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Games High Fives Markel!

Extra Life 2016: Another Good Year

This year’s Extra Life marathon was another great time. I spent some time playing games with my kids, had a great co-op session with my best friend, and generally enjoyed the 25 hours of video games (with some breaks!) while fundraising for St. Louis-area children’s hospitals.

To date, you have helped me raise just over $700 for this cause.

For that, I thank you all. Your support every year when I do this crazy thing means a ton to me and it’s good to know you are interested in helping with this cause.

And know that it’s not too late! You can still donate to this year’s campaign by going to this page and giving what you are able or moved to do:

http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=196644

I fell short of my goal, but that’s OK. It’s the effort and your assistance that counts. :)

I’ll be working on some additional stream stuff and a different kind of donation goal starting later this month. I’ll be posting about that soon. :)

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Markel!

One Last Invitation for This Year

As I finish my prep work making sure I have everything lined up for Extra Life 2016 starting tomorrow morning, I just wanted to drop one more post in for the evening. I’ll update Twitter and probably Facebook throughout the day to let you know what I’m playing and what’s going on, but I’d really love it if you would stop by and watch my livestream tomorrow (and into Sunday!) for Extra Life.

And if you have the means and the motivation, to consider donating to this very worthy cause.

Sometimes, it’s too easy to get overwhelmed with all the crap that’s out there in the world and think that you can’t make a difference. The thing is: that’s not true. Even a single person doing something meaningful can be enough to change the world, if only for a single other person.

When you watch or chat in the livestream, you brighten my day just that tiny bit more.

When you donate to help fund children’s hospitals here in my hometown of St. Louis, that donation could mean a life-saving dose of a drug. Or a stuffed animal for a kid who is too weak to get out of their hospital bed. Or a piece of equipment a surgeon needs to save a gravely injured child.

And yes, when you donate and get my campaign closer to the $2,000 goal, you are (possibly unfortunately) making a difference, because that puts me one step closer to having to sing a Bieber track live on the internet.

When you share my announcements regarding the stream, you help point others to it, causing more to watch, and possibly more to donate.

Everything you do—this fundraising campaign notwithstanding—causes a difference in the lives of others. Never forget that. This thing I do every year is one thing I know I can do to try and do some good.

I hope I’ll see you tomorrow. You can watch here.

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Games Markel!

Extra Life Incentives: Rock Band 4

All right; time to detail the first of the donation incentives for Extra Life this weekend!

As always, I’ll be opening my stream with some Rock Band. I have a history of always opening with “The Hellion/Electric Eye” from Judas Priest and then playing what I feel like for the remainder of the hour.

To participate in the donation incentive, either:

  • Make the donation and indicate your choice in the donation comment, or
  • Make the donation and make sure the name you choose matches your name in chat and then tell me what you want in chat

Incentives:

  • Any $10 donation entitles you to choose a track from my library for me to play (details on the library below).
  • Any $25 donation entitles you to force me to change instrument to your choice between Guitar, Bass, and Drums. I will start on Guitar.
  • EXCEPTION TO THE ABOVE: “Free Bird” requires a $100 donation.

I have set aside some time in the schedule for some overflow. If enough donations come in requesting songs, I’ll keep playing!

To view the list of songs you can choose from, go here:

http://rbdb.online

Click the button at the top that says “User Code,” and enter the code:

KOP-37D

This will show you the tracks I have available. Please note that some tracks may not yet be available to me in Rock Band 4; if you choose one of these I’ll let you know and you’ll get to choose an alternate track.

And remember: if I break my $2,000 goal for donations this year, you’ll get an hour of me on Expert Vocals! Tell your friends.

Rock Band will start this upcoming Saturday at 8 a.m. I hope I’ll see you there!

(For more information on my Extra Life marathon, please see this post.)

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Games High Fives Markel!

Extra Life 2016

It’s that time of year again. When I’m broadcasting, you’ll see it here:

tl;dr Version

My Extra Life marathon for this year runs from 8 a.m. Central time Saturday, November 5th until 8 a.m. Central time Sunday, November 6th.

