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A Big Thank You to Extra Life's 2014 Community

As 2015 begins, I think it is important to recognize that what we have here with Extra Life is special. We are a community founded on hope, love, and goodwill towards mankind. That might seem a bit lofty, but it is true. You are all here because on some level you want to help make a difference in the lives of children you've never met, some who haven't even been born. To me, that is just wonderfully, ridiculously amazing. So, thank you. Really and truly. From the bottom of my heart. 


I'd like to take a bit to specially thank those in the community who I had a chance to work with over the past year to publish essays, opinions, interviews, analyses, lists, even recipes. We began accepting pitches and submissions from the community this year, and we were initially unsure how it would turn out. Would anyone be willing to take time out of their lives to share their thoughts and lives with all of us? It turns out the answer was a resounding yes and here we are on the eve of 2014 with over 35,000 words from 29 submissions. That's a staggering number! To those that wrote for us, thank you. I know that sometimes my edits might have seemed harsh or that I disappointed you when I returned the third or fifth draft for just one more edit, but I hope you found it helpful. I hope that you felt the final product justified the hours spent writing, reading, and rewriting. I hope that you all know how honored I was to work with you.


A chronological list of our 2014 community submissions:


Why Virtual Reality Might Fail - Daniel Jones

A Love Letter to PAX - Daniel Jones 
5 Memorable Original Songs In Video Games - Sophia Wallat
The Do's And Don'ts Of Social Media - Steven Givens 
Five Reasons Why Starbound’s Soundtrack Should Be Your Soundtrack - Oliver Clark 
The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear A Rift - Dave Fisher 
Leaving The Screen For The Table - Seth Brodbeck
Twinkies And Temples: Journey Is What You Make of It - Daniel Jones
Basement Hero - Jason Walker
Why Do I Extra Life? - Mike "Kash" Liberto
Why Nintendo (Still) Matters - Scott Vierck
Timeline: Inventions - Seth Brodbeck
Chromosomes And Controllers - JoAnna Wolfe
How General Hein Destroyed Square Pictures - Emily Palmieri
Waiting For That Next-Gen Feeling - Daniel Jones 
Destiny Alpha Impressions - Daniel Jones
Breaking the Stigma: How Gamers Are Proving the World Wrong - Mike "Kash" Liberto
Eminent Domain - Seth Brodbeck
Finding Indies: A Love Story - Lou Adducci
Five Amazingly Silly Video Game Glitches - Sophia Wallat
Role-Playing Life - Shaun "Goldenfir" Jennings
You Can Be A Hero Without Throwing A Punch - JR Honeycutt
Robot Turtles - Seth Brodbeck
Extra Life at QuakeCon - JR Honeycutt
Role-Playing Life: The Making Of... - Shaun "Goldenfir" Jennings
Gaming Marathons: The Healthy Way - Mike "Kash" Liberto
Appreciating the Video Game Classics - Dylan Dzedzy
Proud of My Rose-Tinted Glasses - Eliot Hurn
From Our Yeti Mansion to Yours - Mark Bryson


Thank you to each and every one of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Looking back at 2014, the wider gaming community has been through an ugly, hurtful, and at times disturbing upheaval. Negativity has become the norm with comment sections becoming vicious and angry. These things are the antithesis of what Extra Life is about. I know that we're just one community among many, but I'd just like to ask, as we stand at the dawn of a new year, that we strive to be and do better. Earlier this year, I asked us all to just be excellent to each other. A good friend of mine later pointed out that sometimes asking people to follow the golden rule isn't specific enough. So, here are five things I'd love to see us all try to do our best to do in 2015:


  • Be respectful when commenting. Disagreements are fine and discussions are great, but only when they're kept civil. However, that desire for discourse does not extend to destructive speculation about fellow commentors or the Extra Life staff. 

  • Be constructive. If you can't say something that adds to the discussion or is just to tear someone down, consider not saying it.

  • Don't spam. I know a lot of people want to make their Extra Life fundraising as visible as possible and that is a great thing! However, one of the not so great ways of going about that is posting links to your fundraising page on every Extra Life Facebook post. 

  • Don't complain just to complain. This goes with being constructive. Have something to say and share why you didn't like something. 

  • Don't troll. There is enough of this on the internet already. Let's try to keep Extra Life free from trollishness.


Honestly, I think most of us do a great job with these already, but I think we can be just a tiny bit better toward our fellows. Let's go out, be excellent, talk about video games, and heal kids. 


Play Games. Heal Kids.


Thank you all and happy new year!   

Feature originally appeared on 12/31/14

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