One of our favorite geeks is participating in Extra Life Charity this weekend. Started in 2008, it’s an annual fall event halfway between a Light the Night style marathon and a phone-in TV special. It’s taking all the best things of internet culture and crowdsourcing and turning it to a good cause. Gamers of any shape, size, or inclination (from online RTS games to MMORPGs to console players and tabletop gamers) join up on the Extra Life page with a fundraising goal and then ask (beg) friends, family, or your online or other communities to make donations. The “official play day” is 25 hours on or around Saturday, November 2, but the gamer can move the date or play all or none of the actual day–the fundraising happens either way, through the magic of the internet. We’re earning the 1up, but sending it over to kids who can use it.
The best part is that each gamer is able to choose a hospital or Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) charity that benefits their local area (even worldwide) or one that’s close to their hearts. Even though I live in Charlotte now, I choose Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as my hospital, as they saved my own life more than once when I was a kid.