Local Gamer Girl and Artist Melissa Kaylor to Participate in Video Game Marathon

Valley resident Melissa Kaylor has a major yen for video games. If you didn't get a chance to speak with her this past weekend at Devastation 2011 (or purchase her old school plastic pixel art), the 24-year-old devotes most of her free time to game-related projects under her online persona "Mel the Office Gamer Girl."

She reviews classic games on YouTube, maintains the local Phoenix Gamer blog, and used to host a monthly trivia night at the now-defunct Cade Gallery.

In between all that, Kaylor also finds time to actually play video games too, on average about two or three hours per day. That figure will rise dramatically on Saturday when Kaylor participates in the nationwide Extra Life 24-Hour Video Game Marathon when she'll work her controller for an entire day to raise money for children's charities.

Hundreds of gamers from across the U.S. will battle pixilated enemies for up to 24 hours straight while their sponsors donate money for every hour played. Any kind of game (including those on home consoles, PCs, and even smartphones) can be used. The funds raised will benefit patients at the nearest Children's Miracle Network hospital. In Kaylor's case, proceeds will go to Phoenix Children's Hospital.

"I like helping out other people in general and to get to play video games while doing so, I was like, 'This is perfect. Why not do it?'"

While it's completely up to gamers how long they want to play (and thus, risk getting sweaty hands and a case of swamp ass), Kaylor's gonna go the full 24 hours on games like Katamari Damacy and Donkey Kong Country and will be broadcasting her marathon via webcam.

"The only time I played for 24 hours straight was probably when I was a kid, obviously. I know I can do it, but it might be tough," she says. "I'll have Rockstars and be brewing coffee all day long. I've also got some friends over and we'll be keeping each other awake. I'm thinking about going out and buying a foghorn too."

The Extra Life 24-hour video game marathon begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday, October 15. Click here for more info.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.