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Child's Play 2005 Launch

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the from-big-geeks-to-little-geeks dept.

Christmas Cheer 147

It's that time of year again! Child's Play 2005 is underway. Child's Play is a charity run every year by Penny Arcade, the well-known online gaming comic created by Gabe and Tycho. Child's Play is your chance to give to the proto-geeks of the world who not only might not have the chance to play games otherwise, but find themselves sick in a hospital during the Holiday season. Child's Play gives money, games, and toys to children's hospitals in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.. Gabe's kickoff post was put up yesterday on the site. The Child's Play site itself is chok full of information, including a F.A.Q., letters from former patients who have been touched by games in hospice, and an order form for tickets to the second annual Child's Play charity dinner. This last is a swanky shindig with a silent auction, at which you can bid on one-of-a-kind opportunities like a tour of Bungie's studios or the chance to be in a Penny Arcade comic. Most important, though, are the links on the front page of the site to the various Amazon.com wishlists. There, you can purchase a book, game, or toy to have sent to a deserving kid at one of the participating hospitals. These folks are our folks, and if you have anything to give this is the place to do it. Thanks.

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Real Pirates (-1, Offtopic)

zev1983 (792397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980139)

It's nice to see a story posted on slashdot about real pirates for a change, just to remind everyone what real piracy is.

Re:Real Pirates (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980175)

You're off a story.

Re:Real Pirates (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980177)

Ummm... what exactly are you talking about?

Gifts of Substance not Fluff (4, Interesting)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980271)

I was badly burned as child and was helped greatly by the Shriner's, Easter Seals, and St Jude's. This was all treament that parents would have been unable to afford on their own. While I find it touching that you want to give games to kiddies, I think it would be far more beneficial to make donations to pay for actual treatment. The games, toys, etc. are not a life and limb kind of thing. In many cases, the treatment is. I know that it certainly was for me. The doctors at our local hospital wanted to amputate my left hand and part of my arm because I was so severely burned. Yet I sit here, today, typing with both hands thanks to the help we got from people who specalize in treating children with injuries like mine.

I'd also like to remind everyone to give blood at this time year. It's something that many of the children need as they undergo surgery and its something that's normally in very short supply this time of year.

Probably not a popular sentiment and I'll probably be modded as a Troll.

2 cents,

Queen B.

Re:Gifts of Substance not Fluff (4, Insightful)

pat_trick (218868) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980328)

Monetary donations are also accepted and go toward the hospitals for exactly this type of thing. At least that's my understanding.

But you raise a good point--don't just stop at money. Donate blood. Volunteer. Get out there and do a storybook hour if you can. Make a difference.

Your level 60 Forsaken Warrior can wait a day or two.

Re:Gifts of Substance not Fluff (2, Funny)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980509)

Your level 60 Forsaken Warrior can wait a day or two.

I read that as "level 60 Foreskin Warrior." Same thing I guess. He can wait a day or two, too...

Re:Gifts of Substance not Fluff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980363)

A good argument, but children who wind up in hospitals like this have more than just physical ailments. Giving money for treatment is only half the battle. Tkae a gander at the look on a kid's face when they get a neat toy, and how easily they forget their problems, and you'll know what I mean.

Re:Gifts of Substance not Fluff (4, Insightful)

lmsig (110148) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980421)

It could probably be argued (although I'm not qualified!) that it is helpful to treat the whole person and not just the injury. This makes even more sense for children who maybe cannot fully comprehend the situation they have been put into. Certainly a contribution to a childs positive attitude can help them to beat whatever they are there to beat.

I do agree that we should not forget those other organizations! St Jude's is one charity that I support every single year. However, I still give to Child's Play as well. There is something special (to me) about picking out a couple of games for the kids to enjoy. It seems a little more personal than the check I write to help with treatment.

Re:Gifts of Substance not Fluff (4, Interesting)

Declarent (628681) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980467)

I know it's just human nature, but not every endeavor can target every solution. This is something that does good, and works, do we really need to criticize it because it's not filling every other need at the same time?

There are tons of charities that do what you describe, and that helped you out. Does that mean it's wrong to add some additional charity on top of that to help restore some childhood as well as health?

In addition, this type of donation resonates with gamers, I doubt they could pull anything near this level of donation out by simply collecting money for healthcare like so many other institutions.

I support both the Shriners and Child's Play because they each provide for distinctly different parts of a child's wellbeing.

Re:Gifts of Substance not Fluff (3, Funny)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980477)

"Probably not a popular sentiment and I'll probably be modded as a Troll."
You think that suggesting that people donate blood is not a popular sentiment? Wow. You're a troll alright, one making tired karma grabs. I wouldn't have been annoyed if you had just said, "Donate blood too!" because it is a good idea but you wrapped around that statement this idea that you're the only one to ever have thought of this and everyone else thinks donating blood is a bad idea. Stop pretending to be female. Stop whoring for karma. Just stop.

