Students Game Enough to Last 24 Hours

Laptops were open, extension cords lined the floors and flat-screen televisions filled up the room as the Extra Life 24-hour gaming event took place from Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. to Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.

Extra Life’s Game Day 2016 was a day where students brought their own gaming systems including Nintendo 64s, Xboxes, PlayStation 4s and gaming laptops.

According to the Extra Life website, they work specifically with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and send the donations made as an ‘unrestricted fund’ to the chosen Children’s Hospital.

Coordinator for Residence Life and Student Conduct Andy Hanson said this was the first time California Lutheran University had participated in a marathon gaming event and their goal was to raise a total of $1,000. Hanson said the event is similar to a Relay for Life event where students typically participate for 12 or 24 hours.

“I’ve been sharing with people just to explain what it really is, I say it’s like Relay for Life but instead of walking it’s playing games,” Hanson said.

Hanson crated his own unique fundraising tactic by allowing people to sponsor his gameplay.

“For me, the way that I did my fundraising was people sponsored each hour of my gameplay so for $21 or more they could sponsor that hour and choose the game I played,” Hanson said.

The event encouraged but was not limited to video games. Students also brought cards and board games to the event. Some of the featured games included “NFL Blitz,” “Pokémon Snap,” “StarFox 64,” “Call of Duty,” “Super Smash Bros” and “Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Hanson said when he found out about the Extra Life gaming event, he made a team and hoped that other students would join.

“I just thought about it being a great cause and then also gathering some of the gaming community,” Hanson said.

Freshman Nathan Mittenzwey said that the majority of the room was broadcasting their games live using an online video streaming service called Twitch so donors could watch the event live even if they did not attend.

“We almost have a business going on here, the people really bringing in the money for the event are the people watching [the participants] play the games,” Mittenzwey said.

Mittenzwey said he plays a little bit of everything, but his favorite games are “Soulcaliber IV” for Xbox and a real-time strategy game called “Age of Empires 2.” Although Mittenzwey did not stay for the full 24-hours, he said he was glad he could come to the event and support a great cause.

Sophomore and Residence Life student worker, Lauren Hall said the Extra Life event was the first time she truly committed to gaming. Hall’s personal goal for the event was to raise $100 and she doubled her goal and raised a total of $210. Hall said she does not have a favorite game but she enjoys playing “Stardew Valley” and “Dungeons and Dragons.”

Senior Chris Mathewson stayed for roughly six hours Friday night and 10 hours on Saturday night to raise his personal goal of $100, which he exceeded and raised $125 toward the $1,000 team goal. Mathewson was one of the students that streamed his games through Facebook and YouTube.

“I did two things, for some games I was able to stream directly from the game to Facebook, so the others I streamed through YouTube and provided the link on Facebook,” Mathewson said.

Mathewson said his favorite part of the event was Friday night when everyone was fresh and chatting it up.

“It was fun having everyone here doing it [gaming] as a group instead of being trapped at home,” Mathewson said.

As the fundraiser came to a close, Hanson was excited to announce that the team of gamers reached their goal and raised a total of $1,164 for the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. However, donations are still open and can be accepted until Dec. 31.

Hanson said that if students are interested in participating in this event next year they should contact him and they can begin forming a team and possibly create various tournaments throughout the academic year.

Sam DiMaggio
Staff Writer