Posts Tagged ‘On November 2’

Elijah wakes up in a cage, and can barely remember anything about himself or his situation. He fights his way alone to escape a building full of bizarre and deadly monsters, while learning disturbing truths about himself. Once he finds the way out, he has to pass it up and keep fighting to rescue hiw wife and child from his nemesis.

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has previously published three other books and various short stories, as well as spending two years as a journalist for The Michigan Daily Newspaper. He studied creative writing under the tutelage of Jonis Agee, author of “Strange Angels” and “South of Resurrection.”

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Melissa6 portrait Growing up in Ontario, Canada, M.J. was the only child of a single mom.  Her passion for the arts ignited at a young age as she wrote adventure stories and read them aloud to close family and friends.  The dramatic arts became a focus in high school as an aid to understanding character motivation in her writing.  Majoring in Theatre Production at York University, with a minor in English, she went on to teach both elementary and high school for 10 years throughout Simcoe County. M.J. currently lives with her husband and young son in Caledon, Ontario.  She keeps busy these days with her emerging authors’ website Infinite Pathways: hosting writing contests, providing editing services, free publicity tips, book reviews, and opportunities for authors to build their writing platform and portfolio.  In addition she writes articles and edits freelance as she continues her own creative writing working toward completing the next book in the Chronicles Series. Time’s Tempest: The Chronicles of Xannia (1) is M.J.’s debut science fiction novel.  She firmly believes that if she hadn’t been born a Virgo, she wouldn’t be half as organized as she needs to be to get everything done from one day to the next.

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On November 2 you can help raise millions of dollars for sick children by sitting on the sofa and playing video games.

Just like the weekend athletes who collect donations from family and friends for every mile they race in a charity run, thousands of gamers will be enlisting their networks to support them in a marathon of a completely different sort.

This novel fund raising idea is sponsored by Extra Life, which is now a part of the nonprofit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Players can sign up to play for this charity at any time throughout the year. But November 2 is Extra Life’s annual game day.

And because this year the day ends with clocks falling back an hour, they have upped the challenge from a 24- to a 25-hour marathon of gaming.

Would anyone really support gamers spending an entire day just playing? And would gamers sign up for such a thing? Even Extra Life founder Jeromy Adams was unsure.

Back in 2007, he reached out to a gaming community calledSarcastic Gamer to see whether they would donate a few games to Tori Enmon, a young girl who was going through cancer treatment in his local hospital.

Jeromy Adams hoped video games would help Tori Enmon through her cancer treatments.
Jeromy Adams hoped video games would help Tori Enmon through her cancer treatments.
Jeromy Adams started Extra Life in honor of Tori Enmon, who passed away in 2008.
Jeromy Adams started Extra Life in honor of Tori Enmon, who passed away in 2008.

He received such an overwhelming response from gamers all over the world that he and Tori had to spend the next few months trying to find enough hospitalized kids to take all the games. Adams says he realized that gamers were the ideal audience for a good cause. Here, he thought, is a group that loves trying to save the day and be the hero.

“Gamers are not the stereotype of the angry pale kid in mom and dad’s basement,” he said. “They are more likely to be the mom and the dad.

“We are some of the most connected people on the planet. We communicate more efficiently, and we want to make a difference. Despite these expert qualifications, nobody really asks us for our help.”

Tori succumbed to her cancer in 2008, and Adams started Extra Life that year in her honor. Since then, his faith in gamers has been more than proven. Every year thousands of new players sign up, and to date they have raised more than $4 million.

Are gamers really the giving type?

The argument could be made that some gamers might be signing up so they finally have an excuse to spend a whole day playing without the guilt that they’re wasting time.

But other charities have started to tap into this audience, and they have also found a giving community. The charity Child’s Play is celebrating its 10th anniversary of gamers giving back, and in 2012 it received more than $5 million in contributions. And then there is the philanthropy, Humble Bundle.

Humble Bundle is a unique online store that sells a rotating collection of games at a price determined by the purchaser. The buyer also gets to select what percentage of that price will go to the game’s developer, the Humble Bundle team, and how much goes to a selected charity.

Humble Bundle’s Will Turnbull and his team were nervous when they offered their first bundle in 2010. What would gamers do? If they were just trying to get the lowest price possible for these games, the model would never work.

The team hoped to raise $200,000 with that first offering. Instead, they brought in more than $1.2 million, with about $350,000 of that going to charity.

“We were totally floored to see that people were willing to give more than the minimum,” Turnbull said. “It changes the message that this is just a discount … We really trust the consumer to do the right thing, and they have proven that trust, and the charity part is incredibly integral to that.”

On Humble Bundle purchases, the default portion that goes to charity is 20%. In most cases, Turnbull said, buyers slide that percentage up to give more to charities like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, charity:water and the American Red Cross.

To date, Humble Bundles has raised more than $25 million for charities.

Adams keeps a picture of Tori Enmon at his desk at work as he prepares for their big marathon.

This year he is looking to expand his gaming audience. Extra Life is inviting everyone who plays any type of game, whether it is sports, board games, even live-action role-playing.

He says he believes the generous spirit he found in video gamers is a universal trait that just needs an opportunity, and perhaps the incentive to have some fun.

That, he says, is what Tori showed him, from a hospital bed full of games and a determination to find a child for each one.