Troll? No way. (2, Funny)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980492)

You do yourself a great disservice. You understand the real meaning of Christmas.

Re:Gifts of Substance not Fluff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980542)

Too bad the Red Cross doesn't accept my blood. That's at least three deaths a year on their head.

Re:Gifts of Substance not Fluff (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980566)

Valid points, not a troll.

Most Cash donations to non-profit hospitals go to cover medical/admin costs so the children can get the care for litte or no cost. Of course that is the goal of these Hospitals and they have to take care of that obligation first. They do a very good job making the money stretch. Places like you mentioned as well as others like St. Judes do an awesome job treating sick kids on limited funds.

After covering treatment/admin/Overhead/Facility costs very little is leftover for "extras" like books, toys, or games to keep the kids minds occupied during treatment. I know a positive mental attitude is very important to the healing process so if this helps with that I'm just as much for it as just donating cash.

I wonder if these guys could go to Nintendo, Amazon, etc. and get them to give the games up for FREE or at cost to make the donations go further. The shipping fees are not that big a deal for Amazon to kick in if they are making the usual retail markup on the game. In fact, it may be UPS that picks up part of that tab and not just Amazon. Every little bit helps but those who can do more should do more.

Re:Gifts of Substance not Fluff (1)

Dixie Flatliner (850959) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980589)

I find your attitude disapointing, you of all people should understand that not everything can do everything, and most do nothing, so you should praise those who do their part.

Re:Gifts of Substance not Fluff (1)

RatBastard (949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980602)

As others have already said, there are already charities for funding treatments. But what is the kid supposed to *DO* while sitting around waiting for his/her week-long chemo session to end? Nothing? The one thing hospitals never have the money for, due to people with attitudes like yours, is to provide much needed diversions for childresn. Something to occupy their bored little minds while they spend long periods of time away from home and any toys or games they might have had.

Have a heart and stop being such a tightwad.

For God's sake... read the content (4, Insightful)

Gruneun (261463) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980606)

Your comment:

While I find it touching that you want to give games to kiddies, I think it would be far more beneficial to make donations to pay for actual treatment.

Gabe's comment:

These hospitals obviously receive plenty of donations year round but what we learned is that the money they get for the most part is spent on things much more important than toys. Things like medicine and equipment are a bigger priority than say Crash Bandicoot.

These Kids need toys though. They need games to play and crafts to make in order to take their minds off their situations. Something as simple as a Game Boy can make the stay in one of these Hospitals much more bearable for a kid. That my friends, is where we come in.


The fact of the matter is that most people that read PA aren't going to donate money to a charity simply because Gabe or Tycho mentions it. This, however, is a gift that many of the readers can connect with. You give someone $50 and you have no idea where your donation was spent. You give someone a Gameboy and you know that somewhere, in some hospital, a kid is playing a video game because you cared enough to get involved.

My Dad has a picture of some dirty guys with chainsaws and shovels that he feels sums up his civic organization. An elderly lady in the community had a stream that backed up several times a year and flooded her backyard and basement. Instead of reaching for their paychecks, so she could hire someone, they got their tools, showed up the next Saturday, and cleared out the area. Problem solved.

Anyone can write a check and pat themselves on the back, but no amount of money is going to solve every problem. It takes a special person to see a specific problem, create a solution, and take the initiative to implement it. That's exactly what the PA guys are doing and they're doing it extremely well.

Re:Gifts of Substance not Fluff (1)

bst82551 (912361) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981569)

I donate blood every chance I get. I'm 17. I've donated four times so far (most recent donation was on Oct. 28th). This last time, they messed up and ended up missing the vein altogether, but I still plan on going back. I could care less if my arm is bruised and sore for a week or two, so long as it helps someone along the way. Brian

Re:Gifts of Substance not Fluff (1)

Kaboom13 (235759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981691)

Theres a million different charities you can donate that goes towards treatment. Thats definitly important. The idea behind Child's Play is for gamers to give the gifts of games to A. Share something they enjoy with kids that need something to lift their spirits and B. Prove to Jack Thompson's of the world that gamers aren't twisted violent people preying on the innocence of children. People donate to charities that they like, and in the absence of those charities probably wouldn't donate at all. So don't pull the "this cause is more worthy then your cause" card. It's not like theres some finite amount of charitable donations and we have to pick the absolute best cause. A lot of people already give money but when they see a great idea like this they give a little more, or they might give when they wouldn't have given at all. I hate people who try to make people feel guilty for doing a good deed because they could have "done more" or others gave more or because they havent given so much they live below the poverty line. It's peoples money, they can keep it for themselves or donate it or do whatever they want with it, they don't need pretentious "do-gooders" to tell them what to do with it.

hmm... (0)

CDPatten (907182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980145)

I thought Child's Play was a not so scary movie about a doll? ;)

Re:hmm... (2, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980249)

Not so scary? My brother had a "My Buddy" doll, which looked uncannily like the doll in Child's Play. He saw the movie when he was maybe 4 years old. After several attempts (all unsuccessful) to give the doll to my sister, he eventually ended up leaving it in the closet. He never touched it again.

