Saturday, November 04, 2017

The 2017 Extra Life 24-Hour Gaming Marathon, In Support of The Children's Miracle Network Hospitals [Post Updated All Weekend]



Wow, it's that time again - time to try to play some games for a cause - in my case, I play as much as I can through the weekend for the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation (as I was born and raised in the province of Alberta, Canada).

This year actually 'sprung up' on me, as I haven't been feeling well these past few weeks... I have had a bit of a fever [38C/100F+]  the entire time and have been extra sore and slow (I say 'extra' as I myself have a condition, called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - which is basically an infection of the brain and spine that causes Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue symptoms (pain and tiredness, respectively) - a condition I have had for 12 years now [wow it's been that long]). So, playing for this charity every year is special to me and something I have tried to do every since I heard of Extra Life back in 2015.

Image Link to The Extra Life main website, where you can see all of the other wonderful people participating in this event, many of them streaming their marathon Live on Twitch and other streaming sites! (Link opens in a new window)

Due to my own illness then, I cannot play 24 hours straight through, but I count my gaming hours Playing For The Kids™ over the entire weekend of the event (in this years' case, Saturday November 4th and Sunday November 5th), hopefully tallying 24 hours in total.. (in the case that I am not 'up to it' for that long, I allow myself to count my wife's gaming time, as she generously tries to play beside me and add hours, for a "Total Household Hours" amount). [I always hope that in the spirit of the event and the intention, that my dear readers and those at Extra Life find this acceptable]

As has occurred in past years, I do not have the ability/energy to set up and maintain a constant Stream of some sort yet (through Twitch, YouTube and other streaming services); but what I do is I share some details and Screenshots (and Videos if I can) of what I am able to play, here at The Blog, in an ongoing and updated post - one that I will be adding to as the weekend progresses (including Sunday Night), right here!

So, follow along with me as I Play For The Kids™ all weekend, updating this very post as I go - and if you wish to take part, you can Pledge/Donate directly to the Extra Life charity via the Logo/Image just below or through this link for 2017: https://www.extra-life.org/participant/247989 - and whether you pledge anything or not, feel free to just return to this posting for gameplay time Updates, Screenshots, some Video Clips from the weekend - and more!



See You In The Game!



Update, Saturday 12:30PM MST: Beginning The Marathon, with the initial post above and gathering snacks and drinks to start Playing For The Kids™!


Update, Saturday 7:30 PM MST: As usual with this event, I always try to play some good'ol Minecraft Hardcore Mode (you only get one life!), to see how far I can get during the marathon.


Usually, I don't get too far and starting out this year was no exception. I spawned in a new Hardcore world - in a wintery biome which I found out later was "Cold Taiga" - which meant, although there were plenty of Trees for Wood to use, there were no seeds to find and plant right away for food, there were no large hills in sight (for easy access to Stone and Coal to cook any foods I might come across) except in the far distance - and as night fell, I died right away to a band of two skeletons and a zombie that came out from behind one of the many, many trees.... Wow what a harsh start!


I began another Hardcore world, hoping to spawn in a relatively easier biome - and I did... I quickly collected Seeds from the Grass around me and began a Garden to grow Wheat RIGHT AWAY, heh. I had to cull some of the many Pigs I found around me in order to eat, planning on replenishing their numbers later on. I then carved out a little Mud Hut in the hillside nearby and settled in for the night...


Updates on that World as I play more - but for now I have to stop and take another break. More to come!


Total Gameplay Time: ~2.0 hrs



Update, Sunday 10:30 AM MST: I played last night right up until I fell asleep, starting a "Just One Life™" character in Fallout 4 (where I stop playing and delete that character upon dying just once), and was popping into various games for short periods of time, like Marvel Heroes (which has Daily Login Rewards, with small 'gifts' every few days you enter the game - and a Free Hero available at the no doubt-difficult-to-get-to, Day 300) [Even if I do not have the energy to play for a while, I try to pop in to register a login, heh - to see how far I can go].


