Extra Life 2010: Musings and Reflections

What is Extra Life?

A) A 24-hour video gaming marathon that benefits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
B) PSNation spending time with and rewarding its community.
C) A great way to spend a Saturday and Sunday.
D) A hell of a lot of fun.
E) All of the above.

The answer, of course, is E. Glenn, Joel, and Josh spent 24 hours in front of a live stream playing video games until they were bleary eyed, for the community and to heal kids. And when it was all said and done they shared some of their personal thoughts and remembrances with me so that I could pass them on to the PSNation.org community. Here is what was running through our gaming gladiators heads’ while they battled the beast known as insomnia.

What were your goals for Extra Life? Did you accomplish them?

Glenn: It sounds cheesy and trite, but I just wanted to have a lot of fun, hang-out with as many people as possible online, and raise as much money as possible for the kids. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome, and I’m in awe of our community.

Joel: Yes, we raised over $6,000. [Note: When all the totals were in it ended up being over $11,000 for VGEVO North and $15,000 for VGEVO as a whole]

Josh: Harass and annoy Joel and Glenn, throwing them off their game at critical moments. With Joel, definitely, with Glenn, maybe just a little during Warhawk.

What were the biggest obstacles you faced completing your goals?

Glenn: At 38 years young, staying awake! The hardest part was actually everything before and after the marathon. Things like setting everything up, getting the Livestream tested and functional, coordinating raffle prizes from everyone, and just making sure that I was always paying attention to everything. Also, I should have used my “go-to” PS3, and I still don’t know why I didn’t. So I ended-up having to patch a lot. LOL.

Joel: Keeping my hands intact during the 24 hours straight gaming session. I typically play games for a few hours, at most, as I’m the type of person who can’t sit still for long periods of time. I take breaks and do stuff around the house whenever spending a full day or night playing. I was sure to do some stretching and also took a few minutes off here and there.

Josh: Title updates and/or game installs on almost everything I tried to play.

Favorite fuel (coffee, food, soda, etc.) for Extra Life?

Glenn: I went a different route this year, and stayed away from the energy drinks almost entirely. I had only one 5-hour Energy shot at around 3 a.m., but past that, I had a couple of soda’s, fruit juice, and a ton of Lime Seltzer for beverages. Food-wise, beef jerky’s a staple, along with this Maple-Nut popcorn I found. Also, Jessie brought a fruit tray with fresh pineapple, so I was ALL over that, and of course, our awesome food from Marty’s, including pizza and pasta.

Joel: Water, fruit, and pizza. Saved eating anything substantial (pizza) until 10 hours into the event so that I wouldn’t fall asleep due to a food coma.

Josh: Beer (even though I only had one).

Favorite moment?

Glenn: There are so many to choose from, but my favorite is either someone donating to keep Josh from playing Just Cause 2, the bet I had with a listener on the Wisconsin vs. Ohio State game, or Josh and I singling-out the “weaker wolf” when Joel was playing Dead Space Ignition (“I think it uses Move” “NO IT DOESN’T!”). The best though, was Krakerjak “singing” and “dancing” to Def Jam Rap Star at 6:30 in the morning. We were all pretty loopy by then, and he was killing us with his performance. It was a great end to a great event.

Joel: Playing online with so many of our awesome community members. Had a chance to play with a few European listeners that I’ve had difficulty connecting with in the past based on time zone differences.

Josh: Warhawk. Just like old times.

Favorite quote from someone else?

Glenn: Josh – “Who played Split-Second on my PS3? What do you mean I did? I didn’t play it. I did? I don’t remember that at all!”

Joel- “It doesn’t use Move! That’s Dead Space Extraction!”

Joel (again) – “Awww, this puzzle’s too easy…”
[2 hours later] “Does anyone know how to solve this puzzle?”

Krakerjak – “Heeeere fishy fishy fishy…”

9-Volt – Pretty-much everything that he said was gold that day.

Joel: My friend Kevin, upon learning all about the Joel-on-a-Stick lore, announced to the audience, via our stream, that there would be a Joel-on-a-Stick show airing at 3 AM. Of course he went home before that time and sure enough at 3 AM we had a few wondering where the Joel-on-a-Stick show was?

My second favorite quote was from a random guy playing Motorstorm Pacific Rift. He said “I know what a Fivespot is. Maybe you should get a dimebag instead.” I said, “I think you’re misunderstanding my user name”. He said, “Yeah right, I know what a Fivespot is.” Fivespot is actually a pun based on my last name rather than the definition he applied. LOL.

Josh: “The food is here.”

General comments?

Glenn: It’s quite moving to see how our community can come together for an event like this. From the VGEVO “teams” to the people that stuck with everyone on their live streams and in-games online, and to the people that generously donated money to help the kids out, it renders me speechless. When we finished on Sunday morning, I tried to put into words how I felt for a Twitter post, and I sat there for 10 minutes completely blank. I couldn’t figure out a way to convey the emotions that we were all experiencing, and how thankful we all are to be a part of what we’ve all built on the podcast and on VGEVO. Also, we definitely can’t forget everyone that sent us prizes for our raffle. Thanks to everyone that got involved, and thanks to everyone for putting-up with us over the last 3 and a half years!

Joel: A huge thank you to everyone who donated, watched the stream, interacted with us via chat, and played online games with us! I started to get really tired, and grumpy, about 20 hours in and it was the community members that pushed me along those last couple hours.

Sadly, I didn’t get to play all the games I wanted, but I learned as the event was going that it made more sense to play whatever felt best rather than what I listed a few days prior. Dead Space for example – by the time I was about to throw it in my mind and body were far too tired and I therefore opted to play more casual games instead. The last few hours were mostly games like Plants Vs. Zombies, High Stakes Poker, Uno, and other less intense experiences.

Josh: I’m still humbled and impressed by the outpouring of generosity from the community. We nearly doubled our goal, and that money will really help a lot of sick children.

Written by Justin Spielmann

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