During the initial hours of the 24-hour Extra Life Marathon, the activities that transpired were exactly what you would most likely expect from an event of its caliber. Participants were very much focused on their consoles and monitors.
However, do not let that fact lead you to the sentiment that there was no communication among students. That is far from the truth. Instead, while many eyes were locked upon screens, those screens were often shared with other eyes. Most students preferred playing multiplayer, whether it was through split-screen or Wi-Fi connection.
This social focus among the attendees is exactly what the Gamer’s Club and this gaming marathon were assembled for according to Scott Field, a HHS Junior and co-founder of Gamer’s Club. Field said the lack of physical interaction when it comes to how gamers generally communicate can be a bit disappointing.
“Not really that there wasn’t really a way for people to connect, because you can still do it over Xbox Live, but a lot of games have moved away from split-screen, which really sucks,” Field said.
Field proved at the event that he has a great passion for games, not only being one of the few who dedicated nearly all 24 hours to solely gaming, but has given attention to a wide variety, from Minecraft, to retro games, and even to some board games.
Not everyone’s sights was solely on video games though. While the event definitely started with most people focused on gaming, but attendees found different ways to be social as night time came around. For example, once it was figured out that some people had not seen The Breakfast Club, someone who had brought it to the event decided it was the perfect time to show them.
It was moments like such that showcased how the marathon brings people together. Whether it be through playing games together, whether digital or physical, sharing film favorites with others, or simply enjoying each others’ company while goofing around.
This sentiment was definitely shared by HHS junior Hannah Wyant, who said that she enjoyed her time majorly because of the time she spent hanging around with her friends, old and new.
“There’s a lot of friends around to share your feelings with,” she said.
She said this was her first time attending the marathon, as a friend of hers told her about it and invited her. She said she ended up having a good time.
In the end, as the sun rose upon a whole new day, the participants that decided to stay the entire 24 hours showed much more closeness to each other.
Many great things came out of the marathon. Donations to charity were made through admission money and Mitchell Rogers, a junior who streamed in order to raise money for Riley’s Children Hospital in Indianapolis. Through his streaming, he was able to surpass his goal and made a total of $1,015 with individual donations that ranged from $15 to $150.
However, one of the greatest things that came from this event was the bringing together of gaming enthusiasts.
People like Scott Field have said they lament the lack of real life interaction of gamers. The Gamer’s Club, the members of which made up approximately two-thirds of the attendance, according to Field, is already an instrumental part of an effort to help gamers connect in a more face-to-face way. The 24-hour Extra Life Marathon is yet another component element, and with the possibility for another one to be arranged later this school year, has the chance to be an even bigger piece of the pie.