As I enter into my thirty-third year on this earth, I certainly need and desire very little for my birthday as I get older. Time with my family and friends, some favorite foods, a couple of drinks, or maybe some time to just relax is all I really desire.
At some point, and I’m not sure when, Facebook hit on something I found rather brilliant. Attach a charity to your birthday and encourage people to donate as your present. I love it. It’s brilliant.
Unfortunately, something I do for charity every year doesn’t exactly plug in to that nice little feature: Extra Life.
In the last two years, I’ve taken part in Extra Life, a charity effort that takes my love of video games and turns it into a benefit for the Children’s Miracle Network. My drive will specifically benefit the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Oklahoma City in honor of Aven, son of family friends, who lost his life to Leukemia at just two years old.
If you are curious as to what Extra Life is and why I do this, take a look at the promo video I did for last year’s drive:
So, instead of Facebook’s birthday charity drive, I’m kicking off my 2018 Extra Life campaign. My goal is to raise $2,000, matching the mark I hit last year. If you’d like to get me a birthday present this year, let’s get the donations rolling. Your donations are 100% tax deductible and, much like last year, your donations will effect how I play during my drive…but we will get to that in a little bit.
Last year, I shared my love of my all-time favorite series, Final Fantasy. This year, I’m sharing a more recent favorite: Mass Effect. Mass Effect combines two things that I’m a gigantic nerd about: role-playing games with incredible stories and science-fiction.
What makes Mass Effect unique how the choices you make will span and radically alter an entire trilogy worth of games. I plan to take on that entire trilogy with my 24-hour charity stream at the end of the year featuring Mass Effect 3.
Choose My Path
While donations will play a large role in how I play, throughout the year, I will have many polls open that will help you shape the game. In fact, the first major decisions are available now as your votes will help shape and create the Commander Shepard that I will use throughout the trilogy.
The Mass Effect series plays heavily not just choice, but the morality of those choices. Commander Shepard can either be a Paragon, the compassionate and just hero, or a Renegade, the ruthless anti-hero who will get the job done at any cost. Your donations will determine the morality I play as in a constant, year-long tug-of-war.
All donations ending in even numbers will go to the Paragon pool. All donations ending in odd numbers will go to the Renegade pool. The highest value will be how I play–no matter what. If the pools happen to be tied, the last donation’s alignment will serve as tie-breaker.
Make Me Pay
Much like last year, your donations can also mess with me during my playthrough (which was both a huge hit and highly entertaining). They return this year, but I’m sweetening the pot (much like Ty from The Solid Verbal encouraged last year): every death throughout the series equals a $5 donation out my own pocket.
I’m still working through the specifics because each game is a little different, but here are the tentative donation tiers to help guide your charity into my pain (which will lead to further charity):
- $10-$19 – Ban Tech/Power of Ally
- $20-$39 – Ban Tech/Power of Shepard (me)
- $40-$49 – Ban Weapon of Ally
- $50-$74 – Ban Weapon of Shepard (me)
- $75-$99 – Ban First Aid (healing)
- $100+ – Ban Unity (squad revive)
- Game Over (Shepard Death) removes longest standing ban
I’m excited for this year’s effort. Right now, I’m working on replaying the trilogy to help plan out a schedule for streaming and to plan future polls. I’m hoping by late spring/early summer, I will be able to start this journey in earnest.
Follow the Journey
By far the best way to keep up with this crazy effort will be my Twitch channel. Live streams, as well as replays, will air here. Following the channel will allow you to opt in to email alerts for when a live stream or replay begins.
This year, I will also export clips to my YouTube channel. So if Twitch isn’t quite your cup of tea, you can check out the archive footage here as well.
Donate! By donating, I can keep in touch via email. As this is going to be one heck of a long journey, so many an update will be required.
You can also keep an eye out here (RSS feed) as well. I’ll be adding in a lot of stuff and making sure ndtex.com/extralife will serve as a useful hub going forward.