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Gaming marathon to support Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

SOUTH POINT — What started as a modest goal of $1,000 has more than doubled in size for a few local “nerds” raising money for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. And they aren’t stopping there.

Brice Barnett and Adam Kipp, of South Point, known on YouTube as the Standard Nerds, embarked on a mission this past spring to raise that $1,000 through a charity called Extra Life, a 24-hour gaming marathon that supports the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals system.

With a goal in mind and a few hundred dollars already pledged, the Standard Nerds set their sights on Huntington’s Tri-State Comic Con. The idea was to set up a vendor table and sell comics, action figures, memorabilia and raffle off a plethora of collectable items.

By the end of the one-day event in June, Barnett, Kipp and the rest of their Nerd crew had surpassed their goal.

“Pretty sure whenever we counted up the money we made a Tri-Con, I cried,” Barnett said, adding he had not expected to hit their goal so quickly.

Not long after, the Nerds set up at Power Up, Huntington’s inaugural retro video game convention, and boosted their coffers even more.

“Since then, we’ve just been trying to spread to word through Facebook and local contacts,” Kipp said.

To date, the group has raised more than $2,000 and is hoping to hit $3,000 by the end of the Extra Life marathon this Saturday.

Barnett and Kipp, along with others on their Extra Life team, will begin playing video games on a variety of platforms at 8 a.m. Saturday and continue for 24 hours from their home in South Point. The gaming will be available for live streaming on www.Twitch.TV/thestandardnerds.

There will also be links to the Extra Life website where people can donate to their team to help them reach the $3,000 goal.

Similar to a marathon or 5K for charity, donors can pledge money based on the number of hours of game play.

“It feels nice to give back,” Kipp said. “I may not be able to run, but I can play video games and if that can help the kids, it’s a good thing.”

But the Nerds said if anyone would rather help raise money than donate, they are welcome to join their team by registering as a team member on www.extra-life.org. Participants can also pick a hospital of their choosing.

“Anyone can join the Standard Nerds’ team,” Barnett said.

And, of course, everyone is encouraged to just play along.

“If people can’t watch our stream, join in and play some games,” Kipp said. “Turn it into a national game day.”

Even though this year’s Extra Life event is still a few days away, the two are already prepping for next year.

“We are hoping to make it an annual thing,” Kipp said. “Make it a little bit bigger each year. Next year we may try to find a venue and make it more like a public event.”

Until then, the Nerds are still accepting donations of comic books, video games, toys and other memorabilia to raffle and sell at local conventions.

To contact the Nerds, visit their Facebook page or email them at thestandardnerds@gmail.com.

Last year, more than 43,000 Extra Life participants brought in about $4 million, all of which went to hospitals in The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals system.