On Saturday, gamers will take over Jon Paschal’s two-story Evans home.
At least 16 of Paschal’s friends and family members will play video games, computer games, iPhone games, even card games, from 8 a.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.
“Any source of gaming is allowed,” said Paschal, who has been playing and organizing the fundraiser for four years.
Each gamer collects pledges, typically $1 per hour, through the gaming charity site Extra Life. Through Extra Life, any gamer can register and solicit donations that go to a Children’s Miracle Network hospital of their choice.
Last year, the Pixelheads, as Paschal and his teammates are called, donated $4,516.30 to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. This year, they hope to reach $5,000.
Paschal discovered the charity in 2011, when he was part of the “support team” for his cousin, Michael Brizius.
Brizius said he learned about the charity through a video gaming podcast.
“At the time I honestly did it for selfish reasons. I figured it would be a good reason for my wife to leave me alone and let me play games for a day,” Brizius said. “I started getting more involved with it and took it a lot more seriously, and here we are.”
The next year, Paschal and Brizius organized a team of four. Paschal said the team has grown by nearly double each year since.
The “support team” is made up of a few friends and family members who don’t want to play but help the gamers stay awake or run out to get food or beverages during the event.
Brizius, Paschal and Jason Milligan said even though they often stay up late playing video games, playing for 25 hours is challenging.
“You think playing video games for 24 hours is easy, but it’s not,” Milligan said.
Paschal said that two years ago he and a teammate walked around the house playing against each other on cellphones just to stay awake.
“I think we were walking around like zombies by
3 o’clock,” Paschal said.
Extra Life operates on the honor system. Each team decides how to carry out the fundraiser.
Gaming can be broken up over a couple of days, but the Pixelheads decided to do it all at once to make it more challenging, Paschal
This is the first year Extra Life is also allowing board and card games.
“I think it’s going to be a good combination, so anyone who gets burned out staring at a TV screen for four or five hours can come to one of the tables, play some cards or play a board game or something. I’m excited about it because it gives me something different to do,” Paschal said.
Paschal and Brizius said being fathers is a big part of their motivation for continuing to support this cause.
“Hopefully the need never arises for such care, but should it ever, I would like to at least be able to help out some,” Brizius said. “I know that medical costs can get outrageous.”
For more information or to make a pledge, visit www.extra-life.org/team/pixelheads.