Extra Life Blog


What 24 hours of gaming and one year later mean to an Extra Lifer

Posted by Clint

24 hours of gaming is a very serious thing to many of our Extra Lifers, and we love the enthusiasm and effort put into staying focused for a full day! Below, Ubisoft Canada's Zack Cooper shares his 2011 24-hour gaming crusade, and what a difference a year can make in between Extra Lifes.

Please remember to read our safety notice if you decide to tackle all-day gaming. And remember you can game for a cumulative 24 hours, relay game, and so on.

Now take it away, Zack!


I remember the first time I heard about Extra Life.

I was sifting through my Twitter feed, when I saw a friend mention he was gaming for 24 consecutive hours to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.

I quickly donated… and then started up my own team!

I was already a proud supporter of the Sick Kids Foundation in Toronto and, at the time, also the host of a video game radio show. I saw it as an excellent opportunity to not only leverage a great cause, but also catch up on some games that had started to collect dust.

As the dollars started pouring in (last year, my “Got Game” co-hosts and I managed to crack the top-10 in team fundraising – which was awesome), my excitement grew.

Anticipation for the one-day gaming-marathon continued to blossom with it, until finally, that Saturday morning arrived.

I put on my comfiest clothes, had a bowl of cereal, and kissed my wife – telling her I’d see her in 24 hours. This kind of gaming requires focus, after all.

I remember starting up a live-stream, communicating with friends, family, and fans of the show… taking requests, getting tips, facing off against them.

It was an absolute blast. Until that 4 a.m. hour arrived. The finish line was in sight, but I was starting to fade. Quickly.

I went outside for a breath of fresh air… phone in hand… and fired up “Tilt to Live” - a game that requires both focus and reflexes. Soon after, I felt recharged.

I went back inside, returned to the chair that I had removed from my dining room (if you think you’re staying awake on that couch, you’ve got another thing coming!), and got back to “work.”

The final hour seemed to approach a little more quickly, and the finish line was in sight.

As previously arranged, I regrouped with my co-hosts for 60 minutes of quick-thinking trivia madness with “You Don’t Know Jack,” (I won!) and managed to finish the demanding gaming marathon with a smile.

This year I'm supporting  Extra Life by donating to my fundraising friends and spreading the word. My personal 24-hour marathon won't fly now that I’m father to a little baby of my own who requires a lot of attention. But, being a dad, I think it definitely puts this whole event into perspective.

Knowing that one day my little girl could require expert care at one of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, it has become that much more of a priority to do my part to ensure these facilities have whatever they need to get the job done.

If that involves playing games for 24 hours straight…I'm game! Extra Life’s fun. It’s fulfilling. It’s for a purpose.

Next year, I promise to resume my all-day marathon – hopefully alongside many of my Ubisoft Toronto co-workers… and maybe even my little girl can check in for a game or two. (When is it ok to give your child a controller? J)

Until then… I’ll be following along on Twitter, and doing my part as contributor and cheerleader.

Happy fundraising and good luck! 

-Zack Cooper @Z_Cooperstown

 Community Developer at Ubisoft Toronto


That’s me wearing Sam Fisher’s tri-focal goggles from Splinter Cell. They were created by a fan of the franchise, and shared at a community event I put on in Seattle.



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