This past weekend, the player community of the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic came together to raise money for a very worthwhile charity, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals! Through the gamer-driven initiative #ExtraLife, thousands of gamers from all platforms and titles played, streamed, and celebrated to help raise money for sick and hospitalized kids. The SWTOR community has been doing this annual event for at least four years that I know of, and probably since launch (six years ago).
Our guild has been participating since 2013, with a team of our own since 2014. Wookiee Alliance consists of our guild and the larger SWTOR community with members from many countries in both hemispheres, all working together to each raise a few dollars that adds up to big money for kids. The reason we have supported Extra Life is that it is a solid, reputable charity that actually puts the money where it should go. You can read more here from an independent non-profit rating organization.
A lot of work went into Game Day 2017, and required coordination and generosity from team members, led by captain James DeLizzio, as well as high-profile SWTOR community content creators, Bioware developers, and people out there in the world who wanted to play or donate to the cause. There were twelve hours of organized in-game events, raffles, and generous prizes awarded by Bioware and by team members from their own collections, pocketbooks, and physical prizes such as Star Wars toys, creative efforts like original paintings and handmade craft items, and more. SWTOR Community Manager Eric Musco got in on the fun to play an in-game version of Hollywood Squares and much hilarity ensued! Other games included the Fort Tusken Grand Prix Podracing (complete with sand people snipers!), a character cosplay contest, a cantina crawl with a live professional DJ, and many other games and activities.
As of this writing, the team raised $3,700 in 2017 for kids in need, bringing the grand total from Wookiee Alliance to $13,000!
I wanted to shout-out and thank a gamer named Mr. Monkey who wrote an email in 2013 to the now discontinued TORWars Podcast asking people to join his team for a thing called Extra Life. I thought that it sounded really cool and I joined him with a few other guildies that year, playing for 24 hours straight and raising money for the charity. The following year, I could not reach Mr. Monkey by email and Unholy Alliance guild started our own team. My point is that it only took that one person getting involved to bring a whole community together, going strong still, all these years later. With that said, none of this could have happened if everyone had not jumped in with both feet to support it. So thank you to the wonderful SWTOR Family who proves every day that gamers CAN and DO make a difference!
For more information or to donate, please see the Wookiee Alliance Extra Life page.
Here are a couple of the video promos we made, look for more stuff from your favorite community content creators on their channels, too — Vulkk, Kid Lee, SWTORista, Bad Feeling Podcast, Corellian Run Radio, Passionately Casual Podcast, Sechari, The Usual Podcast, The Council and more!