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Behind the Controller with Nate Clemente!

Who are you: Nate Clemente! Originally from Milwaukee but living in Chicago the last ten years.

How many years in EL: Eight, EL Guild for six.

How much raised (lifetime): $24,783.78

Favorite game: Board game – Terra Mystica, Video game – The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

How did you find out about Extra Life, and why did you decide to get involved?

I first found out about Extra Life from a co-worker! They were based in a different office, so I was encouraged to try and bring about engagement within the Chicago office where no one had heard about it. Getting involved was a no brainer; to do something I love (play games) as a platform for fundraising for a good cause? Absolutely. After one Game Day I was hooked and now we’ve hosted full-day marathons with our company team every year.

What does Game Day look like for you?

Game Day has historically always been a large group of my friends and co-workers rotating board games and playing party video games all day and night long. We have a tradition of ordering chicken wings for dinner (honestly seems terrible for getting on controllers or game pieces, but we make it work) and donuts in the morning, and that powers us through (on top of all the incentives, bonuses, and fundraising fun we have!). With the pandemic, we’ve had to scale back to a smaller session, but we invested in some overhead table cameras to try and make it a bit more intimate each year.

What are you most excited for at the Extra Life Chicago Gaming Convention (ELCGC)?

ELCGC is going to be AWESOME! I’m most interested in the vendors and artists that choose to sign up, not only for their awesome goods, but for them to see what Extra Life Chicago is all about up close and hopefully use their platform to continue to share our mission with others. I’m sure there will be a lot of lessons learned and obstacles in the first year of hosting the event, but I’m really excited to share and celebrate another day with my guildmates and fellow fundraising folks.

This month we are celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time to honor and pay homage to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders that have contributed to our history, culture of the United States and the Extra-Life gaming community. As an Extra Life Gamer and a member of the AAPI community, is there anything you would like to share with your fellow gamers about how this has shaped your gaming experience?

One of the biggest parts of my identity is my family. Being a child of two Filipino immigrants that came to the States with their families, I grew up very close with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. It became tradition for us to all gather during holidays and birthdays, always playing party games together or trying the latest video games my older cousins owned. It led me to view gaming as a vessel for bringing people together, bringing joy to the time we share. It’s a shared interest that brings different cultures and ideas together. I think this is a core tenet of Extra Life as well; it’s really this community of like-minded individuals who desire to give back through that joy of gaming to children so they can find their pathways to joy as well.