As early as the 1980’s, video games were considered toys and made for children. As time progressed and technology became more advanced, the gaming landscape changed and the perception of gaming quickly followed.
Study after study has been done about the effect of violent video games on children and there are people like Anita Sarkeesian who speak out against female exploitation in video games, however, there is a side of gaming that is truly making a difference in the world.
Every year, thousands of gamers unite to raise money for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or any of their choosing through a charity organization called Extra Life. Since 2008, the organization has raised over $30 million for Children’s Hospitals all over the country by encouraging gamers to do what they do best over the course of a 25-hour marathon and raise money through being sponsored and through friendly competition. Most gamers livestream their performances and interact with their viewers and communities through YouTube and Twitch.
4-year “Extra-Lifer,” John Wilkinson, spoke about the excitement he felt during the marathon in an interview recently. “It’s been a very humbling experience to see how many people are willing to give up a day–or give up a 24-hour period of time to make this event happen.”
To learn more, or be a part of this movement in the gaming community whether through participation or donation, click here.