactive entertainment is, arguably, more stimulating, takes up less table space, and always has all of its pieces in the box. Instead of merely suggesting Mario Kart or Jackbox, boldly fire up a game during a supposed bathroom break. When your friends wonder where you’ve disappeared to they’ll follow the siren call of digital merriment like a moth to a bright TV. This is another emergency option as it won’t actually get these people out of your house. But hey, it’s progress. Claim A Medical Emergency True story: in middle-school my friends and I were more or less abducted by a neighborhood gang over a now-humorous misunderstanding. They shuffled us back to their “crib” and made various threats until I came up with an ingenious solution. Harnessing my best fake tears, I pleaded with the hoodlums to let us go, claiming I needed to visit an ailing grandmother in the hospital who suffered from an ulcer (which was actually kind of true). To my surprise, the gang experienced genuine empathy and let us go. If such an excuse is good for diffusing potential gang violence, I’m fairly confident it can rescue you from this accursed board game. And that’s that! Now that you’ve escaped Monopoly’s black hole you’re now free to dive into the wealth of tabletop games! Enjoy the rest of the month! 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!
  13. Ah, August. The bees are buzzing, the birds are singing, and the dice are clacking. Tabletop Appreciation Weekend will be held later this month, August 24-25, acting as an opportunity to remind Extra Lifers across North America that players can raise money year-round and participation isn't limited to video gamers. With the magical weekend fast approaching, we thought it would be the perfect time to highlight a few of the most amazing tabletop Extra Lifers in our wonderful community. On his 6th year of supporting Extra Life, Harrison Guzman strives to use his love of tabletop gaming to do his best for the kids in his community. He plays for Connecticut Children's in an effort to incorporate board games into his efforts to help others. “I started doing research about ways to use what I did with my time — playing board games — for a better cause,” said Harrison told us last year. “Younger people think philanthropy is not something they can incorporate into their lives,” he continued, “but Extra Life lets them know that you don’t have to step out of your comfort zone.” This year, he attended Extra Life United where he was part of the six person team who won almost $40,000 in donations for Connecticut Children's in the gaming tournaments. Stephanie Straw stands out as one of Extra Life's biggest advocates. She works at Funko as a producer and last month appeared on a stream with our very own Lou Adducci and Miracle Child Ethan McKinney. She was able to show off Funko's latest game, Funkoverse, a new strategy tabletop game. Being on the developer end of tabletop gaming, Stephanie has been able to combine her passion for tabletop gaming, Funko, and Extra Life thanks to events like Gen Con and Tabletop Appreciation Weekend. Stephanie and her iconic unicorn onesie have been a hallmark of Extra Life's Game Day events for years, we wouldn't be the same without her. Lucas Fox stands as one of the tabletop gamers who has been with us since the beginning. 2019 marks his ninth year of participation to raise funds for Bernard & Millie Duker Children's Hospital at Albany Medical Center and puts in extra time as the Extra Life Albany Guild president. He and the guild have made it a tradition to go to the hospital and take board games to spend the day playing with the kids struggling to get better. This year, he's trying to make the most of this year to honor the memory of Maddox Hyde who lost his battle with cancer on January 23, 2019. Extra Life is made infinitely richer and better with the help of Harrison, Stephanie, and Lucas. And Extra Life is more than just three people. Every one of you who spends time helping to raise money or awareness for the kids, thank you. You are making a tangible difference in the lives of children in your local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. Using board games and tabletop roleplaying games to improve the lives of kids by using them to raise money or to help kids pass the time in the hospital can be so, so powerful. Let's keep moving forward and gaming For The Kids. One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  14. Ah, August. The bees are buzzing, the birds are singing, and the dice are clacking. Tabletop Appreciation Weekend will be held later this month, August 24-25, acting as an opportunity to remind Extra Lifers across North America that players can raise money year-round and participation isn't limited to video gamers. With the magical weekend fast approaching, we thought it would be the perfect time to highlight a few of the most amazing tabletop Extra Lifers in our wonderful community. On his 6th year of supporting Extra Life, Harrison Guzman strives to use his love of tabletop gaming to do his best for the kids in his community. He plays for Connecticut Children's in an effort to incorporate board games into his efforts to help others. “I started doing research about ways to use what I did with my time — playing board games — for a better cause,” said Harrison told us last year. “Younger people think philanthropy is not something they can incorporate into their lives,” he continued, “but Extra Life lets them know that you don’t have to step out of your comfort zone.” This year, he attended Extra Life United where he was part of the six person team who won almost $40,000 in donations for Connecticut Children's in the gaming tournaments. Stephanie Straw stands out as one of Extra Life's biggest advocates. She works at Funko as a producer and last month appeared on a stream with our very own Lou Adducci and Miracle Child Ethan McKinney. She was able to show off Funko's latest game, Funkoverse, a new strategy tabletop game. Being on the developer end of tabletop gaming, Stephanie has been able to combine her passion for tabletop gaming, Funko, and Extra Life thanks to events like Gen Con and Tabletop Appreciation Weekend. Stephanie and her iconic unicorn onesie have been a hallmark of Extra Life's Game Day events for years, we wouldn't be the same without her. Lucas Fox stands as one of the tabletop gamers who has been with us since the beginning. 