Thanksgiving and Child’s Play

Today is Thanksgiving here in the States, and I hope you all are getting a break from work or school to enjoy yourselves and devouring obscene quantities of oven roasted fowl. For the first time in a while Ger, Sam, and I will be able to spend the holiday surrounded by family without trudging halfway across the continent. I’m grateful for that, for Edward James Olmos in the new Battlestar Galactica, and a lot more. I am, for example, grateful for the combination of luck and hard work that’s allowed me to secure a career in my chosen profession and support, with some prudent measures of restraint and planning, expensive hobbies like photography and video gaming. A lot of people aren’t so lucky.

And speaking unlucky people and video gaming, you may have noticed a big green ad for “Child’s Play 2006” on the right-hand side of the page.Child’s Play is the annual charity organized by the super webcomic guys at Penny Arcade, who you you may remember from my post about how I recovered a piece of their original art and had myself drawn by the artist. What is Child’s Play? Essentially it’s an annual charity drive that asks gamers to buy age appropriate video games and other toys for children’s hospitals around the country (and beyond). I’ll quote directly from the website:

Since 2003, gamers have banded together through registered Seattle-based charity, Child’s Play. Over a million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception.

We collect no administrative fees or other charges, 100% of all gifts and donations go directly to our partner hospitals, to help make life a little brighter for a sick child.

This year, we have continued expanding across the country and the globe. With over 25 partner hospitals and more arriving every month, you can be sure to find one from the map above that needs your help! You can choose to purchase requested items from their online retailer wish lists, or make a cash donation that helps out Child’s Play hospitals everywhere. Any items purchased through Amazon or DStore will be shipped directly to your hospital of choice, please be sure to select their shipping address rather than your own.

When gamers give back, it makes a difference!

I respect and admire the Penny Arcade folks for a variety of reasons. Their ability to turn an uncompromising web comic into a successful commercial enterprise without pulling up their roots is one example, and Child’s Play is another. With nitwits like Jack Thompson on the loose and the mainstream media lapping up every nonsensical chance to link video games to violence and other antisocial behavior, I think it’s important to show that gamers come in all kinds of forms, including charitable ones. We’re not button mashing sociopaths that like to strangle baby nuns with our game controllers. Besides, real gamers use wireless controllers. And when one of the biggest, most identified with voices in the hardcore gaming world starts to mobilize other gamers into fits of philanthropy, it’s good for the targets of that generosity, it’s good for our hobby, and it’s good for our subculture.

That’s why I’m supporting Child’s Play in a couple of ways. First, I’m replacing my Google Adsense ads with the Child’s Play skyscraper ad you see on the right-side of the site, foregoing any (admittedly meager) ad revenue for the duration of the charity drive. Click the ad (or click here) and you’ll go to their website. Second, I’m participating in the more direct way by making donations. A lot of you out there are probably trying to identify good charities to donate to so that you can do your part and get them in for the 2006 tax deductions, so I encourage you to consider Child’s Play instead of, say, shooting up the place.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone.

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3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving and Child’s Play

  1. Three things:
    1) Happy Thanksgiving to you guys, too!
    2)Olmos rocks. BSG rocks. (Is that two things? They’re on the same topic, so I think they count as one.)
    3) With your advertising for and explanation of Child’s Play, you convinced me to donate AND gave me a great idea for a Christmas present for my brother: make a donation in his honor. I know he, as a lifelong gamer, will appreciate this charity on a whole other level.

  2. Hey, my comment posted after only about 1.5 seconds! Did you fix it, or is this naturally occurring?

  3. Woo! Nice going. Those children TOTALLY owe me big time.
    And yeah, the commenting problems seem to be largely fixed. Moving to dynamic publishing and making a few other tweaks improved things greatly.

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