Extra Life is Hitting Home This Year

I started participating in Extra Life last year. This year though Extra life hits a little closer to home.

Let me explain. I live in a very small Texas town, roughly 12,000 or so. This is the typical small town though. When adversity strikes, we band together. Let me give you an example. Our high-school boys’ basketball coach has a young girl named Tatum. Tatum is ten years old and has one of the sweetest smiles you will ever see. She loves hanging out with her friends and playing basketball. But this past summer Tatum spent almost every day in the public library with a private tutor. Why? Because she was trying to catch up so she could join her friends in the third grade. She was doing this, not because she couldn’t understand the material, but because she missed a huge portion of 2nd grade in the hospital. Osteosarcoma. It’s a big word, especially for a ten-year-old. It’s a cancerous tumor in the bone. For the past two years, this young girl has been explaining to others what osteosarcoma is. And midway through Tatum lost the lower part of her left leg. 9 years old. But, she never seemed to lose her smile. Throughout the town you will see people wearing purple bracelets that say TatumTough. Last year when the high-school girls’ basketball team won the state title they did it for Tatum. All over the Texas Panhandle, rival schools, or towns 150 miles away you will see TatumTough t-shirts. All because this little girl inspired the area.

During, the summer the Doctors believed the cancer and tumor had been contained. There was hope that the bad dream was finally over. She had a party when she finished the time with the tutor. She could go on to the third grade.

But she didn’t get to. Because Osteosarcoma came back. Because cancer sucks. Because sometime we just don’t have answers for life.

On October 30, 2017 Tatum finished her fight. She had given everything she could. She won. She was walking again.

Five days before 2017 Extra Life Tatum passed away.

This is just one story of an incredible young girl who inspired an entire town. There are many more stories like hers. Too many.

Way too many.

But organizations like Extra Life and the Children’s Miracle Network are trying to stop that.

Thank you to all those that stream for Extra Life.

Thank you to all those that give.

Thank you to Giant Bomb for devoting an entire weekend for it.

Alex for Drumming your arms and legs off.

Dan for incredible magic.

Jason and his family. Family is what it is all about.

Kessler and the murder crew.

Dave Lang and the push up squad.

And Drew. We miss you!

Thank you.

This Is Why I Extra Life.

Bryson.

Start the Conversation

Just Witnessed My Niece Have Her First Gaming Moment

I just had a pretty amazing moment. My 6-year-old niece spent the night with my wife and I. Her parents are not gamers whatsoever. In fact, they may look and talk down on it. But, my niece has always seen my PS4 controllers and briefly watched me play a few games. This morning as we were eating breakfast she asked if she could play something. She said she did not know how to play and asked me to show her. I went to my list of games, Destiny 2, Resident Evil, Call of Duty, Overcooked… Well crap, which one of these do you start a 6 year old on, none of them is the correct answer. I knew I wanted something for her to play that was more freeing. That she did not have to feel that she won or lost. I remembered I had FireWatch which turned out to be perfect for her. A couple of things though that I did not foreseen.

First, the duel stick controller is a hard thing for people to get their heads around. She kept trying to move both sticks in the same direction. She also kept trying to push the sticks forward and back like she was mirroring a walking motion. I kept showing her how to use the controller, wondering if the movement would just click. After about 30 minutes, and her trying to switch games it finally clicked. It was not perfect by any means, but she started to get that fluid movement.

Second, she had a hard time letting go of the feeling that she had to have a purpose. I kept telling her just to walk around and look at things. Maybe it is the imagination of a child that tries to build a game around everything. FireWatch quickly turned into a game of not getting stuck or trapped.

The magical moment came when she walked up to the tower door. She had asked me which button to press earlier. This time though, she walked up to the door, “I remember how to do this, watch!” When the door opened, she looked at me with the biggest smile I had seen in a long time. “I opened it! Uncle Bryson did you see that I opened it!” She was proud, and she should have been. She did that.

It reminded me why I started to love video games in the first place. It was escaping into another world. I could be the best QB in Madden, the best PG in NBA, or the secret spy that was trained to kill the bad guys and save the day. I would sit there in front of the screen or when I was away and create my own narrative for any of the games I was playing.

I am not saying my niece will become a gamer. But, as she left she said “thanks Uncle Bryson for showing me how to do that. Next time I come over can we play a different game?”

Yes we can.

What was your first gaming memory?

Have you ever experienced anything like this with someone you know?

Any tips or games to help a young one learn the fundamentals with gaming?

22 Comments

As I grow older I become less interested in playing videogames. Am I Weird?

The past few years my life has changed dramatically.

1. I got married

2. Last year of college

3. Bought a house

4. Got that big boy job everyone told me about

Because of these changes, I have started to notice I play less and less video games. I love to play, but the fun of it was having a group of buddies that I could chat and experience things together. I now notice I prefer watching video games, only GB. It itches that need to play games with buddies. By watching them play games together like Steal My Sunshine it reminds me why I got into games in the first place. Only problem is they sometimes make games seem more fun and only after I purchase them I realize I enjoyed watching them play more than me playing it.

This bothered me for the longest time. Why can I not dive into games like I used to?

I am to busy to sink 50 hours into a game. But, I can put on the videos on another screen while I work on other things. It's not that I don't love gaming, I just have found a different way to consume it. I do look forward to the day when I can share that love of gaming with my kids.

So heres to growing up. It is not nearly as bad as everyone said.

31 Comments

My Big Surprise, FireWatch

I recently had knee surgery and have been chained to the recliner for the past week. I wanted to play some games but did not want to have the stress that games like Overwatch and Rocket League have for me. I decided to go back and play FireWatch again. I am always surprised at how much I really enjoy these narrative games. Does anyone else feel like they misguide themselves as gamers. I always feel like I want to play the heavy shooters or RPG games. But, after a few days I get bored of them. But, overtime I take a dive into a FireWatch I enjoy every moment of it, and yet I am always hesitant to try other games like it out. Maybe, it is just my craziness. But, I wonder if anyone else has this problem. It could be, growing up the only games my brother wanted to play were shooters. Whatever the case may be, I am going to make a stronger effort to branch out and try different types of games.

Peace Duders!

15 Comments

Broke Gamer

Thinking of starting a new series and wanted to see what everyone’s thoughts were, and needed some help. I am a broke college student, but I still love to play great games. While moving, I found my Xbox 360 and a few games and got an idea. I loved my Xbox and I know I missed out on a ton of great games. It seems like a great way to play some amazing games, without the time constraints of the next big release. I was curious what everyone's favorite 360 games were?

16 Comments

Just Now Joining

I must admit I feel slightly dirty right now. I started listening to the giant Bombcast when I was in Jr High which was 2008. I remember telling my best friend you have got to listen to this podcast, it is the funniest and best thing ever. I also remember being slightly terrified of the drinks and snacks that would get sent into the show and losing my damn mind when I saw my history teacher walk in with a GiantBomb hoody. Since 2008 I have listened to possibly every single podcast, watched numerous videos, and followed the crew on social media. But, I never joined the site. I never joined the community. For that, I am sorry. But, I am here now, ready to party, on the moon!

1 Comments