PAY IT FORWARD
hen the gaming community rallies behind a cause, great things happen. Every year, gamers in San Diego and around the world participate in the Extra Gaming for Good Local gamers livestream to raise money for Rady Children’s W
The Intrepid Studios team has a lot to smile about— they raised more than $87,000 for Rady Children’s
“Video games are something that I have been passionate about for as long as I can remember, and to be able to do something I love, and help such a worthy cause while doing it, was impossible to pass up,” he says. “Over the years I have become more amazed by the people that participate, and it is immensely inspiring. To see what some of these people are able to do makes me want to do more each year and constantly encourages me to do better.” The top fundraising team, from San Diego– based game developer Intrepid Studios, also knows the philanthropic power of lighthearted entertainment and silly stunts. The developers of the forthcoming and hotly anticipated Ashes of Creation enticed viewers to donate by showing off their skills at the tabletop role-playing game Pathfinder, playing cards, singing Disney songs and taking pies to the face. Intrepid Studios cofounder Steven Sharif even shaved his beard for a live audience. When all was said and done, Intrepid Studios raised more than $87,000. The reason why Extra Life is so successful, Sharif says, is that it provides a charitable outlet in a form that’s familiar to the gaming community. Gamers love to watch other gamers on platforms like Twitch, and Extra Life lets them donate, interact and become part of a life- changing movement from the comfort of their home. “It’s a fun thing to be involved with, but it also represents the ideals that a lot of gamers have, which are a sense of community, of bonding and of helping others in need,” Sharif says. “We feel especially close to helping children in need, because children love the excitement and the interactions that come with console games or board games. What better way to give back than to help kids who are in need through gaming?”
Life campaign to raise money for children’s hospitals. Individuals and teams launch gaming fundraising efforts ahead of a livestreamed 24-hour marathon, Game Day, in which players interact with fans and offer prizes and incentives for milestone donations. Despite the challenges 2020 brought, San Diego gamers raised a record- breaking $289,781, with every dollar being invested into compassionate, comprehensive care for kids at Rady Children’s. Of that sum, an impressive $68,671 was raised by San Diego’s top individual player, Justin Turk. When the longtime gamer heard about Extra Life, he jumped on the chance to turn a beloved hobby into an opportunity to help Rady Children’s care for ill and injured kids. Turk’s first forays into fundraising via Extra Life were admittedly rough, but he persevered and found his stride in networking and entertaining—with the help of his trusty pink cowperson hat, which, much to his fans’ delight, illuminated with each donation.
Register at EXTRA- L I FE .ORG and be sure to select Rady Children’s as your preferred hospital. To find out about all the ways you can help support Rady Children’s, visit radyfoundation.org.
Frequent Extra Life participant Justin Turk used his networking know-how, entertaining expertise and light-up hat to bring in big donations
32 HEALTHY KIDS MAGAZINE SUMMER 2021
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