IGDA Chicago Sets New Personal Fundraising Goal for Extra Life Charity!
Illinois – Chicago| 9 Nov 2020
Gamers can be a competitive bunch. Too often that competitive spirit manifests itself in toxic behaviors like trash-talk, bullying, and full-blown harassment. These shortcomings plague our industry and demand a cure like COVID-19. But competition isn’t all bad. There is that element of competition that drives people to do well, and even to do good.
The Extra Life charity was founded in 2008. Since then, it supporters have raised over $70 million USD for sick and injured children and currently benefits over 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including Chicago’s own Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. How, you may ask? By playing video games.
Yes, you read that right. Supporters of Extra Life play video games and solicit sponsored donations for their cause. Observing social distancing in 2020, many utilize online streaming platforms like Twitch to collaborate and broadcast their gameplay worldwide. Participants are encouraged to play in teams to maximize their fundraising and create lasting friendships with other gamers. All this culminates in Game Day, usually the first Saturday in November, when Extra Life participants play for 24 hours straight marathon-style.
IGDA Chicago has been participating in Extra Life since 2014. In previous years, the IGDA Chicago Team has held in-person events at local venues like the Indie City Co-Op and 2112. This year, the team observed social distancing and went entirely virtual in its efforts.
We kicked off our festivities with a live game of Among Us on our Twitch channel. For those not familiar with the game that became one of the most played games of 2020, think of it as a murder mystery whodunnit…set in the perilous universes of Ridley Scott’s Alien or John Carpenter’s adaptation of The Thing. Players must complete tasks in a set period of time while keeping one step ahead of a murderer saboteur!
The games went amazingly well considering not all the players had played before. It also marked the first opportunity the Chicago Board had all played any game all together at once.
Following the Among Us livestream, IGDA Chicago Board-members transitioned back to their personal live streams and fundraising efforts. Collectively, those efforts were a huge success and IGDA Chicago broke its personal record by raising over $3,000 for Lurie Children’s this week alone!
It was a good weekend for other Chicago-based Extra Life fundraisers too. The Chicago Guild achieved the amazing status of being the 5th highest grossing guild nationwide with over $200k raised!
All in all, the efforts of Extra Life participants this weekend show that the spirit of competition can bring out the best in people. The quest to improve, reach new levels, and set high scores does us all credit. When a competition also becomes a collaboration, that’s when everyone’s a winner.
Extra Life doesn’t end after Game Day! You can support the IGDA Chicago Team & Extra Life here!