This weekend I will be participating in Extra Life - a 24 hour gaming marathon to raise money for the Childrens Miracle Network of hospitals. 

I'm really excited about how much money my team has been able to raise for this event!

For myself, since I jumped into the fundraising a bit later than expected, I set up a whole set of "rewards" based on different donation levels. So far it has worked out really well! I have raised more money than I ever expected in such a short amount of time!

Now it's almost time to buckle down and get ready to stay awake for over 24 hours! Actually, when all is said and done, I will likely have been awake for 42 hours straight. Why? Well normally we would game from 8am Saturday to 8am Sunday, but that really throws off the sleeping schedule pretty badly. This year we are actually going from midnight to midnight, which means we are starting TONIGHT. Since I woke up at 8am and probably won't get to sleep until around 2am on Sunday, that's 42 hours. Almost two full days of no sleep! 

I participated in Extra Life two years ago for the first time, and it was really interesting. Playing games for 24 hours is a lot harder and a lot less fun than you would expect. The begining is pretty great - playing games, having fun - but once you reach the later hours it's all you can do to stay awake and alert enough to play even the less mentally-stimulating games. Particularly for me, my favorite games tend to be the most mentally-stimulating ones: games with a high amount of strategy involved. (Civilization, various tower-defense games, Xcom, puzzle/adventure games, etc.) Last time around, I started playing FreeCell on my phone at hour 18 or so because I simply couldn't handle anything more challenging than that!

Fortunately, playing with a team makes it easier to keep everyone going. This year, like the last time, my husband and I will be going to a friend's house (with a truckload of technology) in order to complete the marathon. There will be a small group of people there to play games with, cheer each other on, and keep each other awake at the really difficult hours. Apparently, board games count too, so we'll be able to play those together as well! 

Oh - and we're planning to stream the whole thing online for anyone who wants to watch! We'll be starting at November 2nd, 12:00am EST, (that's Friday night/Saturday morning) and playing through the end of the day Saturday.

Tune in if you have a chance! And if you have the money, consider contributing to the cause! Your donation is tax-deductible and goes 100% towards Childrens Miracle Network hospitals.