Extra Life 2013

Extra Life 2013

Gaming for charity! Is there any better combo? Last week, your Game Night Gurus were able to participate in Extra Life 2013.

The event is a 25 hour gaming marathon to raise money for local charities that help children. Local gaming events are held worldwide to help raise as much money, and last year, Extra Life raised more than $2 million for kids.

Our gracious host decided to donate to Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, a local non-profit in Oklahoma dedicated to the funding of pediatric research as well as pediatric care for Oklahoma’s children. We were able to help contribute to breaking his 2012 record of donation, which was pretty cool.

The event itself was amazing! Our host provided a collection of almost 100 games to choose from, food, snacks and drinks for all those who attended.

One thing that he did that was really cool was that he ran a couple of games of Ultimate Werewolf. The game was going on when I stopped by. It was great to see everyone was included and having fun as the werewolves consumed an entire village of people. When the next game started, our host made sure to make me feel welcome and join in, even though I was a little late to the party and didn’t know anyone.

The Werewolf game was an excellent choice because it got everyone into one game and it forced us to learn everyone’s names. It was the perfect icebreaker.

Later on our host even had a few board game prizes attendees could win in a raffle. And yes! We won something!

Admittedly we will probably never play the game we won. Is that not horrible? Don’t worry, we plan to give it away as a prize for our game nights as well. Oh, now that is pretty bad, isn’t it?

Afterwards we split up into several groups playing whatever games we wanted. I was joined by our other Game Night Guru and together we played some fun games for the first time.

Our first game we played was Condottiere. It was a great little game, neither of us heard of, but we were warmly invited to learn and play. Sadly, yours truly, stuck to his true gaming style of the “risk taking gambler” and decided to take a gamble that essentially made everyone lose as well. On the bright side, our Guru Mike was the one who won it. It was a pretty awesome game; simple to learn, simple to play, lot’s of poker style interaction and interesting choices.

Fortunately the four others we played with still let me play with them after sinking their game, and so we played a game of Bang. Maybe because it was after midnight, or maybe because we were all dealt some weird hands, but the game went a little longer than usual and wasn’t all that fun. Your Gurus are looking forward to another time to try it out, but let’s just say we were glad it finished when it did.

After that we were introduced to Formula Dé, the first version of Formula D. The owner of the game is a serious player of the game, and so we had custom paint jobs on custom miniature cars, each with their own unique stats.  Can’t get much better than that! It helped us all get into the theme of racing. We only went for one lap, but it was pretty intense as we all hung together towards the end. While its roll and move mechanic and racing theme makes it accessible to anyone, the game is still a roll and move game, so we won’t be adding it to our list of promoted games anytime soon.

By the end of the game it was already 3:00 a.m. so, sadly, it was the last one we played. Yes, we did leave early, but we have families to take care of!

In the end, though we left tired and with our gaming senses at an all time low, our spirits were at a high and we had an amazing experience. The people we met were fun to game with, the games we played were all new and fun to try out, the host was outstanding and it was all for a good cause.

Gaming and charity is definitely an awesome combo, one we look forward to again next year.

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