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BBCH Extra Life HERO: Meet Nate!

It’s no secret that I love our Extra Life program at BBCH, but it’s mostly because of the people. Our Extra Lifers are awesome! I’d like to introduce another one of our amazing gaming community members making a big difference for the patients, families, and care teams at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital (BBCH)! – Meaghan

Meet Nate!
Nate’s pronouns are he/him

My name is Nathan, but most people call me Nate, and online I generally go by DrPhantasmal. I picked up that username at least a decade ago when I used to play an MMORPG that required different names for every character on your account. They had just released a class called the “Phantom” that could steal skills from other classes. Since I knew I’d be stealing the Heal skill, and had the Magic the Gathering card “Phantasmal Bear” on my desk, it just kind of clicked for me!

Where you at, Nate?
I stream over at, on mostly Saturdays and Sundays. Additionally, my stream team and I have a Discord we primarily use to chat and share news over at

What are your favorite games?
I love playing party games like Fall Guys and Mario Party, RPGs like Earthbound and Dungeons and Dragons, and at times a few racing games like Gran Turismo. I also have a long history of playing card games, having grown up on Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh! and then swapping to Magic the Gathering later in life. Nintendo consoles have been my primary bread and butter, but I do own a PlayStation 2, an Xbox 360, and a gaming computer I custom built myself.

How long have you been Extra Lifing?
This is my 7th year participating in Extra Life, which is beyond crazy to think about! It sometimes feels like it is my first year all over again, getting excited to get into the hot seat for 24 hours, followed by the midnight crash that lasts till noon. While the majority of the years I’ve streamed alone, one year a crew and I streamed for 48 hours in shifts which was a load of fun.

To date I’ve raised $4,073. I’d love to break my best year and raise over $2,050 but honestly every year that I raise even $1 is a win in my book. Every little bit really does help! (editor’s note: Nate is right! Every donation adds up to make a big difference!)

Tell us about your gaming, and how did you find Extra Life?
My goodness, I’ve been gaming for basically my entire life. Whether it be Candy Land and Monopoly Junior, Pokemon Silver and Chess, or Super Smash Bros. and Yakuza, gaming has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up playing on my dad’s Super Nintendo, saved up my allowance to buy a Gamecube, and now I stream challenge runs on my Twitch channel. Thanks to gaming actually, I met some friends in college who introduced me to Extra Life and TTRPGs like Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons. Specifically, it was my friend Ben (AquaMagicist on Twitch) who introduced me to Extra Life. They told me there was a way that I could combine my passion for games and my desire to help and do good in my community, and I just couldn’t say no. Ben has been and continues to be a big inspiration in my life.

I remember you streaming in a banana costume for Extra Life game day a couple years ago- do you have any fun incentives or challenges planned for fundraising this year?
I’ve got a few ideas rattling around in my brain for this year, but I haven’t solidly chosen anything yet. Turns out shaving what little hair my head has live on camera and wearing a banana suit are both hard ideas to beat! Guess we’ll have to wait and see what this year brings.

Seven years is a long time- why do you Extra Life?
Ever since I was a small kid I had a love for helping others. I grew up with my family instilling in me the idea that those who can lend a hand should. While becoming an Eagle Scout, the Boy Scout Law says a Scout should be helpful, and the Oath says that we should do our best to help other people at all times, and those points really stuck with me. Being able to combine my love of playing games with helping other people has been amazing. Plus there are so many kids out there that could really use the help! If all it takes to get them some help is getting really tired and making a fool of myself, why would I pass up the opportunity?

What do you want folks to know about Extra Life?
Honestly, this may sound cliché, but even if you can’t donate, you can absolutely help just by sharing the word! Even just by sharing a post and giving your local Extra Lifer a little extra visibility can make a huge difference. There are plenty of children out there who need the help, and even if you can’t directly donate you can certainly help make a difference.

I know that 24 hours straight can sound intimidating, but you don’t have to Extra Life that way. Make your experience with Extra Life your own, perhaps you can only dedicate 12 or even 6 hours in a given day to the cause, but you can easily turn it into a multi-day thing, or even do amazing work in however much time you have to dedicate to it. Play what you love, ask coworkers, family, and friends if they’d be willing to support you, and in my experience no Extra Life stream is complete without technical difficulty so roll with the punches. This is my seventh year and I expect the stream to drop, or audio to get wonky at some point, you just need to have a little tenacity to get past it and make the best of it. Don’t feel like you have to compare yourself to others, and consider joining up into the Extra Life or BBCH Facebook pages or Discord servers. If you need help getting started or bouncing ideas off of people with a bit more experience, I have seen the community be nothing but supportive.

I can’t think of a better note than that to go out on- the Extra Life community is indeed encouraging and supportive! You can find out more about Extra Life at, or make a donation to Nate’s Extra Life page in support of The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital HERE.