Hey everyone, so on Saturday November 4 I will be starting a 24-hour boardgame marathon as part of the children’s hospital charity drive Extra Life. Brevity of word has never been a strength of mine, so I’ll do my best to limit myself to answering a few quick questions about how and why you should chip in! Don’t need the whole sales pitch? Jump right to the donations page here.

What is Extra Life?

Extra Life is a yearly drive where participants pledge to play games (in any of their forms) for 24-hours straight. Backers then pledge to donate to the drive, which is given to a hospital of the players’ choosing. For my 24-hours, I’ll be having a boardgame marathon. Last year, we raised $955, this year I’m shooting to break $1,000.

Who is the money going to?

Any donations to my drive will be going to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, or CHOP.

Why CHOP?

As you may or may not know, my sister and her husband Dan’s son Danny Jr. was born with a rare and potentially fatal disorder known as Polycystic Kidney Disease, which caused him to be born with cysts on his kidneys which ultimately led to their total failure and the need for years of dialysis followed by a transplant. Although he faced long odds more than once in battling the disease, with the amazing work of the staff of CHOP, and the loving donation of Dan’s Aunt Kathy, Danny is a happy and healthy young boy who recently started elementary school. Myself and everyone in our family are immensely indebted to everyone at CHOP for the incredible work they do in helping Danny and so many others to live the happy, normal childhoods they deserve. I will never pass up the chance to help them out.

Do you by any chance have a conveniently representative picture of the positive effect CHOP’s care can have on a child?

I do!

Wow, Bobby, this is such an amazing and worthwhile cause, how can I help out?

Well, the first, and most obvious, helpful and obviously helpful way to help out is to donate! Everyone was so amazing last year, and while this year’s target is higher, I hope we can all surpass it together.

Secondly, it’s hard to play 24-hours of board games alone. While I will likely turn to some solo, or two-player games to carry me through the less convenient hours of the night, anyone who has played with me before or who has always said they would love to come to a game night if it just fit their schedule, now is your chance — a full 24-hour window! If you think you’d want to play, let me know and let me know what times work for you so I can do my best to space everyone out so there is always a group around to play.

This year, as a change of pace, in addition to very gratefully accepting guests at any hours they wish to join me, I’m going to be seeking to schedule a few games at specified times with specific groups. These are all games I have wanted to get to the table that can require slightly larger groups, so I want to book them to ensure they get a proper shake. If you’re interested in being a part of one of these games, shoot me a message on facebook  with the game or games you’re down for and when you’d be available to play. Once I know who is interested and when works on their schedules, I’ll do my best to accommodate with scheduling so we can all have a blast. If none of them sound like they’re for you, no worries, that’s what the rest of the 24-hours is for!

Game of Thrones – Imagine a game of Risk thrown in a blender alongside the backstabbing and intrigue of the Game of Thrones world and what you come out with is an incredibly fun (and incredibly evil) game. Up front, know that playing will be a commitment of a few hours, and while nothing you will have to do at any moment in the game is overly complicated there are A LOT of small systems in the game so the rules can be a little overwhelming at first glance when being taught. We need a group of six for a balanced game.

Space Cadets – I’ve tried to bring this to the table previously, and it went poorly due to it being my first time ever teaching a modern game to friends. Thankfully, it’s a game worth coming back to even after colossal failure. With the expansion, seven of us will work as a team, attempting to pilot our space ship through a simple mission. We will almost certainly fail a whole lot. This is a real-time game, meaning you will have short bursts of frantically trying to accomplish your seemingly-simple job, then everyone laughs at how badly you (and they) performed.

Captain Sonar – Another real-time game, two teams of four of us will face off in a modern-day battleship. Sarah and I have given it some test runs in a one-on-one, turn-based version, but the true fun comes in the chaos of everyone trying to move quickly while not letting the other team catch what they’re up to. A full crew is four vs. four, but I’ve seen some indications three vs. three is a bit better as it combines one of the less-thrilling roles on the team with another one, so I’ll see where we land on numbers based on interest.

Gee, this sure sounds like a good time, and a great cause!

I agree. Now please give these lovely people your money.

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