Extra Life 2011: Play games. Heal kids. Join Team Bitmob

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October is my favorite month of the year, and I'm not just saying that because horror movies play on TV all the time and candy is everywhere. That helps, sure, but the main reason I love October is because that is when Extra Life happens.

If you don't know, Extra Life is an annual 24-hour charity gaming marathon founded by Sarcastic Gamer which benefits the Children's Miracle Network (CMN). This is the fourth year the event has been around; over the past three years, Extra Life has raised almost a million dollars to help kids in hospitals all over the world. This year's festivities start at 8 a.m. (no matter what time zone you're in) on Saturday, October 15th. Thousands of gamers have already registered, and I have participated every year.

Like last year, I have set up a fundraising team for Bitmob, and anyone reading this is welcome to join up. But before you do that, here are some details.

  • The event itself is simple: Ask people to sponsor you, and then play video games for 24 hours, starting at 8 a.m. on October 15th. Unfortunately, Arkham City doesn't come out until the following Tuesday, but I have it on good authority that many of you have backlogs to work on.
  • When you register, you will select a CMN hospital to sponsor. Different team members can play for different hospitals; last year the members of Team Bitmob supported hospitals all over the United States and one in Canada. We ended up raising over $1,600 in total.
  • 100 percent of the money you raise will go to support your hospital. CMN hospitals believe that a child in need of medical treatment should receive it regardless of their family's ability to pay. Many of them conduct research on diseases like pediatric cancer and Type 1 diabetes. The hospital I support, Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, even offers free seminars for expectant and new parents. None of this is possible without donor support.
  • The suggested fundraising goal is $96. For the Walkathoners among you, this is like asking four people to pledge one dollar for every hour you play video games. You are welcome to raise more, of course, but every dollar helps.

If you are interested in joining Team Bitmob, all you have to do is click this link, and then click on "Join This Team" on the right side of the page. You can choose from two levels of participation: Classic and Platinum. Platinum participants pay a $15 registration fee and are eligible for prizes, but Classic registration is free.

Once you've selected a hospital and set a goal, you will receive your own fundraising page that you can link to on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, or just e-mail around. If you want an example, mine looks like this. Even if you can't participate, I hope you will consider supporting a member of Team Bitmob.

I believe in this event, and I believe in our community. We are in a great position to do some good here.

So let's do it.

If you have any questions, you can read the full story, leave a comment below, or e-mail me at evan.killham[at]bitmob[dot]com.

If you want to hear how my run went last year (including some bonus embarrassment), listen to this.

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