What happened on the Live Show, what we did, what we achieved
This post is going to pretend to be a true Blog Post. One of those I rarely do, even though my Blog section is full of new and regular posts. It will include my personal thoughts and a lot of story telling. Not in the Fallen Empire’s Bioware style, but, I hope, entertaining enough to keep you reading until the end.
On 7th November a special event took place. ExtraLife originates back from 2008. It started small, but after the gigantic and incredible response from the gaming community and mostly Twitch, it turned into an yearly activity. Its main goal is to collect donations for Hospitals, dedicated and focusing on healing and saving children. To learn more about it and its history, visit the official website extra-life.org.
This year the initiative managed to break all records and collect more than 8 million USD in the form of donations worldwide. The hospitals are located mainly in North America (USA and Canada), but this didn’t stop good people from all over the world to contribute with whatever they can.
A few different organizations were formed from different parts of the wonderful SWTOR community. Yes, our game’s engine may be falling apart, but we stay strong and united, ready to face the new challenge Bioware throws at us. Without strolling to the side too much, I have to say that The company helped spread the love and enthusiasm by sharing codes and rewards with us, the streamers – things to give away during the live shows we hosted on Twitch.
I had the honor of being a part of the Unholy Alliance / Wookiee Mistake ExtraLife Team.
From the http://ootinicast.com/ I learned that another team has been created by the Galactic Gamer’s Coalition. There may have been more (many more), but I wasn’t aware of them. Please, excuse me for this. If you like, link your team in the comments, so I can add it to the post.
Unholy Alliance / Wookiee Mistake Team
These are the names of the 2 guilds that organized it all. I was invited about a month ago by Jessie (@UnholyAlliances) to be a part of the team and help with live streaming and spreading the word. Jessie, Moxy and JT were the 3 people (to my knowledge) that organized it all. These 3 people did an outstanding job planing it all, creating the games and entertainment as well as securing an incredible amount of rewards. All different types of InGame items and real life things to be gifted back to donators (ugh… donator… donor? whichever is correct) as well as viewers and visitors of our live stream.
Their guild website had a special page dedicated to ExtraLife: http://unholyalliance.org/extralife. Few days before 7th a time table and a schedule was already available.
The Live Event and the Twitch Streams
It all started a little after 15GMT with a pre-show and warm-up on my Twitch channel where I created my Musco look-alike. One of the games we played was “Leveling as Musco Race”, I lost, D’OH! More on that later. After the unavoidable delay, the official program began ~30 min after 16GMT. 90% of the even is available on YouTube, split into a few parts. Some special moments are also highlighted in standalone videos. Do not miss them, they will bring a smile to your face, I guarantee.
For 24 hours the Team Speak channel was booming with enthusiastic people, fun chat and laughs. The set goal was $1000, but we all knew we wanted MUCH more. The whole team had ~30 members officially listed on the ExtraLife team page.
The full event was streamed on 2 Twitch Channels and on the radio!
The full schedule is still available here. After I finish editing the videos from my part, they will be separated into parts, each one dedicated to a different game or mini event during the big event.
My part in all of this
It was an honor for me to open the event and stream live the first 6 hours of it (7 with the pre-show). After me, the real heroes continued until the full 24 hour mark. Knowing I cannot stay for that long due to my real life work obligations (despite it being on a Saturday), I originally scheduled to be live for about 3 hours. After I saw how amazing it all was, I pushed it a bit further for myself and managed to stay for about 7 hours in total. My main goal was to bring attention to this event. I spammed links and posts everywhere in the week leading up and even more on Friday and Saturday morning. Some hated me for that, having no clue what I am talking about and why it is important, some excused themselves for not being able to attend. The good news was that so many came and showed their support.
I put on my personal page the donation goal of $111.11. Obviously, I wanted a lot more,but the 1s were symbolic. 11 is my favorite number, I had it twice in there, the 5th 1 was for being a number 1. The SWTOR Community that is. The one I relied so heavily to support me and all of us who were there, playing and entertaining, while asking for donations.
I must admit, I felt very strange, uncomfortable even, talking about donations. It’s not like I have never received one and I don’t know how to ask for support. Even more to it – these donations were not for me, they were for sick children. A great cause. I have learned a few valuable lessons on proper behavior and things I forgot to do during the show to provoke an even bigger donation activity. Things like displaying names on the screen, reading more messages and talking more about donations, instead of focusing on the events we played in SWTOR. My personal goal of the aforementioned 111.11 was reached even before the even started. I am beyond thankful to all who found a few extra bucks and shared them with those in need. Knowing how hard it is for myself to spare for charity, I cannot ever blame nobody. Life is tough and we often fight for our own well being, what’s left for being able to take care of others. My personal donation was, as I stated on my Patreon page, the amount of a monthly paycheck I receive from my Patrons. I did that without asking the people who support me monthly there, but thankfully nobody was against it when I wrote the post informing them I spend my (their) Patreon money on ExtraLife. Even better, they donated extra to this and for this I literally have no words to say my THANK YOU in a high enough level to meet their great deed.
The Team’s Achievement
First of all it was the organization. Considering the amount of players and people we had both on TS and in Twtich Chat, it was all controlled very well. I received incredible help from the Team to help maintain my Twitch Chat and keep it active, while constantly spamming important links, related to the event.
The total amount of donations received up to the moment of writing this post was over $4700. Almost 5 times the set goal. When we started the live show, the sum was ~2.2k, if I remember correcntly. By the end of my stay, it was over 4k. The next morning when I woke up (~15-16 hours into the marathon), it was around 4.6k. After the official end of the 24th hour, it is now $4717. Here are the stats:
It doesn’t matter who donated 5, 50 or 500. This is not a competition. I and we are all thankful to every single person who was so generous to contribute to the cause. It doesn’t matter where you live or if a children’s hospital, part of this event, is near you.
It’s better to help a kid in need on the other end of the world, than not help a kid in need at all.
The Thanks and The Heroes
I am most grateful first to Jessie for inviting me and giving me a chance to be a part of this great organization. It was truly a great pleasure and honor to have a chance of hosting the opening and the first few games.
I reached out to SWTORStrategies.com, a website that has been supporting both my YouTube and Twitch content for a long time now. Asked them to embed my Twitch feed on their main page and they did. Every single person who visited the website this past weekend, had a chance to see and hear the SWTOR ExtraLife.
I am thankful to all of the ~2600 people who stopped by my stream. All the viewers and followers who helped me keep the atmosphere up all the time, to all of the guys on TS who were laughing and having fun all the time.
With the peak around the 4th hour of more than 130 concurrent viewers, this was one of the highest numbers my channel has ever seen. It was all because of the team, and not a product of my own efforts. It was not an achievement, because this is not a normal Live Show of mine and it was not my own creation. Just stating the numbers.
Thanks again to the Unholy Alliance / Wookiee Mistake team for surprising me with an incredible personal gift – my own set of potholders. Similar to the ones we gave away as a reward during the show. Also, I am very very jealous to the person who won the SuperSecret final Giveaway on the show before I wished you all a good night. What was it and why I wanted it for myself so badly, you can learn if you watch the Videos linked down below.
Last, but not least, a huge thanks to all who found it possible somehow to donate a few dollars.
If you missed it, check out the full VoD here (before any edits and re-upload to YouTube):