Playing Games for Charity

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By Veronica Alt

Pulling an “all-nighter” is a feat not unknown to college students. Between work, papers, and social events, it is hard to find enough time when the sun is up to complete all the tasks on a to-do list. Staying awake through the night is a must.

For the Bryn Athyn College Games Club, staying up through the night became a fundraiser. Over Daylight Saving weekend, nine members of the club braved the time change and gamed for 25 hours with the charity Extra-Life. Extra-life works with the Children’s Miracle Network, children’s hospitals across the nation. The Bryn Athyn Games Club set up a team page and asked for donations, all of which would go to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

From 8 am on Saturday, November 2nd, to 8 am Sunday, November 3rd, the Games Club converted the Bryn Athyn College Social Center into gaming central. Chairs were pushed together to form couches. Cups were filled with caffeinated sodas. Donations tallied on the page. Members ate chips with one hand never leaving the keyboard or controller. One at her spaghetti dinner domestically at the counter, eyes never leaving the T V screen she was gaming on and putting her face into her plate instead of using a fork.

Every hour, a stretch break was led to keep the gamers gaming. Food was provided by Sodexo and kind-hearted neighbors. Mini-celebrations were held every few hours. When the clocks struck 1:59 am, a small cheer went through the five gamers still awake. But then the clocks went back and the club was doomed to relive 1 am again. One of the support crew, however, kept them going by providing fresh baked pie and a new pot of strong coffee.

At the end of the grueling 25 hours of gaming, the victorious gamers collected close to $600 for CHOP and was one of the Top 1000 teams participating. Extra-Life, with gamers and teams across the country, raised over $3.5 million for the Children’s Miracle Network.

The Bryn Athyn College Games Club has already started making plans for the next Extra-Life event despite, what many of them said, was “the hardest thing [they] had ever had to do.”