Extra Life Gaming Marathon for Boston Children’s Hospital

| Rick Heaton, Community Manager, Extra Life

As part of our mission in civic tech, we love to seek out ventures that combine technology with social good. So when we heard about Extra Life Gaming’s upcoming video game marathon to support Boston Children’s Hospital, we knew we had to talk to them. Below, see our interview with Rick Heaton, community manager for Extra Life. We hope you’ll join us in supporting this exciting event!

Can you talk a bit about the Extra Life Gaming Marathon?

Extra Life is a way for gamers to give back to their community and support kids at their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital by doing what they love. It functions much like a traditional marathon in that you sign up, get your donor page, and ask friends and family to support you in reaching your fund raising goal. On November 7th this year Extra Lifers come together to celebrate gaming, help kids, and have a lot of fun.

Who can participate and how can they sign up?

Anyone can sign up and participate. Sometimes people get the wrong idea that Extra Life is just about video games or something only streamers can do. In reality, we have people who play a wide variety of games. Everything from old school pen and paper Dungeons & Dragons to family board games and of course video games.  Usually they do it at home or maybe at a friend’s house. It’s just people getting together to have fun for a fantastic cause. Oh and you don’t have to stream. While a lot of people do stream their marathons, the majority of Extra Lifers do not.

I’m not a gamer, how can I still be involved?

If you’re not a gamer, and I think people might be surprised to find they probably are gamers without realizing it, you probably know a gamer.  If they haven’t heard about Extra Life you can share it with them and help them get involved. Or if you do know a gamer who is participating, step up and contribute to their efforts and help them reach their fundraising goal.

What are your fundraising goals for this year?

Every year we set a high bar and ever year our incredible community rallies and tops it. Last year we exceeded our goal by about a million dollars and ended the year with more than $6.1 million raised for the kids. This year we’ve set a goal of $9 Million. It’s a big jump, but there’s a big need and it keeps growing every year.

What is your favorite part about the Gaming Marathon?

I think if I had to pick just one thing it would be that moment, sometime around 3 A.M, when you’re really struggling to get through the last few hours and you realize that there are tens of thousands of people just like you all over North America hitting that same wall and powering through it. All of you doing what you love to do, playing games you love to play and it matters. It’s important.  You’re part of something that’s making a difference in the lives of real people right there in your community. Maybe even right down the street. It’s a powerful feeling.

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