The ArenaNet MMO Guild Wars 2 (opens in new tab) is getting a new NPC in November drawn from the ranks of real life: April Arellano, a Children’s Miracle Network Champion child, who’s being added to the game as part of the studio’s Extra Life Game Day event.
Arellano’s right leg was amputated when she was just 15 months old, after septic shock set in following a bout of pneumonia. Now 10, “April happily navigates the world with a prosthetic leg,” her CMN biography (opens in new tab) says. “She loves to sing, dance and perform in local theater productions. The Arellanos attribute April’s life to CHOC and the many doctors and nurses who treated April like their own daughter.”
In Guild Wars 2, Arellano will be known as April the Mesmer Wunderkind, an adept mesmer—a magical duelist who specializes in illusion—and “serial meddler” born in the village of Garenhoff, just outside of Divinity’s Reach. ArenaNet said it worked with the real-life April and her parents on the creation of the character, but it’s holding back the details for the full reveal, which will take place during a 24-hour Extra Life Game Day stream (opens in new tab) on November 4. It did reveal, however, that April will be voiced in Guild Wars 2 by famed voice actor Jennifer Hale (opens in new tab).
“We’re so excited for everyone to dig into April’s little adventure during our Extra Life Game Day,” narrative designer Indigo Boock wrote. “I don’t want to reveal too many secrets just yet, but I can say that getting to talk with April Lynn and learn about her story was such a delight. I was immediately inspired by her confidence (and her dance moves, of course). April’s character in-game is resilient, brave, and filled with charm—but she barely compares to her namesake. We can’t wait for you to witness our little mesmer’s shenanigans firsthand.”
Extra Life (opens in new tab) is a program operated by, and in support of, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, that raises funds through 24-hour gaming livestreams held each year by individuals and game companies. Since its launch in 2008 (it became a CMN Hospitals program in 2010), Extra Life has raised more than $100 million for CMN hospitals throughout the US and Canada.