2019 marks his ninth year of participation to raise funds for Bernard & Millie Duker Children's Hospital at Albany Medical Center and puts in extra time as the Extra Life Albany Guild president. He and the guild have made it a tradition to go to the hospital and take board games to spend the day playing with the kids struggling to get better. This year, he's trying to make the most of this year to honor the memory of Maddox Hyde who lost his battle with cancer on January 23, 2019. Extra Life is made infinitely richer and better with the help of Harrison, Stephanie, and Lucas. And Extra Life is more than just three people. Every one of you who spends time helping to raise money or awareness for the kids, thank you. You are making a tangible difference in the lives of children in your local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. Using board games and tabletop roleplaying games to improve the lives of kids by using them to raise money or to help kids pass the time in the hospital can be so, so powerful. Let's keep moving forward and gaming For The Kids. One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  15. Later this week, thousands will descend upon the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis to celebrate tabletop gaming Gen Con from August 1-4. It being the biggest gathering of tabletop gamers in North America, Extra Life, of course, had to be there in a variety of fun and interesting ways! We will be present at the convention with a booth staffed by incredible volunteers from both the Indianapolis and Chicago areas. We’ll be registering new participants, taking donations, and sharing moments on our social media channels, so be sure to stop by and say hello if you are attending Gen Con! On top of that general presence, we also have a few events to keep an eye out for at the course of Gen Con. We will be kicking things off with a casual meetup on Thursday, August 1, for Extra Lifers to come together. Register for the event, which will be free to all and held at the High Velocity Sports Bar right next to the convention center. Network, chat, and enjoy yourselves! The event begins at 6:30PM and ends at 9:30PM EDT. We are incredibly excited for Extra Life and Funko to come together for kids at Gen Con this year. Extra Life’s own Lou Adducci as well as Extra Lifer and Funko employee Stephanie Straw will be live on Gen Con’s Twitch channel! You can catch them live at 12PM EDT on Friday, August 2. The stream will last an hour and will be highlighting Extra Life Miracle Child Ethan McKinney. Ethan underwent surgery on his heart at the age of 7 to treat patent ductus arteriosus, a condition that causes unoxygenated blood to flow the wrong direction. Ethan, Stephanie, and Lou will all be together playing the new Funko Game on the stream, so please tune in if you can! If you are attending the convention, we will be hosting a seminar with Ivan Van Norman from Geek & Sundry on Friday, August 2, at 5PM EDT. The seminar features Ivan, Lou, and local volunteers discussing how to use tabletop gaming for good through Extra Life. We’re really exciting to be working with Ivan again after he led an amazing panel on tabletop gaming at Extra Life United earlier this year. We are all incredibly excited for this year's Gen Con and the awesome people with whom we will be working. Whether you are going to Gen Con or not, there's something for everyone to enjoy from this year's convention. Here's to the year's best four days in tabletop gaming! One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  16. Later this week, thousands will descend upon the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis to celebrate tabletop gaming Gen Con from August 1-4. It being the biggest gathering of tabletop gamers in North America, Extra Life, of course, had to be there in a variety of fun and interesting ways! We will be present at the convention with a booth staffed by incredible volunteers from both the Indianapolis and Chicago areas. We’ll be registering new participants, taking donations, and sharing moments on our social media channels, so be sure to stop by and say hello if you are attending Gen Con! On top of that general presence, we also have a few events to keep an eye out for at the course of Gen Con. We will be kicking things off with a casual meetup on Thursday, August 1, for Extra Lifers to come together. Register for the event, which will be free to all and held at the High Velocity Sports Bar right next to the convention center. Network, chat, and enjoy yourselves! The event begins at 6:30PM and ends at 9:30PM EDT. We are incredibly excited for Extra Life and Funko to come together for kids at Gen Con this year. Extra Life’s own Lou Adducci as well as Extra Lifer and Funko employee Stephanie Straw will be live on Gen Con’s Twitch channel! You can catch them live at 12PM EDT on Friday, August 2. The stream will last an hour and will be highlighting Extra Life Miracle Child Ethan McKinney. Ethan underwent surgery on his heart at the age of 7 to treat patent ductus arteriosus, a condition that causes unoxygenated blood to flow the wrong direction. Ethan, Stephanie, and Lou will all be together playing the new Funko Game on the stream, so please tune in if you can! If you are attending the convention, we will be hosting a seminar with Ivan Van Norman from Geek & Sundry on Friday, August 2, at 5PM EDT. The seminar features Ivan, Lou, and local volunteers discussing how to use tabletop gaming for good through Extra Life. We’re really exciting to be working with Ivan again after he led an amazing panel on tabletop gaming at Extra Life United earlier this year. We are all incredibly excited for this year's Gen Con and the awesome people with whom we will be working. Whether you are going to Gen Con or not, there's something for everyone to enjoy from this year's convention. Here's to the year's best four days in tabletop gaming! One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  17. Extra Life has had a busy couple of weeks between keeping on top of RTX, VidCon, and most recently San Diego Comic-Con. We were able to set up our booth just outside of the Esports Gaming Lounge in the Marriot