My third year of Extra Life was also my first failing to marathon the full twenty-four hours in a single sitting. It was a year in which I learned quite a bit, but it was quite a bit too late. I am unsatisfied with it as a content provider, though I am satisfied with the fundraising results. Thanks to friends and family, I have surpassed last year’s total and have thus far accumulated $920 for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
This means three random donors will be receiving t-shirts of my design, and I will be creating a new episode of JRPDiary.
I will be honoring these gifts, but honestly, it feels strange to do so as the entire purpose of the incentives is to entice people that aren’t friends and family. I had roughly 300 subscribers on YouTube (more on that momentarily), and as far as I can tell if any of them donated, it was anonymously. So the question is: do any of my followers that are not friends and family care if I make another episode of JRPDiary? Do my friends and family?
As a result, for 2016 I will have to rethink my incentives, assuming I have any at all. What seems to be most effective is to keep it personal, getting the message on Facebook regularly. Getting it out to the rest of the world means little, and honestly, the biggest reason is probably due to how many other gamers out there are already participating or donating to other bigger, more timely personalities. To try and provide “stretch goals” to my fundraising is a bit silly as I just do not have the audience to make such offers appealing.
The question is then, will I ever have such an audience? I’ve heard many claim that streaming is the future of games media, that no matter what you specialize in you have to stream. After practicing streaming before Extra Life and during it, I’ve come to disagree. If you are relying on your personality being the draw to your content, then certainly you’ll want people to watch your stream. However, I don’t want to try and draw people in with my personality. I don’t work that way. What I want is to have well-structured and thought out arguments, and it is quite clear that I cannot put such thoughts together coherently while also trying to play a game.
So if I do live streaming, it will be an occasional event that occurs once a month at the most, and I will be accompanied by friends such as Greg. I don’t know if I’ll stream Extra Life on YouTube again, however, as the constant stream of new videos seems to have encouraged about ten people to unsubscribe to my channel. While ten may not sound like much, it’s quite a number when you’re only sitting around 300.
Then there are the technical difficulties. My Roxio Game Capture is inadequate for streaming WiiU games. I don’t know if it’s the capture device or the WiiU, but the signal is consistently dropping. The Roxio also doesn’t stream at a consistently good bitrate no matter what I set it to. I’ve also run into monitor issues that have made using the Game Capture a bit more troublesome lately. So this meant I had to play on the PS4, where most other Extra Lifers I knew were not playing. So while last year I was able to keep switching through games with friends, breaking up the multiplayer with the occasional single player game, I was all alone this year. Destiny was the only time I got to play a game with other people, and the time went by lightning swift.
I also failed to bring appropriate attention to the GamersWithJobs team in time, but that’s partially due to how close Extra Life falls on the annual donation drive. Now that GamersWithJobs is doing a Patreon I may no longer have to worry about that, but I don’t think I have the time or ability to properly lead the team. I will not be leading it again next year.
The only “success” was my participation in the Philadelphia Guild, and even then, my job has limited my ability to participate in meetings and recruitment events. I may not be able to participate in that next year, either.
To summarize, while Extra Life was a success for the intended purpose of the Children’s Hospital, it was largely a personal failure for me. I don’t have the following to truly take advantage and make the impact I want to for this fundraiser, and I actually ended up pushing previous subscribers away with it. I did not, and do not, have the time to really help the cause as much as I’d love to. I am unable to properly put together and motivate the GamersWithJobs community to form a team and raise over $5,000.
However, I won’t give up completely. I just need to reconsider my audience and strategy, and reach out to those close to me to try and achieve an even better number next year. I then need to work on my technical issues as early as possible so I can make sure I can not only stream on as many devices as possible, but make sure I’m streaming to the right video platform and with the right people.
At the very least, it seems that streaming Life is Strange and Destiny were a success.