Doc Jeromy Adams Speaks on Extra Life and Its Growth
Kalvin Martinez / Oct 28th, 2015 No Comments
Back in 2013, Gaming Illustrated spoke to Doc Jeromy Adams about Extra Life. Learning about the organization, the good it did, and the story of Victoria Enmon moved us to participate in Extra Life‘s annual livestream marathon.
While Extra Life began as a way to honor the memory of Enmon and her battle against acute lymphoblastic leukemia, it has evolved into much more. It has given gamers a new way to help their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and give back to their communities.
If you haven’t participated in Extra Life, now is the perfect time to jump on board. The big game day is Nov. 7, leaving plenty of time to prepare and raise money for your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Even if you can’t stream live games on the annual game day, you can make a difference. You can donate to the cause and help us raise money by visiting our Extra Life page. At E3 2015, we spoke to Doc Jeromy Adams about Extra Life and how it has changed over the years.
Kalvin Martinez (Gaming Illustrated): Jeromy, we spoke back in 2013 at E3 about Extra Life. What have been some of the most exciting moments from the past two years?
Jeromy Adams: Extra Life United, last year, was one of the pinnacle moments of the last two years for me. We had 65 Extra Lifers from all over the continent, together in one place in Orlando. They got to meet the kids their hard work helps, they competed for their local hospitals in an Olympics-style tournament, and they got to meet each other and share their stories. It was, without a doubt, a magical week together and one of my favorite moments.
Kalvin Martinez (Gaming Illustrated): Tori’s story is extremely moving; have you found participants sharing similar experiences as their reason for doing Extra Life?
Jeromy Adams: We have. We’re finding that so many people do have their own story and reason for participating in Extra Life. By and large, it seems that almost everyone has had a personal experience with a children’s hospital, or knows someone who has. While Tori’s story is the inspiration behind Extra Life, our total story would be hundreds of thousands of pages if written down. We seem to have created a movement fueled by these stories. Every one of them is special, and I love hearing them and reading them.
Kalvin Martinez (Gaming Illustrated): Are there any stories you have heard from participants and their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital that particularly touched you?
Jeromy Adams: At our Calgary Extra Life Guild launch, I met a gentleman whose child was literally in the hospital where the meeting occurred. He shared his story and his child’s fight with us all and basically reduced the whole room to tears. It reinforces what we’ve been saying for a long time … Our hospitals must be ready when something happens. The people in that community need to know the hospital is ready, and should support that hospital to maintain that level of readiness. Nobody has a cancer diagnosis on their planner for Thursday. You can’t schedule a horrific accident. These things happen when they happen, and having our hospitals funded to be ready to help every child that walks through their doors is crucial. I doubt he wanted to or planned to be in the hospital where our meeting was occurring when he RSVP’d for that Guild meeting weeks-prior. But the hospital had planned for him and had been supported enough to be ready.
Kalvin Martinez (Gaming Illustrated): Since founding Extra Life in 2008, what changes have you noticed over the years?
Jeromy Adams: I never envisioned what a huge role streaming would play in Extra Life. While you don’t need to stream to participate in Extra Life — most people don’t actually — Twitch has told us that our game day is one of their top content-producing days of the year, every year. So many participants are using Twitch to stream for Extra Life that we quickly outgrew their existing team structure, and had to create a game-type to help us find these awesome streams.
The other thing we’ve seen is a change in HOW people fundraise. It used to be you signed up and people sponsored you to do a 24-hour marathon. Each year more and more people are doing Extra Life year round, though. They’re having a garage sale in April, selling brownies at work, auctioning gear in August, and putting those proceeds towards their local hospital in their fundraising total. I never realized this would create a year-round movement, but I am so glad it did.
Kalvin Martinez (Gaming Illustrated): What are your hopes for 2015’s Extra Life? Are there any specific goals you’d like to achieve this year?
Jeromy Adams: We would love to see our movement grow to include 100,000 Extra Lifers this year. We still have a long way to go to that end, but the signs are there that it is possible. I’m too superstitious to set a fundraising goal. We know that our community works as hard as they can to help local kids, and we’re grateful for whatever that total is.
Kalvin Martinez (Gaming Illustrated): Is there any particular advice someone looking to try Extra Life this year should know in advance?
Jeromy Adams: People getting into Extra Life need to know how few rules there really are. We’re as close to an open-source movement as you can get. You can play anything you want, from video games to board games or even sports. You can do it on any day that works for you. Not available for this year’s marathon on Nov. 7? Then what day CAN you do your game play? Do it then! All the while know that the funds you raise will never leave your town. They stay there to help local kids and families.
Gaming Illustrated would like to thank Doc Jeromy Adams for his time and Brooke Johnson for arranging the interview.
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tags: charity , Doc Jeromy Adams , Extra Life , Extra Life 2015 , interview , Jeromy Adams