More Than a Coder: Gaming for a Cause

11/19/21

Recently, our team member Amit Chauhan spent the whole weekend playing video games. Not a big deal, some might think. Still, even though Amit was allowed to take breaks, the participants of this event had to play non-stop for 24 hours!

Recently, our team member Amit Chauhan spent the whole weekend playing video games. Not a big deal, some might think. Still, even though Amit was allowed to take breaks, the participants of this event had to play non-stop for 24 hours!


At Macedon, we love to be active in our community, and we highly encourage our employees to be involved with organizations outside of our Macedon events. Amit Chauhan has been with Macedon for over 10 years. He has worked closely with the charity, Extra Life since 2012 and has raised over $3,000 for the organization. Extra Life supports the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, providing 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada.


Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, and charitable care. How do they raise funds? They host events where participants play games to raise money for a local hospital. Amit’s donations went to Children’s National in Washington D.C.


Amit got started with Extra Life when he was browsing social media and came across a post about the organization, and its mission. He connected with their story and wondered how he could contribute, so he joined their gameathon: “All I had was a bunch of old video game consoles and a Macbook Pro, which was enough to get started. I literally used the Macbook’s camera to film myself playing video games. Since then, I’ve done it every year and now have a capture card, a more powerful PC, and a Twitch channel to stream my gameplay.”


Extra Life has one official Game Day hosted each year around November and they encourage folks to stream their Game Days live to get audience participation and raise awareness of the cause. This event has a 24-hour gaming requirement but does allow people to break up the 24 hours over multiple days if the participant wants to. Additionally, if people want to team up and take shifts over the 24 hours, that’s fine too! We asked Amit what his experience is like over these 24 hours, and he said, “It can be very exciting, but it’s important to take care of yourself during the marathon! Obviously, if I feel unwell, no one’s going to hold it against me if I take an extended break and resume the following day. However, I try to sleep in on the day of the marathon and start gaming around noon. I take short, frequent breaks to rest my eyes and stretch. I like to mix up the games to keep myself fresh and will challenge myself (such as speedrunning a game, basically playing a game from start to finish as quickly as possible) to help boost adrenaline. I stay hydrated and carefully choose my meals to avoid feeling tired. Generally, I find the 16 to 20-hour stretch is when I begin to doze off, so if necessary, I take a quick power nap. Caffeine is the last resort - the risk is the crash afterward.


The cool thing about the Extra Life event is that you do not have to play video games; you can also play tabletop games. When Amit teamed up with a few colleagues at Macedon for an in-person event a few years ago, they played Dungeons and Dragons, which was very popular as viewers were eager to watch the story unfold on their livestream. We asked Amit what his favorite game for Game Day is; he said, “I love playing Pokémon during the gameathon. I’ve played the series ever since it came out in 1996 and have a lot of knowledge about the inner workings of the games. There is a large mental aspect to the game but generally doesn’t require a lot of dexterity so it’s easier for me to play for a long time. Surprisingly, there are a lot of complex mechanics when it comes to the Pokémon series (especially the competitive battling aspect) so I enjoy explaining my thought process to viewers when playing the games.” This year the event was virtual but hopefully, they will be able to resume in-person events soon.


We don’t always realize that being active in our communities can leave us a different kind of gift. For Amit, working with Extra Life has given him a new hobby of streaming. He has been able to connect with other people from all over the world while playing his favorite games. We encourage all of you to participate in your communities as well because you never know what will come out of it.


Congratulations Amit on your fundraising and we are excited to see what games next year brings!