If only this charity had existed back then, the doll could have had the opportunity to traumatize another child.

Re:hmm... (1)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980557)

Being a card carrying nerd, you of course modified your brother's "My Buddy" doll to say "Hi, I'm Buddy, Wanna Play"..... right?....... Riiiiight?!?!

Give (0)

MauMan (252382) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980155)

Give until it hurts and then give a little more. It's worth it.

Let's go! (5, Insightful)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980166)

Let's show Jack Thompson the what for!

Re:Let's go! (2, Interesting)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980219)

No need, Thompson has just bailed the case [theinquirer.net] !

Re:Let's go! (1)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980514)

He's just making himself available for the press, don't cha know? If he got bogged down in a court room, it would steal valuable time away from appearing on Fox and CNN news. How will he carry out his Holy War against gamers while trapped by the Bar's rules of conduct?.

Re:Let's go! (2, Funny)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980615)

From the supplied article:

This comes alongside the less publicised news that Thompson received, at his home address, a tube of vaginal lubricant, courtesy he feels, of Rockstar.

Re:Let's go! (4, Funny)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980674)

from that link:

This comes alongside the less publicised news that Thompson received, at his home address, a tube of vaginal lubricant, courtesy he feels, of Rockstar.

best laugh i had all day. thanks.

Re:Let's go! (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981765)

Will Harlan Ellison be there?

Bemopolis

memories (5, Interesting)

sedyn (880034) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980173)

When I was younger I was a patient at one of the hospitals that is on the list. At the time, I found it odd that they had a gameboy for me to play just before surgery. It's one of the few memories I have of the day (other than waking up while I was still bleeding heavily, but that sticks with a person).

Now to determine how much money to donate to it...

As a side note, anyone know anything about get well gamers [get-well-gamers.org] ? They seem to be asking for non-monitary donations, but as I recall, last year Gabe said they weren't allowed to give already used stuff (I could be wrong on this).

too bad- (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980279)

it looks like they've been slashdotted... maybe we should all chip in and get them some tougher hosting...

Re:memories (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980286)

they weren't allowed to give already used stuff

I'm not sure if that's true, but it would make sense. I'd imagine it would be very difficult to sterilize a piece of electronics (especially a well-used piece of electronics) sufficiently to be used by a patient with a suppressed immune system without destroying said electronics.

Re:memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980354)

Good call, that's the exact reason.

Second on the FAQ list in the 'About' section.

Re:memories (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980463)

Yeah, my brother had a similar experience with a MN hospital. They carted in a Nintendo that had Zelda or Mario Bros on it. At the time, we were allowed to play Commodore 64 games very rarely (IE, snow levels taller than we were, or temperature -40 or less), and even less we played our uncle's Intellevision (which was passed on to me when he passed, I'll never give that up).

I remember specifically that, at least for my brother, all the tension of the catheter up his you know what, and the multiple surgeries and the finding of a mysterious third kidney (which I have claimed, just in case I break my current models). Unfortunately, I was so infatuated by that Nintendo, that I really wanted to go visit him so I could see or play the games, it's quite sad, really, but that was long ago.

Later that year, we found a Nintendo hiding in the laundry room just prior to Christmas and almost exploded with delight. For a few days we pretended we didn't know about it, then I forgot completely, so my surprise was genuine when we unwrapped it.

I'll be contributing to a local hospital if I can find a program, but PA will be getting some cash anyway.

Re:memories (1)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981162)

As a side note, anyone know anything about get well gamers? They seem to be asking for non-monitary donations, but as I recall, last year Gabe said they weren't allowed to give already used stuff (I could be wrong on this).

Childs Play does not accept used games [penny-arcade.com] but Get-well-gamers.org does [get-well-gamers.org] . They even accept broken games which they repair or scavenge for parts.

Re:memories (1)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981400)

Hospitals prefer new stuff as opposed to used stuff, for the same reason they discourage stuffed animals: they're a magnet for dirt and dust, harmful in a hospital.

Re:memories (1)

tbfromny (705452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981708)

My 4-year-old son has leukemia, and has had a variety of hospital stays over the past two years. We've been lucky -- we haven't had too many hospital stays -- but we know other cancer kids that spend just weeks and weeks in the hospital. Most of these kids are sick enough to need hospitalization (many due to reduced immunity), but not so sick that they can't do stuff.

