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HCII Preparing for 24-Hour Charity Gaming Marathon


MHCI class of 2019 group cohort during Pro Sem class

CMU Extra Life team to game for good again in 2018

From 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 10, until 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 11, someone from the Carnegie Mellon Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) will be awake and playing a game at the MHCI Lab in Pittsburgh, PA.

For the second year in a row, HCII students, faculty and staff are planning to join the thousands of participants around the world in a 24-hour Extra Life gaming marathon next month. Established in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for sick and injured kids at Children's Miracle Network hospitals.

Each year, more than 10 million kids in North America enter a children’s hospital, and thanks to the Children's Miracle Network, every child will be taken care of regardless of insurance or ability to pay. Team Carnegie Mellon will be gaming on behalf of our local CMN hospital, the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Lee Hillman, executive director of the master's of human-computer interaction (MHCI) program, pitched the idea of carrying on the Extra Life tradition to the MHCI students after seeing other gaming sites participate in previous years. Hillman, who shares the students' enthusiasm for the games and the cause, plans to stay up for the entire 24 hours again this year. "This charitable gaming event has great overlap of many elements core to the HCII mission. Gaming has always been a place where emerging technologies can experiment, and this fundraiser leverages social technologies to deliver positive action in the world."

Participation in the gaming marathon will take on many forms. The online gamers plan to broadcast live via Twitch throughout the marathon with team members signing up for designated shifts to keep the stream going strong for all 24 hours. Other participants will be playing board games, cards, strategy, as well as interactive group games.

Our Extra Life team members are coming together from across the CMU community, including faculty whose research includes gaming, such as Jessica Hammer assistant professor at HCII and the ETC, and assistant professor and tabletop gaming super fan Geoff Kaufman, who will be bringing some of his most treasured and obscure board games.  

As second year gamers for Extra Life, the MHCI students have set an ambitious goal of raising $5,500.

Short of staying up all night and playing Super Smash Bros, Fortnite, or JustDance with us, here are other ways you can show up for the CMU team:

  • Make a donation. Make an online donation to team Carnegie Mellon. Any dollar amount helps, and 100% of your tax-deductible donation will go directly to our local CMN Hospital, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh!
  • Share the cause. Show your support of the team with a like, share or retweet of our Extra Life posts on social media.
  • Tune in online. Join the CMU HCII livestream via Twitch at any point during the marathon weekend to watch the team in action and offer words of encouragement in the chat window.

Stay tuned for more ways you can help as the team is currently organizing fundraisers and activities to support Extra Life. If you would like to get involved, please let us know!

Want to learn more? Read about last year's event: Gaming for good, first-time HCII team raises over $5,000 for the kids