By Eileen Stall, Jr. KB Developer
This year the Creative Virtual USA office took part in the 24-hour gaming marathon, Extra Life. Since 2008, Extra Life has raised over $14 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. This particular network of children’s hospitals is particularly special because they provide high level care to children regardless of their parents’ ability to pay for their treatment. In order to relieve the financial burden of these already struggling families, CMN Hospitals rely heavily on charitable donations to keep their doors open. To directly support the efforts of CMN Hospitals, Extra Life was created to allow gamers to give back to their local CMN Hospital. Each team member selects their own hospital and 100% of the funds they raise are donated directly to their institution of choice. Extra Life has grown exponentially over the past seven years, and this year they managed to raise over $6.3 million at the end of Game Day alone.
On Saturday, November 7th at 8am, the Creative Virtual USA team, captained by Chelsie Strode, began their marathon with a goal of $2,500 and an army of enthusiastic gamers. The office soon filled with personal computers, various consoles, a poker table, and a whole slew of board & card games. Various games were streamed to a Creative Virtual USA Twitch Channel spearheaded by Josh Puno and supported by the efforts of Moshe Villaizan. Multiple events were broadcasted simultaneously to viewers including some of the team’s generous donors. Throughout the day, the office’s remote team members were able to cheer on their co-workers as the group powered through their original goal. Donations both large and small continued to come in throughout Game Day thanks to the fundraising efforts of all the team’s stellar players.
Some of the day’s most popular events included the suspicion-filled roleplaying game, Werewolves of Millers Hollow, and the fast-paced rhythm game, Rock Band. Team members from the Creative Virtual office partook in all sorts of games for hardcore and casual players alike including but not limited to: a Magic the Gathering draft, UNO, a self-constructed miniature golf course, team League of Legends, and Mortal Kombat. Highlights from some of the day’s events can be found over on the Creative Virtual Twitch Channel.
On Game Day, Creative Virtual USA matched the $2,000 that the games had already raised and sky-rocketed the team to the top 3% of participating groups. By the end of the event, players from the Creative Virtual team had played games both solo and together for a fantastic cause and ended the 24-hour run having broken their original goal of $2,500 and rolled right on through $4,000 to reach a final tally of $4,111. As of the end of the marathon on Sunday, November 8th, the Creative Virtual USA team was ranked at 160 for funds raised out of over 6100 teams. A fantastic first year for an event we hope to be a recurring one!