My first experience with pulling an all-nighter was as a small kid heaving over and over again into the toilet. I would love to say all-nighters improved for me after that point, but my next one was for chemistry lab project. Staying up all night got a little better after that, when I talked all night with my then girlfriend. Next day was brutal though as I went 6-6 and fell asleep in every class I had.
It was not until my junior year in High School that I harnessed the best reason for staying up all night, video games. My friends Rob and Tigue set up three T.V.’s all next to one another at my house. With three NES, SNES, and Playstation 2s, we were ready to take down every Mega Man game made to that point. We unloaded our candy stashes on the table in the middle and then launched in. It only took a few hours for each one of our thumbs to become bruised and stiff from mashing the NES controllers. We battled Wily and Sigma in the dark of the night. When the Sun rose at dawn, we were close, but ultimately thwarted. We scrapped together another Mega Man run before I went to college, but alas, Mega Man 8 (that piece of junk) stopped us cold a second time.
In college, video game Marathons become a weekly ritual. Each week we would play Halo into the wee hours. In case you are wondering, wee is the correct term there because several of the guys went streaking from their dorm room when they won. Ironically, they forgot their keys and locked themselves out. Since college, I have missed the all night gaming Marathons. In fact, the last one I think was the Bachelor party for Crosstix.
Getting older sucks. Our bodies do not bounce back from staying up 24 hours as they used to. With all the adulating responsibilities that come our way, I just have not been able to make time for a glorious all night attack on some classic video games.
What was really missing was the motivation. There was no reason to bruise my thumbs, go half-insane, and take a day to recover. That was until now.
To gamers, an extra life is coveted. It is a second chance to win. A second chance to accomplish what you dream of. It is a second chance to explore. A second chance at, well, life.
Each week I see people who could use a 1-up green mushroom as I sit at my desk at Seattle Children’s Hospital. There I witness miracles each day. Today a patient left the hospital for the first time in their life. To celebrate the nurses gathered for a bubble parade. Big brother squealed for joy as he ran through popping bubbles. Other times I have witnessed nurses and doctors holding families in dire moments, crying with them. This is the life in the hospital. It is vibrant, painful, beautiful, and diverse. Each moment is an honor for me to serve alongside such wonderful people for the vulnerable, brave kids and families.
One evening a Charge Nurse on my floor told me about an event called Extra Life. Crosstix probably mentioned it before then, but I rarely listen to him. It was a 24-hour event where gamers would play games to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Essentially, it was like Relay for Life, but with video games instead of running. The very hospital I have worked at for years was one of the hospitals that we could raise money to support. Knowing the faces of those who I would be supporting made signing up easy. Time to grab my controller and saddle up for one more ride. Combining these two passions was a no brainer for me and Crosstix agreed. Well, I assume he did because I did not listen to his response.
2018 Game Day
Set your clocks, apple watches, and sundials for November 3rd beginning at 6am PST. Crosstix and I will be jumping on twitch.com for a 24-hour stream. Through the course of the night we will be playing Overcooked 2, A Way Out, Mario Maker, Mega Maker and maybe more. Thumbs will be bruised. Crosstix will be annoyed with many troll levels. Stupidity will ensue. In short, it will be a fun event. Join us for the whole stream, chat with us on twitch, or just check in on us to make sure we are not killing one another.
Most of all though, consider donating for the children and families in the hospital. Every small amount can go a long way to helping a family recover and get the care they need.
Thanks and Game on!
Date: Nov. 3rd at 6am PST
Donation/Extra Life Page: https://www.extra-life.org/participant/LastBossGaming
Our Stream: lastbossgamingtv
Web: Lastbossgaming.com (you are here so you better know the website by now)