This year I have the unique opportunity of having my column land on the US’s Thanksgiving. Because of that I would like to take this opportunity to tell all of you what I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful that I have a good education and have been able to earn a nice job. I’m thankful that between my wife and I we are able to provide a nice home and lifestyle for our children. I’m thankful that I have three wonderful kids that are happy (unless they’re grounded!) and healthy. I realize that I am very fortunate to have all of these things. Unfortunately not everyone has been as lucky and can say the same this time of year.
Recently through the generosity of gamers like you, Extra Life, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals gaming fundraiser, was able to raise $3,991,244 USD for sick and injured children. For those of you unfamiliar with Extra Life it is a fundraiser where gamers have a 25 hour marathon gaming session and are sponsored by friends and family. A number of people streamed their gaming session on twitch (but is not necessary). That is a pretty staggering amount of money when you think about it. In 2012 Extra Life raised $2.1 million and since it was created in 2008 it has raised over $8 million.
In addition to setting a record for dollars earned Extra Life also set a record for number of participants. Over 43,000 people took part in this year’s event. It is also worth mentioning that all of this was accomplished after having to suffer through a DDoS attack on the Extra-Life.org website during the event. (Why anyone would cyber-attack a children’s charity is beyond my reasoning.)
It speaks volumes about a community in how they help take care of those that cannot take care of themselves. Who is less capable of taking care of themselves than a sick or injured child? As a parent it really disturbs me to see anyone have to go through this. The doctors and nurses that work in these hospitals truly are heroes, and so are you. Your donations mean a lot in helping these children.
I know far too often people come to sites like this and see the vitriol of forum trolls in action and become despondent and think the trolls are representative of the community as a whole. I can tell you they are not. They are just part of the vocal minority.
So lastly I’m thankful for you readers. It’s a great thing you’ve done as gamers in raising this amount of money. Enjoy the holiday season. Stay safe and I look forward to seeing you all in game.
Robert Lashley / Robert Lashley is a Staff Writer and Online host for MMORPG.com. Rob's bald and when he isn't blinding people from the glare on his head talking in front of a camera you can find him spending his free time in Eorzea pretending he is a Paladin in the Leviathan realm or you can chase him down on twitter @Grakulen
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