You can watch at http://live.backlogathon.com/.

You can donate to the fundraiser at http://extralife.backlogathon.com/.

I’d love it if you would stop by during the marathon and watch. I’d love it more if you chose to donate to the fundraiser as it is for a very worthy charity. A schedule is located at the bottom of this page.

Thank you!

(end tl;dr)

What’s the Extra Life Marathon?

Every year, thousands of people pledge to slightly break themselves and have a lot of fun doing it to support Children’s Miracle Network hospitals through the Extra Life program. This will be my fourth year contributing to the program.

The marathon date this year is November 5th, and starting at 8 a.m. that morning, I’ll be playing video games, both solo and with friends, for 25 hours (yes, 25 hours, because that is Daylight Savings Time change weekend). I’ll play a variety of things and will have some donation incentives along the way to make things interesting (more on that later).

As part of the marathon, I’ll be streaming the entire thing live on Twitch and will have donation callouts during the broadcast. Donations will pop up a fun notification, and if you donate during certain blocks or games, I’ll let you either choose something fun or extend the amount of playtime, depending on what’s going on. But you’ll need to tune in to know what those things are!

What Is Extra Life? Where Does that Donation Go?

This is a great question, and I feel compelled to give you some information on this so you know that Extra Life is a good, solid, well-run program and not a charity where your dollar is just going to disappear and not benefit anyone.

Extra Life is a program run by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a well-respected and efficient foundation that raises over $250 million each year for the purpose of funding children’s hospitals, medical research, and community awareness.

CMN has a four-star out of four-star rating with Charity Navigator, and based on their research, contributes over 88% of raised funds to services and programs.

Extra Life is even more special, as 100% of the funds raised by my fundraiser will be forwarded directly to the two St. Louis children’s hospitals supported by my fundraiser as unrestricted funds, meaning the hospital is given discretion on where and how to spend that money to deliver and improve care to sick children who need our help.

How Can I Help?

Last year, I raised over $1,000 for St. Louis area children’s hospitals. This year, I’d like to double that and reach for over $2,000. I’ll need your help to do this.

The first thing you can do is watch the marathon. If you have some spare time over the weekend, turn it on and help boost my viewer numbers. I’ll try at the least to be not-boring and maybe at the most be entertaining. The more people I have watching, the more chance there is that random other people will pop by. You can watch on any computer, or if you have the Twitch apps for your phone, Xbox, or Playstation, you can look up my channel, which is “backlogathon”. There’s also a chat during the stream—feel free to type some things there and let me know how it’s going or if there’s something I can do better!

The second thing you can do is share with others that the marathon is happening. Here’s a tweet and a Facebook post you can share around:

The third thing you can do is to donate to the fundraiser. I don’t expect everyone to be able to do this, so it’s the thing I’m putting last in this post. If you have the available funds, any donation will help. Check the stream first or the schedule below—there may be an incentive going on! You might be able to direct part of the stream or get me to do something interesting!

OK; So What’s Going On During the Marathon?

Here’s the current schedule for the marathon, which is subject to change:

Some hours will have special guests (hint: my family). Other hours will have special donation incentives, for small and large amounts. You’ll need to tune in to the stream or follow me on Twitter to know what those incentives are!

The first basic donation incentive is that for every $5 donated during the Rock Band block, you can choose one track from my library for me to play on Expert Guitar or Bass. (Please note that a very few tracks in my list are not yet in Rock Band 4 and I may have to force you to choose an alternate.) You’ll need to be in stream chat to redeem your donation incentive!

There is ONE donation incentive that has been set in stone ahead of time: if I break the $2,000 donation goal for the whole drive, I will commit to one hour of playing Rock Band 4 on Expert Vocals. I have never sung on stream before in my life. I’ll do a playlist of my choosing, and maybe some bonus donation incentives for choosing specific tracks to force me to sing.

You are guaranteed that the playlist will contain AT LEAST ONE JUSTIN BIEBER TRACK.

If you want to see this happen, you know what to do!