An open letter to the Extra Life DDoS attacker(s)

To the sir(s) and/or madam(s) who disrupted a charity event for hospitalized children, seemingly for shits and giggles:

Shame on you.

On the morning of November 2, 2013, thousands of people from around the globe--myself included--participated in a 25-hour gaming marathon for a charity called Extra Life. Some donors gave thousands of dollars; others only a handful. But all of them did so in effort to help save the lives of sick children--children like Victoria Enmon (see video below), a young woman who didn't survive a grueling battle with Leukemia, and whose touching story served as the catalyst for Extra Life's creation.

And while all those charity participants rallied for a truly magnificent, heartfelt cause, you, sir(s) and/or madam(s) were hitting the Extra Life website with a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, purposely overloading it and shutting it down so that no one could donate. I can't help but wonder: What kind of high or excitement can one possibly derive from stalling a program meant to help hospitalized kids? Try as I might, I cannot fathom a scenario in which denying the money needed to save the life of a baby born the size of a smartphone is in any way enjoyable.

Shame on you.

I mean, here we were in the GR offices, streaming and twerking our hearts out for the children in an attempt to get our viewers to donate. Some did so willingly and with haste. Others agreed to after a bit of prodding, acknowledging that their Taco Bell money would probably be better spent helping a bedridden child walk again. Or helping pay for a kid's cancer treatments. Or helping ailing toddlers, struggling with afflictions most of us cannot even comprehend, achieve some sense of normalcy. And then when these folks tried to fork over some cash, surprise, surprise--they couldn't.

But it was just a funny joke, right? I mean, that's why you only stopped donations dead in their tracks for a few hours instead of the full 25. Oh, and by the way, the hours during which the Extra Life website wasn't getting figuratively shit on by some inhuman asshole(s), participants managed to push the fundraising total to an astounding $3.7 million in donations. I can't help but wonder: How much more money could've been raised had you, sir(s) and/or madam(s), decided to get your rocks off by skinning cats, or whatever the fuck else you do in your free time, instead of interfering with a global charity event?

Again, shame on you.

I don't really believe in hell, but if I did, I'd like to think there's a special place waiting for you there, a magical land in which "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas plays in an endless loop for all eternity. I envision this place to be wreathed not in hellfire, but a damp cold, just chilly enough to make you wish you had a jacket. And in this hell, there are three rules you have to follow at all times.

First, you must always mimic Miley Cyrus's signature tongue thing; look it up and try it. That shit hurts after a couple of seconds. Second, you're only allowed to breathe through your nose, with a sense of smell that's been amplified a billion times over (an inconvenience, considering the room in which you reside is constantly filled with fresh had-too-much-to-drink-last-night beer farts). And finally, just when your body begins to crumble under the weight of exhaustion--once the song, the cold, the tongue thing, and the beer farts numb your senses--Satan himself shoves a Senzu Bean down your throat, just so you can experience everything all over again, as he whispers delicately in your ear, "hey, that was a nice piano recital." Why? Doesn't matter. Welcome to hell.

Okay, shame on me.

To the sir(s) and/or madam(s) involved in the DDoS attack, I don't actually wish you any harm. I guess it just really upsets me that your fun Saturday activities (unknowingly, perhaps? It doesn't matter now) will likely spell doom for at least one sick child; maybe more.

That being said, it also fills me with hope to know that so many gamers banded together, pulled up their sleeves, and made a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. It blows my mind that despite your interference, dear sir(s) and/or madam(s), $3.7 million in donations are headed to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals around the world, where that money will help sick kids keep walking, breathing, living.

To the sir(s) and/or madam(s)--for the final time... ugh. I can't even expend the energy to type it.

And to all the awesome people out there that kept on gaming, streaming, and donating: You're great, and you did an amazing thing for someone else that they will be forever grateful for.

Ryan Taljonick

Ryan was once the Executive Editor of GamesRadar, before moving into the world of games development. He worked as a Brand Manager at EA, and then at Bethesda Softworks, before moving to 2K. He briefly went back to EA and is now the Director of Global Marketing Strategy at 2K.