This year, thousands of PlayStation gamers answered the call to help their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through Extra Life, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals and the medical treatment, programs and charitable care that is provided to kids in their communities.
Today is a huge day for children’s hospitals across North America, as our 6th Annual Extra Life main event begins at 8am. For 25 hours we will celebrate the social impact of gamers who have been fundraising for their local CMN Hospitals. And you’ll be able to watch it all live.
Not registered? Not a problem. It only takes a couple of minutes to sign up, hit the moms and best pal up for a few dollars for the kids, and then celebrate with us.
While there is a lot of talk of streaming your game play and a few elaborate physical events popping up all over the place, most people participate from the comfort of their own living room. Now I don’t have any scientific data on this, but I’d be willing to bet a measurable percentage of our Extra Life Heroes participate in their underwear. Try getting that mental image out of your head.
Before we get into the best practices in surviving Extra Life, you might want to know more about this charitable initiative and where it came from. Quite simply this whole crazy thing was born in memory of my friend, Tori. She would have been 21 years old this year. Here’s her story, and that of Extra Life for those wanting to learn more.
Now that you’re registered, here’s a suggested plan of attack for your personal Extra Life marathon.
- Watch the official stream at http://twitch.tv/ExtraLife4Kids and keep up with the latest results and catch interesting interviews and videos from Extra Lifers all over the world. This is a great way to take a break and catch a little inspiration. Twitch will also be featuring over ONE THOUSAND of other Extra Life themes from heroic gamers and celebrities.
- Get shut-eye: A runner wouldn’t pull an all-nighter before a marathon, so don’t slack on your Z’s the night before yours. Basic motor skills (the kind you, Gamer, desperately need) and mental endurance plummet with every hour you skimp. Be just as disciplined with keeping up on your comatose state as you are perfecting your game. And remember; if you are tired… go to bed. Get up later and finish then.
- Drink up: Water is your new best friend. Even breathing requires H2O.Stay hydrated by keeping a nice, big 32-oz. water bottle by your side and fill it up five to six times throughout your 24—err, 25-hour trek (that’s right). Limit caffeine until you absolutely need it. That Venti cup of Joe or those Monster drinks should be a last-ditch emergency effort, not a plan of action.
- Nosh well: Treat your body like an engine. You wouldn’t put maple syrup in your car’s tank, so don’t put starchy, sugary, processed foods in your own. Stock up on energy-producing brain foods such as fruit, veggies, complex carbohydrates and lean protein. Keep nuts and fruit by your side instead of that family-size bag of Cheetos. Fuel your body right, and it will perform at those high speeds and long hours you need it to.
- Hit the pause button: Take breaks! Stretch. Walk about. Chat with a friend for a few. Powering through does not equal toughness in this game. Rest your eyes from the screen, stretch your muscles and take a jog around the block (or the house) every hour or two to get your blood flowing and keep your brain alive. Feeling sleepy? Get some zzz’s. Seriously. You can always pick up where you left off after some rest.
- Brighten the mood: Playing in a dark room might seem cool at first, but that’s not going to fly at 4 a.m. Keeping the lights bright during the wee hours can help “trick” your brain into making less melatonin, the sleep hormone naturally produced when the lights go out. But if your body is screaming for a nap, listen to it.
- Join a team: Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, going it alone will have you wind up like the lone, sickly antelope at the back of the stampede. Keep up your motivation, increase your enjoyment and further your success by participating with friends and family — or strangers! Remember, you can also split all 25 hours amongst several people so consider a five hour-long party with five friends.
- Remember the cause: Finally, don’t forget why you’re doing this! This is 100 percent For The Kids. Revel in the fulfillment of helping sick and injured children across North America. You are saving lives, one hour at a time. Keep up the great work, and have fun!
This is going to be an incredible weekend for the generous PlayStation community as nearly 30,000 gamers stand up, or more accurately sit down to do what they love For The Kids. Before you play, however, make sure you’ve done all you can to help those kids. On behalf of our dedicated Extra Life team, I would like to thank the PlayStation community for your intense and enthusiastic response to our request for your help, and thank the folks at PlayStation for the privilege of sharing Extra Life with you.