Well, if you’ve been paying attention to The Cartographers Guild Twitch page, you’re probably aware that we’re doing Extra Life again, the event that started it all for us!
Extra Life is a truly awesome event that brings gamers together, rallying a tight-knit and enthusiastic community for a good cause: helping children. Extra Life unites thousands of gamers around the world to play games in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. In our case, that’s Seattle Children’s. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life, with the help of over 100,000 gamers, has raised more than $30 million for sick and injured kids.
Last year was the first time the Guild participated in Extra Life, and it was our very first stream ever. It was an awesome experience for us. We learned a lot that day . . . including that for Twitch to even temporarily archive the footage, we should have made sure the setting for that was on! Don’t worry, it’ll all go up on our YouTube channel this year after the livestream is over, we’ve worked out a lot of kinks in the months we’ve been streaming since.
My friends and I are pretty creative folks, and always have been. I’ve known Josh and Drea for over twenty years, and Brad for over ten. In that time, we’ve created many stories together in tabletop role-playing games, sometimes even making up the system of play as well. Brad especially has a knack for that . . . and is good-natured when we tease him about his disdain for every tabletop role-playing system but the ones he makes himself. We’ve discussed many skits and projects we’d like to write and perform over the years, and in my humble opinion, some of them have been pretty great ideas! But it took a great cause like Extra Life for us to get together and get things on film the way we’ve always wanted to.
The thought makes me really happy. Gaming is something all of us in the Guild have done from the time we were children, from before we knew to call the stories we created in abundance “role-playing”. From the time I was little, the video games I loved were frequent players in the theater of my imagination. I often fleshed out the characters in my mind, wondering who they were beyond the story the game had told me, thirsting for more of the amazing, well-crafted worlds they came from. I drew pictures of them, wrote stories long before I knew what a “fanfic” was, made up little songs or learned to play the songs in the game by ear on the piano or the cello. Video games and role-playing games meant a lot to me, even as a little girl.
I was a fortunate kid in a lot of ways. Not to say my childhood was all sunshine and roses, but I wanted for very little in terms of possessions, and I was a very healthy child. On rainy days or summer days too hot for running around, I played video games, and I usually had the ones I wanted. On brighter, milder days, I ran or biked around my neighborhood, and was out from dawn until dusk, always playing some sort of pretend.
Now I have a little girl of my own, and so far, she is a healthy, happy bundle of precious energy. She brought me the Atari Flashback controller the other day, and led me to the TV to get it working. She’s too little even for Frogger yet, but the seed of gaming seems to be sprouting nicely. I am well aware that I am blessed, and not everyone is so fortunate.
Gaming has always been so important to me, and to everyone in The Cartographers Guild. It’s forged friendships among us that I know will last a lifetime. It makes sense to me, looking back, that The Cartographers Guild project was born in Extra Life. Gaming is stories. Stories connect us. Connections make a cycle as we eagerly seek more connections and more inspiration. Of course, given all that, we want to help give back to the families and the children that will keep the beautiful cycle of storytelling going, whether they ever pick up a console controller or a d20 or not. On Game Day, The Cartographers Guild is going to make sure we’re helping those kids get the care they need to get healthy and do whatever it is they’re passionate about.
Game Day is November 4th, 2017. The Cartographers Guild is going to be streaming on our Twitch channel from noon November 4th to noon November 5th, PST. We got our Extra Life Announcement up on YouTube, so check it out! We’re going to play Dungeons and Dragons– the campaign to this point is archived on our YouTube channel here, so go get caught up, if you like! We’ll play some Rock Band, and some other great games that should be both entertaining and hilarious, and Josh assures me we have lots of prizes to give away!
Last year we raised almost $600, which was great for a first try! This year, we hope to do even better. Please tune in to The Cartographers Guild Twitch channel to watch our marathon on Game Day, and consider donating to a great cause.
The stream will be here.
And go here to donate!