I also popped into The Elder Scrolls: Legends, a Virtual Collectible Card Game based on The Elder Scrolls series [a good game for slow-paced-yet-still-kinda-flashy-and-enjoyable gameplay that you can play against the CPU/AI only, if you desire to]. I also ran a few Benchmarks and did a few quick driving tests in Grand Theft Auto V, trying out some settings I saw in YouTube videos online (to see if I get the same framerate with the same hardware) - but I felt a bit weird at the concept of playing GTA games for this Event [shouldn't I be playing games kids would play, or at least Family-Friendly games? lol], so I didn't stay in Los Santos very long.

Today, I plan on playing as much as I can, continuing my Minecraft: Hardcore Mode world, and my Fallout 4 "Just One Life™" character, along with some Elder Scrolls Online gameplay, hoping to get up to 24 hours in Total. I'll also post more Screenshots next Update. Here I go!


Total Gameplay Time: ~ 5.0 hrs




Update, Monday 9:30 AM MST: Well I played as much as I could... 

In Minecraft, I continued my Hardcore Mode world (actually Marathon 2017 World 2.0, as I died without even leaving the first Biome in the first one (above)), making a nice Garden along the shore of a River nearby...


When night fell upon the world, since I was out on a 'walkabout', looking around the Biome, I quickly dug into the nearest hill, making myself a small mudhut house to Craft and Cook in... I should have maybe stayed in it all night, but I thought I would get started on collecting more Food, by killing a few Spiders and using their silk to make String, crafting a Fishing Pole.. And what happened? Two Skeletons came out from behind a tree and as I ran back toward my little 'second mud hut', they cornered me and filled me full of arrows, as I weakly flailed my Rock Sword back and forth... I hope my 'Deeds Will Be Remembered' [hehe Diablo2]...



To make myself feel better, I popped in an out of a few games for the next few hours... I tried out Need for Speed: Most Wanted, which seemed like an open-world racing game, with good graphics.


Playing that game reminded me of a 'test' I wanted to do (I love running Benchmarks and Tests, heh) with Grand Theft Auto Five (GTAV), where I saw a video of someone running it on High Settings, to test out the differences between how it performed on two different CPUs (Processors, referring to the 'main engines' of a computer). So I started up GTAV and ran the Benchmark (to see if I got similar results) and drove around the city a bit.


While the game looked good, I felt a little weird playing such a 'mature' game during a Marathon for children's charities [lol shouldn't I be playing 'family friendly games'? or does it matter?], so I just took a few Screenshots (of course), and then left it for now, for something else.



The Beta for Paladins, a MOBA-slash-FPS game by the makers of Tribes:Ascend and Smite, was going on, so I popped into that game, going through the Training and playing for a while afterward.




Total Gameplay Time: ~ 10.0 hrs


Alas, just like before, I couldn't quite make the 24 Hours on my own... My own illness [where I am sore a lot and get tired easily] keeps me from playing for very long at one time. However, as I stated earlier, what I like to do, is include the game playing time that My Better Half does alongside me, as part of a "Household Total"... If I include her generous contribution, the new total becomes:


Total Household Time: ~23.0 hrs


Haha - even with her inclusion, I did not 'quite' make the 24 Hours in total... But, as stated above, I hope that in the spirit of the Marathon and its' intention - and mine - I hope that what did accrue would be acceptable... In fact; I do not think that 'total game time' is the main goal of this Marathon... This time is perhaps to literally 'take time', to think about those that are much more unfortunate than us, and in the case of this Charity, much younger than most of us... During this Day or Weekend, whichever it is, I think, we remember those out there, those that are in need. In this spirit/state-of-mind; I thank you Dear Reader, for following along in this small adventure. Whether you donated at all or not, I hope that you played a little bit of some game, took a little bit of time, to think about those that are in much more pain and need than most of us are. And I thank you for following me on this small journey. Take care, my unmet friend - and perhaps See You In The Game.