Extra Life


By Trevor Shanahan


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Extra Life is a charity everyone who loves playing games should consider getting involved in.  It began as a way to honor Victoria Enmon, a young girl who fought (but unfortunately lost) a tough battle with cancer.  Victoria’s last bout of treatments bound her to a hospital and limited her ability to do so many of the things she loved (cheerleading, gymnastics, etc.).  Jeromy “Doc” Adams, who was a radio personality at the time, sent a call out to fans of his site, Sarcastic Gamer, to send Victoria some video games and consoles to occupy her time.  The response was overwhelming.


Victoria was known for her determination and drive; never letting cancer define her or limit her.  Even on “bad days” (prior to hospitalization) she still went to cheerleading.  In the hospital, Victoria took the opportunity to visit other people stricken with illness – especially other children – and bring some optimism and positivity into their lives.  When Victoria received an overabundance of games from the Sarcastic Gamer community she simply “spread the love” and gave as many others as much as she could so they could take their minds off their treatment.  Unfortunately, Victoria couldn’t beat cancer a 3rd time.  Because of Victoria, Doc decided to dedicate himself to the cause of helping people in similar circumstances and decided to helm the Extra Life charity full-time.

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A “How To” infographic.


It works like this:

Go to www.extra-life.org and register for FREE.  You then pick (during registration) a Children’s Miracle Network hospital to benefit.  Get people to pledge to your efforts (which traditionally manifest as gameplay marathons, but can be many things) and get ready to play.  Each year a Saturday in autumn is chosen as the starting point; this year (2015) it’s 11/07.

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Even achievement/trophy hunters have incentive to support charity!


The site also offers tons of support via software, media, graphics, FAQs, guides, etc. to get you started and make your campaign as successful as possible.  If that isn’t enough, many folks in and around the video game industry have donated incentives to registrants – and it’s not some trash, it’s worthwhile swag and prizes!

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Getting swag for helping a good cause!


BUT WAIT, you don’t have to commit to your own gameplay marathon you can pledge and support any number of marathoners and streamers already out there.  Check out your favorite eSports champs, press sites, podcasters, and video game personalities as they may already be supporting Extra Life and looking for your support to help make it even more special.

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It does help, but it needs your support to do so!


Whether playing games or watching someone else play games, help give someone in need a shot at an extra life.



ccccccMy name is Trevor Shanahan and I am pursuing a graduate degree in video games/media studies. I am interested in video games and everything they touch (their industry, development, games as art, psychology of games – like gamification, industry issues, culture, etc.). I have come to realize that the more I learn (and learning is so important) the more I do not know. Learn as much as you can about what you love and try to give back to it.