Behind the Scenes: PlayerWon’s 24-Hour Extra Life Marathon

Yesterday, myself and a handful of my friends and colleagues completed streaming for twenty-four full hours of gaming in support of the Extra Life charity organization and the Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare facility here in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was my first time participating in the Extra Life marathon, which happens every year, but I decided that since this was PlayerWon’s first year in existence, it would be a cool way to show how our community was coming along. The results were interesting to see, and we also learned a lot about how we can improve for next year, if we get the opportunity.

First of all, streaming for twenty-four hours is tiresome. I know that seems obvious to say out loud, but when you are making these grand plans as to how your day is going to go, the excitement of it overshadows how you are actually going to feel when you’ve been awake for eighteen hours. By the time that we were in our final four hours, Zoob and I were waning hard, and it probably made for an uninteresting stream. To be fair, a lot of Extra Life streams have that happen by that time, but finding a better way to keep us awake at that time could be super useful to a more energetic stream.

I was pretty proud of how I had designed the stream, and was happy to see that we only dropped off twice during the entire twenty-four hours. Living in and streaming from an apartment with residential Internet worried me a little bit (as did the noise factor for having to stream and be talking in the middle of the night, especially having already accrued one noise complaint since living here), but it seemed to have worked out in the end. I would have liked to have streamed at a higher bitrate, making the stream look a little better, but the amount of bandwidth we would have used probably would have gotten us cut off more than we already had been. And speaking of that, the entire stream, which we archived, came to around twenty-five gigabytes of video, so there will be a handful of editing ahead before we are able to have it all uploaded.

Speaking of editing, we had an unusual situation turn up, which I’m still not sure how I am going to handle on the archive. Early in the morning on Sunday, we decided to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a game which, for the record, I will not ever be playing again, but that is unrelated. During this, we had a handful of new viewers join us, and I found out that they were old high school classmates to both Zoob and I, and we quickly found out that they were extremely drunk. During the course of that time in the chat, they were talking a lot, which was fine, until they started demanding that we acknowledge them more and more. That is when they began to troll us, for lack of a better term. After one of them made a joke about suicide, which I do not take lightly, I put a temporary ban on them, which only made them more upset to the point where they created specific accounts that used our real names so that they could post our personal information or just generally flame me. Of course, I had banned them, but since I like the chat being in the archives, it will be there now, unless I find a good way to edit it out (which I will). I hadn’t ever considered that kind of a situation to come up, so it was an interesting experience.

One of the things that I was most surprised with is how many people actually donated, or rather the shocking lack thereof, even with the amounts we earned. In total, there were only eleven people who donated, with two of them counting for over two-thirds of what we earned in total (and two of them being myself and Zoob). Obviously, you can only do so much to get people to come and watch your stream, and only certain people are going to be able to donate. I definitely blame myself for not being able to get the word out earlier, and for not spreading it around enough to be able to get more people interested and involved. It is something that we will have to look in to for next year’s stream, if we get that opportunity.

Amongst other things that doing a stream like this will help us learn, including the best way to have a streaming setup, where to do it at, etc., we managed to raise $725 within the twenty-four hours, and I should be proud of that. It is definitely something that I would do again, and hope to be able to when next year comes around. It is going to take a lot to keep PlayerWon on the map until then, and that is my biggest fear, as we need to start making money to be able to keep PlayerWon an active force in the video game streaming community. If we succeed though, we’ll hopefully announce our next Extra Life stream earlier, reach out to more companies to see if we can get some items to raffle off more, and find better ways to keep the content new, fresh, and interesting for the entire stream.

For those people who donated, I can’t thank you enough for supporting PlayerWon and Extra Life. For those who even just came to support us by watching and chatting with us, thank you as well. One of my goals with PlayerWon is to not only make it a unique source of digital media content, but also to find a way to make money for charities with it. That was always my goal to begin with, and I hope to continue it going forward. After having PlayerWon exist for only just seven months, we were able to raise $725 in the matter of twenty-four hours for charity. I can only imagine what we might be able to do next year. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful rest of your day!