How does one make their AV act like a kid in a candy store?! Get NewTek of San Antonio to loan you a TriCaster 8000! Thanks to the work of our epic Project Manager, Tanya Keysler and Philip Nelson of NewTek, we are now able to do so much more with our broadcast in way of extra overlays and sponsor/partner banners! Enjoy, Bennett!
Extra-Life is in its 7th year of service to children in need! RackerGamers has been participating for going on 6 years now. We have since taken our event from a roomfull of 30-50 gamers, and turned our stream into a full-on big deal!
“How big,” you say? Well, I’ll tell ya at the end!
RackerGamers has taken this thing to a whole new level, and we want to keep going further. This all started by a handful of Rackers, who wanted to get together and play for a new charity they discovered. “We play together anyway, why not do it for a cause?!” The first few years were small, taking up only a single conference room at our old facility. As the years went on, the gaming passion and social experience became known, and more joined the fun. More people, more fundraising, more money, more fun!
As years went on, the numbers grew to the hundreds. Eventually, we were at a point where we were doing more than just participating, we were haphazardly organizing into a structured group. Each member had a series of tasks to bring that year’s LAN Party together seamlessly. Of course there were hiccups, but hey, we live we learn. A few members became “staff”, and some didn’t play games at all. Eventually, we became a small hub for a telethon styled broadcast. We just did this for fun, and we simply had some folks that wanted to be a part of the action, but weren’t gamers. Little did we know, we were unintentionally building something much bigger!
“How big,” you say? … Well, let’s take a step back to some other posts I made here, and all over. Yea, we are super proud of this, so we spread it when we can! (I really wish I could show you, but Twitch finally took the video down after two years.)
One of our members, the non-gaming kind, has an interesting hobby. He does video tele-cast on the side, and has a media room to dream of. At first, we did simple things like picture-in-picture (PnP), transitions, and green screens. This grew into much more complicated setups, multiple gamers to PnP, remote interviews, re-broadcasts and so on. It was a pretty neat setup.
Then, we got the nerve to ask Extra-Life if they wouldn’t mind doing an interview with us on our live stream. Doesn’t hurt to ask, right? We thought, we are nobodies, they won’t do it, but they accepted! Doc (Jeromy Adams) and team got on, and were blown away by our setup. There they were, sitting at a card table, with a webcam, in the hospital; while we were in a huge conference room with a semi-professional setup! The team suckered me into running the interview, and man was I tired by that point. We even did it from “behind the desk in Counter Strike Office”. That was what really got their attention!
At the closing of the interview, after Doc’s mind officially blown, they demanded (not requested) they be allowed to fly down and broadcast with us the following year. Pshh, of course they could! What happened the next year was nothing short of amazing.
The new Event Space at Rackspace Castle was scheduled to open just before we would have our 2013 event. We requested use of that and the nearby eating space The Factory. Split the rooms into Digital (video games) and Analog (Tabletop Games) play, and begin to furiously plan monthly. We had officially partnered with Extra-Life to run the broadcast, and have them be here. We had a meeting with Jeromy prior to gameday in person, and he was beyond energetic to be working with us! His passion about this event is obvious.
Day of… WE WERE DOING IT! There were a number of power trips, and adhoc efforts that took place, but the team handled it like professionals. We certainly had the right folks in the right places. Sadly, many of them have moved on to other jobs and life events, but we still carry on. What next?! Con?
Prizes, Vendors, and Celebrities
OK, not real celebrities, but sorta. We had members of the 501st Legion wondering around, RedBull with free drinks, local shops like Top Deck Gamers selling games for proceeds and running their monthly Magic tournament, arcade games, and so much more! Live head shaving for charity. The list goes on.
With our professional gear and knowledge, and amazing space, The Extra-Life folks were now able to build a scheduled event that trumped their previous broadcasts. Now, coverage is greater, more people are watching, the action is more captivating, and the funds are increasing!
It is my hope and dream, that we grow this to be a convention in all major cities, where folks may either op to play as they are today, OR join thousands at their local hub, and participate in something greater! “But this is about the kids…” Exactly! The more fun you make something, the more people come, the more potential for awareness and fundraising you will gain…
…The more children we can save!
See you online, this Saturday!
Check here for more details on how to participate and how to donate.