Marquis Ballroom. This positioning gave us the opportunity to reach out to the hundreds of visitors visiting the lounge area to participate in open gaming and organized play. The event was sponsored by State Farm, HyperX, Team Liquid, and Mixer with production by Greenlit Content and Rekt Global. The streamed events from the Esports Gaming Lounge averaged about 16,000 viewers per day. As you might imagine, the team had their hands full keeping on top of everything. Thankfully, we had the assistance of the San Diego Extra Life guild and their local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, Rady Children's Hospital. From the start of the event until it wrapped up, their hard work brought in almost 400 new participants for Extra Life 2019! The cast and showrunners of SYFY's Van Helsing also stopped by to say hello and learn a bit more about what Extra Life does. It was pretty surreal seeing and talking Extra Life with actors like Aleks Paunovic and Jennifer Cheon as well as showrunner Jonathan Walker. It was crazy exciting! Extra Life had a stream going for the duration of Comic-Con that went from 10am - 5pm each day. In total, with the help of our guild members, Extra Life managed to raise over $10,000 USD in donations from the stream alone. Not only that, but we raised a bit shy of $2,000 USD from Mixer Embers, or chat donations, during the stream. Some of the event's biggest donors were State Farm, who generously donated $5000 USD and Team ShackNews who gave $1,337 USD all going to help sick and injured kids across the United States and Canada. All told, we managed to raise over $12,000 while streaming at San Diego Comic-Con and we very much consider that a win. Extra Life's Senior Manager Lou Adducci and Extra Life Ambassador Comicstorian both went onto the official Dungeons & Dragons San Diego Comic-Con livestream to talk about tabletop gaming and Extra Life. The official Dungeons & Dragons Extra Life team set a goal of $300,000 USD for its members, and they have already raised over $26,000 USD! It's a great segment that you can watch for yourself. It contains some really interesting stories about Comicstorian playing D&D in the army and how integral the game is to the kids in Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Lou also did a great job talking about what Extra Life does for the kids and what our plans are in the lead up to this year's Game Day. A huge thank you to the San Diego Extra Life guild who turned out in force with the support of Rady Children's Hospital. It was awesome seeing you pull together hundreds of strangers by telling them about how they can play games and help kids through Extra Life. We couldn't have done San Diego Comic-Con without you all. You're amazing. One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. If that sounds intriguing, learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  18. Extra Life has had a busy couple of weeks between keeping on top of RTX, VidCon, and most recently San Diego Comic-Con. We were able to set up our booth just outside of the Esports Gaming Lounge in the Marriot Marquis Ballroom. This positioning gave us the opportunity to reach out to the hundreds of visitors visiting the lounge area to participate in open gaming and organized play. The event was sponsored by State Farm, HyperX, Team Liquid, and Mixer with production by Greenlit Content and Rekt Global. The streamed events from the Esports Gaming Lounge averaged about 16,000 viewers per day. As you might imagine, the team had their hands full keeping on top of everything. Thankfully, we had the assistance of the San Diego Extra Life guild and their local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, Rady Children's Hospital. From the start of the event until it wrapped up, their hard work brought in almost 400 new participants for Extra Life 2019! The cast and showrunners of SYFY's Van Helsing also stopped by to say hello and learn a bit more about what Extra Life does. It was pretty surreal seeing and talking Extra Life with actors like Aleks Paunovic and Jennifer Cheon as well as showrunner Jonathan Walker. It was crazy exciting! Extra Life had a stream going for the duration of Comic-Con that went from 10am - 5pm each day. In total, with the help of our guild members, Extra Life managed to raise over $10,000 USD in donations from the stream alone. Not only that, but we raised a bit shy of $2,000 USD from Mixer Embers, or chat donations, during the stream. Some of the event's biggest donors were State Farm, who generously donated $5000 USD and Team ShackNews who gave $1,337 USD all going to help sick and injured kids across the United States and Canada. All told, we managed to raise over $12,000 while streaming at San Diego Comic-Con and we very much consider that a win. Extra Life's Senior Manager Lou Adducci and Extra Life Ambassador Comicstorian both went onto the official Dungeons & Dragons San Diego Comic-Con livestream to talk about tabletop gaming and Extra Life. The official Dungeons & Dragons Extra Life team set a goal of $300,000 USD for its members, and they have already raised over $26,000 USD! It's a great segment that you can watch for yourself. It contains some really interesting stories about Comicstorian playing D&D in the army and how integral the game is to the kids in Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Lou also did a great job talking about what Extra Life does for the kids and what our plans are in the lead up to this year's Game Day. A huge thank you to the San Diego Extra Life guild who turned out in force with the support of Rady Children's Hospital. It was awesome seeing you pull together hundreds of strangers by telling them about how they can play games and help kids through Extra Life. We couldn't have done San Diego Comic-Con without you all. You're amazing. One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. If that sounds intriguing, learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  19. 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!
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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!
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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!
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