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Children benefit from games

To a lot of people, video games are a waste of time. They don’t serve any purpose except to deteriorate the mind of the player.

To an overwhelming majority, however, video, computer and mobile platform games make up a huge part of the way people interact with each other, with most games having some sort of social component.

And despite concerns that video games are harmful, countless research studies have concluded that playing video games actually provides cognitive benefits such as improved spatial attention and multitasking skills, overcoming dyslexia, increased mental flexibility and increased cooperative behavior in children, just to name a few.

So as it turns out, playing video games is pretty good for your health.

And if you’re some of my good friends, playing video games is also pretty good for other people’s health as well.

Several of my close friends participated this weekend in a 24-hour gaming marathon called Extra Life.

The goal of Extra Life is to unite thousands of players around the world to support the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The concept started as a way to honor a girl named Victoria Enmon, whose battle against acute lymphoblastic leukemia inspired a group of gamers in the Sarcastic Gamer Community.

She died in January of 2008 and later that year, the gamers put together a 24-hour gaming marathon to raise money for the hospital in where Victoria was treated.

In 2008 and 2009 Extra Life raised a combined $302,000.

To date, Extra Life has raised more than $14 million. That’s all because gamers from around the word joined in and decided to use their favorite platforms to help children fight their illnesses.

My buddies Adam Kipp and Brice Barnett started raising money for Extra Life last year and had their gaming marathon at their home in South Point. They worked incredibly hard for months in advance to raise money to donate to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. They raised more than $2,500 and streamed their gaming online on a site called Twitch, which mirrored the game play and audio commentary from their TV to the site.

Myself, as well as a bunch of other people joined in the fun and played all kinds of games, from retro arcade-style games to board and trivia games.

This year, Adam, Brice and their crew (The Standard Nerds) had their local Extra Life event on Saturday at a retro video game store called Rare Drops, located on Fourth Avenue in Huntington.

They started at 8 a.m. on Saturday, so if you’re an early Sunday riser, there is a good chance they are still playing games as you read this.

Due to the new location, the event was more open to the public than the previous year, so they had all kinds of tournaments for anyone to enter, sponsored by local businesses.

Since the deadline for this column was before the event ended, I can’t give you a final amount of what they raised this year. As of Friday afternoon, their total was $2,288, with a goal of $3,000.

Having said that, it’s not too late to donate. Head over to www/extra-life.org. In the search box in the top right-hand corner of the page, type “The Standard Nerds.”

From there, you can click on the team and find out more about the members, their mission and how you can help.

All these donations will go to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and will support research and training, purchase equipment and pay for uncompensated care, all to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

 

 

Michelle Goodman is the managing editor at The Tribune. To reach her, call 740-532-1441 ext. 12 or by email at michelle.goodman@irontontribune.com.