A group of generous gamers are planning to play 24 hours straight to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network.
On October 25, Windsor Gaming Resource is hosting their second annual Extra Life event. At 10:00 a.m., a group of local gamers will head to Brimstone Games. Then, they will play all manner of games for 24 hours straight -- board games, miniature games (which are typically strategy games that involve figurines) and even some pen and paper role-playing games (or to put it in layman’s terms: Dungeons and Dragons).
But the real question is: who are the superheroes behind this event?
The Windsor Gaming Resource, or WGR, is a 10-year-old group, thanks to the hard work of Moe Tousignant. The avid gamer set up a web portal, a space where he could collect everything that interested him in the world of gaming in one place.
Soon, he noticed other people visiting his site, and decided to go public. Tousignant created a forum, where both he and his friends could post their latest musings about the gaming world. People could now participate in conversation online, to discuss and review games.
“That forum was really the start of the WGR as a gaming community," said Tousignant in an email. "There gamers were talking to other gamers about games. Any type of game too. We talked as much about the latest First Person Shooter PC game as we did about our Dungeons & Dragons games. Everyone was welcome.”
Eventually, all the back-and-forth conversation online led to the idea of meeting in person. In 2004, Tousignant found a place with a big enough table for a good board game, and invited people out. For the first few events, usually only Tousignant’s friends came out. But over time, more people began to show.
Now, the WGR has a Facebook page with 351 members. They consider anything less than 25 people at an event is a bad turn out. The group even has a regular schedule, meeting at a variety of locations across Windsor to game.
Tousignant believes the WGR is more important than ever right now as he believes we are in the golden age of tabletop gaming. Even in college dorm rooms, seeing Settlers of Catan or Risk in mid-play isn’t an uncommon sight.
It has become mainstream to like games, but sometimes it can be hard to actually play them. That’s where the WGR comes in. Tousignant’s father was a gamer as well, he said, but ended up selling his entire game collection for only $100 because he had no one to play with.
“I don't want anyone to have to be my Dad," said Tousignant. "Games are awesome, playing games is awesome, it's a wonderful social activity, it exercises the brain and most of all it's a ton of fun. I want gamers to be able to do what they love best: game.”
Dakota Mitchell, who has been a part of the group now for a year, couldn’t agree more. Originally, he wasn’t able to make it to the gaming events due to a lack of transportation, but a friendly driver offered him a lift. Now he is able to go regularly.
“I have always been looking for a group of people I could just hang out with and enjoy myself, and I always have enjoyed the few board games I had played before joining. So it seemed like a great opportunity,” said Mitchell.
He describes the WGR as a very welcoming group, with great people who always try to be kind and welcoming to newcomers.
“It is a great place to meet new people, and be social, which I know from experience can be a difficult thing for some people,” said Mitchell.
And what better place to start gaming than at their biggest event of the year: Extra Life.
Extra Life was started in 2008 to raise funds for one special Leukemia victim. But now, funds raised at the charity event go directly to the Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals.
WGR only began participating in Extra Life last year, raising $1,800 through donations, an amount which blew Tousignant away. This year they are aiming to raise $2,000.
Participants will begin gaming at Brimstone Games at 10:00 a.m. on October 25 and will wrap up at 10:00 a.m. on October 26. Tousignant invites those who want to help out, but don’t necessarily want to game, to come by the shop. Or, at the very least, come visit their website to check out their event schedule.
Meet with your local nerds, geeks and gamers and perhaps discover your brand new hang out.