Geeks Who Give: Extra-Life.org

extra life

Geeks Who Give: Extra-Life.org

In early October, I tried to helm a fundraiser in support of the victims of Hurricane Maria.  That project is slow, but I want to highlight another geek who gives.  My friend Teh Jabberwock raises money every year for the Extra Life campaign.  They answered some questions about live-streaming and Extra Life for our audience here at TGE.  Enjoy, and and consider donating to Jabber’s stream on game day: Saturday, Nov 4, 2017!

It seems like a pretty big jump to go from being a fan and consumer of video games to regularly live-streaming and becoming a content creator. How did you decide to make that jump?

Before I was a teacher, I aspired to play video games for a living. Throughout school and my teaching career, I played a lot of video games.  This past January I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, which led me to where I am now. I quit my job in June, and in late July I started to watch Games Done Quick on Twitch. This led me to watch other Twitch streamers, which got the gears turning. I started streaming as something to keep me occupied during the day, and it evolved into essentially a full-time job with part-time hours. I couldn’t have started this without my husband’s support, and now I’m considering going back to school for game design! (Editor’s note: that’s awesome, Jabber!)  In the meantime, I have my growing community on Twitch and an endless pile of new games to play!

What are your favorite games to stream? Are there games you haven’t streamed yet that you would like to?

I started out streaming Overwatch, but quickly realized I had a hard time engaging my Twitch chat while playing. I switched to The Sims 4, a series I’ve played for the better part of 15 years, and immediately began to gain more viewers, in addition to enjoying streaming a whole lot more. Since then, I streamed a lot of Sims community challenges, with smatterings of Nintendo games thrown in here and there. I intend to play newly released games that excite me (most recently Super Mario Odyssey).  I’d also love to throw some indie games into the mix to show folks some content they might not know about! I gravitate toward games that enable interaction with my community in chat [but are still] fun and relaxing to watch if you don’t participate in chat; several of my viewers like to put me on while they draw or cook! 😊

How did you find out about Extra Life, and how did you decide to become involved?

I found out about Extra Life through online friends who participated back in 2014. It seemed like a really neat way to combine my occupation as a Special Education teacher and my passion for gaming, all while giving to an amazing charity. I attempted my first 24 hour stream that year; it was only an attempt because my old, sad computer had a hard time simultaneously running a game and streaming.  I only streamed for a few hours, but gamed the entire 24 hour period. I raised $225 that year, $365 in 2016, and this year my goal is $1,000!

Does Extra Life support one specific charity, or do the streamers choose their own charities to support?

Extra Life’s donations go to the Children’s Miracle Network, and more specifically, the Children’s Miracle Network hospital of the participant’s choosing. In every year I participated (including this year), I sent my donations to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life raised over $30 million dollars for Children’s Miracle Network.  It’s pretty crazy what a bunch of gamers can do when we put our minds (and hearts) to it!

Is there a game schedule for your Extra Life 24-hr streams? Or do you kind of say “YOLO” and fly from the seat of your pants?

Usually I have a general idea of what I might like to play, but honestly it winds up going to whatever keeps me awake by the end. I will likely have a multiplayer setup for some of the time, and have friends over to play Mario Kart and commentate games […] when my voice needs a rest. I’m super into Super Mario Odyssey right now, so viewers will likely see hours of that as I try to collect EVERY LAST MOON AND COIN; I’m a ridiculous completionist.  Other than that, it’ll be games that I enjoy playing, and hopefully folks will have a fun time watching!

How do people donate to your stream?

Viewers can find my Extra Life page at https://www.extra-life.org/participant/tehjabberwock10. My stream can be found through that page, but for good measure I am at www.twitch.tv/tehjabberwock10.  I’ll have a special layout during the stream that gives shout-outs to donors on the stream, which also gives me the ability to personally thank folks in the moment. All donations are tax deductible, and go directly to the Seattle Children’s Hospital. It’s pretty awesome.

In addition to watching you, are there any other streamers out there that we should watch on the Extra Life weekend?

I’ll be super honest, I don’t know anyone else who’s doing it by name. It’s BlizzCon weekend, as well, so lots of folks in the industry will be out of town or watching that. I really hope to see lots of other streamers participate. Searching for “Extra Life” in Twitch should show anyone who’s live or who recorded a video for the event.  From there, take your pick!

Thanks a lot for chatting with us, Jabber!  Remember, Extra Life Game Day for 2017 is this Saturday, November 4th!  Mark your calendars and if you have some money to spare, this is a great charity to support.

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