Video games have always been a rapid, growing industry with millions of people playing together. Either working together with your friends to fight the big, bad boss or going on a solo adventure, trying to over come the challenges and to accomplish completion of the game.
You may remember fondly in the early days of gaming, where siblings would fight over the better controller, friends would gather together either at the local arcade or at your best friends house. Staying up all night long and sitting comfortably on the couch with your favorite snack and a steady hand on the controller and participate in hours of fun and adventure with those closest to you.
As technology grew and modern video games became more advanced, gaming has evolved as well. With a steady internet connection and a membership to either a gaming console or a P.C. The gaming community is able to connect with millions of other gamers across the world. For those who are passionate about gaming, services provided by streaming websites like twitch.com provides the ability to stream their game play for all the world to see.
The power of video games is growing rapidly, and with mega gaming industries creating tournaments and popular gamers gaining followers, there is money to be made. The average professional gamer makes around $2,000 to $5,000 dollars a month. Compare that to a top-notch professional streamer such as Pewdiepie who has reported an earning of $4 million dollars a year.
In 2008, an organization named Extra Life opened a charitable organization that helps children who are in need of medicine and medical help. In 2010, Extra Life became a prominent program with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. By 2011, Extra Life raised its first million dollars to help children in need, and by 2016, Extra Life had raised over $30+ Million dollars with the help from over 100,000 members who contributed their time and effort into the power of gaming and helping those in need.
I had the chance to sit down with Miramichi’s own Extra Life member, Kris Jardine. The founding member of Extra Life Miramichi and learn about his story and the passion that drives him.
Kris Jardine, who is also known in the gaming community as SnaggleJ, a member of our community, is more than just a passionate gamer with a cause. He is a husband and a father of two. He is able to use the power of gaming to help kids and the families in medical need of the services that is provided by the I.W.K
I asked Kris what extra life was all about!
Kris: Extra Life 4 Kids is a charity that benefits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. It was founded in 2008, and since that time, gamers have raised over $30 million dollars. The premise of the charity is simple: sign up, pick a hospital and play games for 24-hours to help raise money and bring awareness to such an awesome cause. Some people play video games or board games, some people stream their games on YouTube or Twitch and some people just gather friends and family, but the spirit is the same. Use video games as a tool to have fun and raise money for kids.
Kris Informed me that he chosen to donate the proceeds to the IWK children’s hospital as his hospital of choice.
Kris: ” it’s an Atlantic Canadian staple. You don’t have to ask around very far to find someone who has needed their help and services at some point, and while I have been blessed with a healthy family, others have needed the IWK to get them through tough times. It was an easy choice”
The IWK has helped millions of families through its years of service. With top-notch staff and employees, The hospital is able to provide not only a sense of comfort but a sense of security and compassion during those times of medical need. This writer could fill in page after page on what the IWK does and how it has helped not only my family, but the families all across Atlantic Canada and I would like to personally thank Kris and his team for choosing such an amazing organization. Thank you.
Kris went on to inform me that he was always interested in online gaming and streaming his game play. Being an active gamer for years, Kris informed me that It wasn’t until last year that he became an active member of Extra Life.
Kris: “I had seen other gamer friends of mine participate in Extra Life before and one day, one of them showed me how easy it was to sign up and get to work. I was hooked right away because gaming has always been a passion of mine. What Extra Life allowed me to do was put that passion to work and to show my 7 and 5-year-old children that no matter what you like to do in your life, you can use it for the power of good and to help other people”.
As I stated previously, Extra life has raised over 30+ Million dollars for children and families in medical need. Kris provided some stats from his first year with Extra Life.
Kris: “Last year I personally raised $477, and our team raised $5700. My goal, personally for this year is $1000”
Kris also informed me that 100% of the proceeds from Extra life goes directly to those who are in need.
“Because Extra Life is a Children’s Miracle Network initiative, they have an underwriting in place so 100% of the money donated goes to the hospital the participant supports. There are over 150 CMN hospitals in Canada, the US and Puerto Rico that are part of the program.”
With the 24 hour stream day approaching on November 11th to 12th at 9:00 am, I asked Kris how many hours does he take out of his busy schedule to practice gaming and to prepare for the upcoming event.
Kris: “Even though stream day is only once a year, I usually spend an hour or two a week talking to other Extra Lifers in the community, talking to developers about possible donations and working on the social media side of things. As November gets closer, I will often spend around 5 hours a week working on making sure I have everything in place for stream day.”
On November 11th to 12th, starting at 9:00 am. Kris will be participating in a 24 hour live stream of multiple video games being played by himself and his team. All proceeds raised during that stream will go to the IWK through the Extra Life Miramichi Division.
If you are interested in more on Extra Life Miramichi, the Facebook page can be found here. Feel free to message the page for more information.
Thank you Kris for sitting down with Modern-Typewriter to talk about your passion as a gamer and the noble cause that you and your team supports.
From the millions of families that the IWK has helped as well my own family, Thank you for choosing the IWK as your choice for charity.
We look forward to watching you live on Twitch on November 11th to 12th 2017.
The Modern Typewriter