Every year a group of Rackers, their friends and family members get together to participate in a great charity called Extra Life. The main event is a marathon 24-hour game-a-thon full of every imaginable computer, console and tabletop game. Every penny raised goes to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
A bunch of geeks playing games to raise money for children in need? If that doesn’t sound like Rackers, I don’t know what does.
The most exciting news to come out of this year’s event it that the founders and organizers of Extra Life are actually moving to The Castle (our headquarters in San Antonio) and turning it into the event’s global broadcast headquarters! Rackers are now central to the entire charity, and I couldn’t be more proud. We’ll be live streaming tons of content throughout the event including video of the event space, online interviews with other participants and even live streams of games in action. The whole thing goes down Saturday, November 2 to Sunday, November 3, and because of daylight saving time, the event is actually 25 hours straight this year – we get a free hour! Whew!
“This will be my fourth year participating,” says Dale Bracey, Private Cloud Evangelist at Rackspace and a member of RackerGamers. “When I think about the Extra Life events at Rackspace, I think how much we’ve grown the event over the past few years. The fact that the Extra Life founders are bringing their team down to hang with us, and make our stream their main site broadcast this year says a lot to that point!”
Anyone is welcome to join “Team Rackspace” and play along, at home or at The Castle – you don’t have to be a Racker. You can also start your own team with your friends and family and contribute to a great cause. Even if you can’t play, you can donate money to Team Rackspace or any other team over at Extra Life’s website. By way of clarification, let me say that Rackspace isn’t officially affiliated with Extra Life, and RackerGamers receive no funding or support from the company directly. I just think it’s a great cause worth spreading, and I’m always excited by the awesome work Rackers do in service to our communities. What can I say? Rackers have big hearts and big brains and Extra Life is the amalgamation of both!
People of all ages participate in Extra Life. Racker Phil Sprofera, a Product Manager at Rackspace, says his favorite part of each event is spending time with his son.
“This will be my son’s third time, and my second Extra Life event,” Spofera says. “I myself am a cancer survivor and it always feels good to give back when I can. I combine several great things into one really outrageous event: play games with my son and other gamers, receive donations, help better kids’ lives in the community.”
This will be my third year participating. I believe gaming can be a great tool to learn, teach and entertain. Especially when your gaming has a great purpose like the Extra Life event does. I also think that when people game together, their creativity can really flourish. Sure they might be playing League of Legends or a round of Monopoly, but that kind of strategic, collaborative and non-linear thinking is really valuable once the consoles are powered down and the dice are put away. It’s one of the reasons we encourage so much creative play professionally at Rackspace.
I hope you’ll join me in supporting RackerGamers, Extra Life and, of course, the children who could really use our help. It’s like Dale told me,” Aside from the tech and fanfare from our event, the most important piece is the children. Children’s Hospitals are key to giving our youth a chance at adding to the growth of our future. Everyone deserves a chance at life.”