Redditor and LA Native Barbehque has resided in LA county since he was 6 months old. He participated in Extra Life for the first time 6 years ago, with a very modest goal of raising $500. He hit his goal within just 2 weeks after signing up, and ended up raising $1367 that year. This inspired him to do it again the next year, and the year after that. Being a veteran in both the Reddit and Extra Life community, Barbehque sat down to share his experiences with Extra Life, and give us some tips as the KeepItNerdy.com team participates in Extra Life for the first time.
Over the past several years that I’ve gotten to know you through the LA Redditors group, you’ve had a lot of amazing experiences (like working closely with the Mayor of LA, etc.). What has the journey been like?
Barbehque – I’ve been a moderator for almost 8 years and the good has always outweighed the bad. Getting to facilitate AMA’s (ask me anything threads on Reddit) with city officials, hosting large scale gatherings, getting to know the community, giving new comers a place to hang out and feel comfortable are all “perks” I get from being a moderator.
What impact has gaming and the gaming community overall had on your own life?
Barbehque – Gaming has always been a great way to unwind and enjoy a story for me. I can make new friends online, have a fun quiet night alone, geek out over this and that with others who have played the same game. It’s as much an enjoyable solo experience as it is a social one.
Of course, we have to ask – what’s the first video game you ever played?
Barbehque – The easy answer is Super Mario but I have very distinct memories of playing Mega Man 2 and Castlevania 1.
When did you first hear about Extra Life?
Barbehque – Stumbled on a post made by Reddit talking about the event (which had already been going on for about 5 years at this point). I made a post to /r/losangeles to see if there was any interest from the Subreddit participating and the reception was generally favorable, so I went through with it.
How early do you start preparing for Extra Life each year? What’s your prep look like leading up to game day?
Barbehque – Sign ups start early in the year, but it typically isn’t until about June or July where we actually register and start getting the word out. Leading up to game day my co-host and I get together a few times to talk about where we’re going to play, what we want to play, who we want involved, finding an artist to make some art for us to use as promotional material, reaching out to local businesses to see if they’d like to help support us, allocating funds to have some sort of incentive for donors.
With Extra Life, you commit to stream for 24 hours — which is no easy feat. What are some things you do during the gaming marathon to avoid “streamer fatigue”?
Barbehque – Small breaks are crucial to lasting the 24 hours. I try to take at least a 5-10 minute break every hour or in between games. When we have a bigger group of people playing a game one of us would typically make a lunch run and get food for the other. We always have friends and family stopping by to bring us food and drinks if we need it.
Are there any must have snacks or beverages you keep on hand to keep you fueled for the 24 hours of streaming?
Barbehque – I learned after the first year that as fun as junk food and beer can be, we need actual nutrition if we’re going to last. Lots of water, healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables, a legitimate lunch and dinner. Along with a nice dose of caffeine pills.
Which Children’s Miracle Network Hospital have you selected to support for Extra Life?
Barbehque – We support Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, as it seemed like the easy choice since we’re running under the /r/losangeles name for our Extra Life team. We’ve had the chance to stop by the Hospital since then to meet with other groups in the city who also participate. Sharing stories and tips was a fun experience.
This year marks your 6th year of participating in Extra Life. How much money have you raised over the years, and how much do you hope to raise this year?
Barbehque – As of today, we’ve raised a total of $7249.74 dollars between 119 donations. Every year we start at a modest $500 goal and bump it up by $500 more when the current goal is met. We met our first goal this year fairly quickly and just this morning met our second goal of $1000. Our highest year was $2000 and I hope we can top that this year.
With it being your 6th year of participating in Extra Life, do you have any memorable moments or highlights from previous 24 hour marathons?
Barbehque – Our first year I had no idea what I was doing and was worried we wouldn’t meet our $500 goal because had been sitting at about $250 for a week or so. I suddenly received an email telling me someone had just donated $500 to us. I was ecstatic and shocked that someone would do that.
What do you have in store for viewers this year?
Barbehque – Giveaway wise, we had the good fortune of a local gaming studio giving us a handful of codes to give out to donors, but this year I’d like to amp it up a little and raffle off a few prizes. I just gotta get the ducks in the row first before making any announcement. Stay tuned.
Is there any game you are most excited to play on this years stream?
Barbehque – I’m hoping to incorporate more multiplayer or couch co-op games. Maybe even some VR games that’ll be fun for viewers to check out. I love showcasing skill on older games so the old Mega Mans are always a blast.
Since you’re a part of the r/LosAngeles Redditors team, who else will be streaming with you throughout the night?
Barbehque – My co-host Kittsman has been my bread and butter since we started 6 years ago, so I’m grateful to have him on the couch right next to me again.
What is the best way for people tuning in to your stream to get involved?
Barbehque – We’ll be streaming to our Twitch page, so tune in on game day to chat, share the stream with your friends and more. You can also donate at anytime using the r/LosAngeles Redditors donation link here.
And finally, each year we see the r/LosAngeles Redditors Extra Life page has some really awesome artwork. Who did the art for this years marathon?
Barbehque – This years artwork was done by @sonatacreates on Instagram.