Hospital stays can be (among other things) extremely boring. There's only so much TV you can watch. Most pediatric wings will have some sort of a game room, but even that gets old. My 4-year-old obviously can't play really complicated video games, but we've had fun playing the games he can handle.

Please help this organization out. Also, as others have mentioned, give blood! Thanks!

Open-books charity? (2, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980179)

Do they have an "open books" policy regarding what percentage of donations actually go to recipients?

A "for the kids" charity organization keeps blitzing my church with videos, and when I researched them I found that they give out less than 50% of their take!

Re:Open-books charity? (4, Informative)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980196)

It's near 100%. You buy the stuff on special wishlists at Amazon, and it's shipped directly to the hospital.

Re:Open-books charity? (1)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980198)

From what I remember reading last year, all of it does.

Re:Open-books charity? (5, Informative)

MauMan (252382) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980218)

Well according to their FAQ 100% of the money given directly to them is goes through, however it does not say what Amazon's cut, if any, is other than their normal profit.

A: We have partnered with Amazon.com, which hosts a series of "Wish Lists" stocked with toys the hospitals have requested, as well as age appropriate videogames and game systems selected by Child's Play. Simply choose the hospital nearest you from our interactive map at http://www.childsplaycharity.org/ [childsplaycharity.org] and the toys you purchase will be delivered directly. We also accept cash donations via Paypal to childsplaycharity@penny-arcade.com, which will be split evenly among the hospitals in this year's event. There are no "administrative fees" or other hidden costs associated with giving to Child's Play - every cent is passed on.

Re:Open-books charity? (1)

MauMan (252382) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980272)

I guess PayPal could also be taking a cut on the direct donations.

Re:Open-books charity? (2, Informative)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980431)

it does not say what Amazon's cut, if any, is other than their normal profit.

Amazon's cut is exactly that -- whatever profit they make on the sale of items. Plus the inevitable "shipping and handling" fees (if any).

The cash donations go 100% to the hospitals. Gabe, Tycho, and various others volunteer their time to do whatever administrivia is needed. But by having virtually all of it done through Amazon, and shipped directly to the hospitals there really isn't much (the first year they did this they had everything shipped to them... they had to get storage facilities and get a fleet of volunteers to move stuff; but even then it was 100% contribution, with them paying/getting donated the overhead).

Re:Open-books charity? (4, Informative)

fallen1 (230220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980222)

Yeah, right on the front page of the site:
Created by Penny Arcade, no "Administrative Fees" or other nonsense is collected; all gifts and donations go directly to the hospitals for distribution to sick kids.

Sheesh, at least click on the link for the charity and do some reading before asking inflammatory questions. I know that there are a lot of scammers preying on the "for the children" line for charities (not to mention politics) but Gabe and Tycho have never numbered among them.

Re:Open-books charity? (5, Funny)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980806)

I know that there are a lot of scammers preying on the "for the children" line for charities (not to mention politics) but Gabe and Tycho have never numbered among them.

Yeah, but Gabe did punch a baby once.

(In Gabe's defence, the baby was being kind of a dick.)

Re:Open-books charity? (4, Informative)

Alaren (682568) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980251)

Gabe and Tycho are very adamant that they have a policy of passing along 100% of the proceeds and donations. Other than the portion of the charity dinner ticket price that goes towards food etc. it's all for the kids, and last year they told us exactly how much of each ticket went to charity.

Penny Arcade is not just popular because it's funny--the guys who run it are known for their principled approach to business. They don't try to screw anyone. They only advertise things they feel their readership might be interested in. They are well respected for a reason, and I feel quite comfortable giving to their charity.

mod -1 redundant... (1)

supersocialist (884820) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980699)

...but I'm out of mod points, so I've got to use with my words: Tycho and Gabe are great and if I were to say why, I'd just be repeating the parent post. I had the opportunity to play Burning Wheel and Munchkin with Tycho a couple years ago at a con in New Jersey (ubercon I think?) and (as far as I can tell/I am not a psychologist/etc) he's about as genuine and decent a person as you could hope to meet. I tend to go the Toys for Tots route because I like to donate educational toys, but I'd feel totally confident giving Child's Play my money.

Ahhh charity... (3, Funny)

CupBeEmpty (720791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980201)

Now I know what to do with my stockpile of Hot Coffee modded GTAs. There is nothing that hospitalized children need more than that.

US, UK, Canada (0, Troll)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980202)

I'm a huge fan of penny-arcade and I admire them a lot for doing what they are doing. However, why is it that they pick three of the countries in which children would be most likely to be able to afford gameboys etc. themselves in? I appreciate that there are lots of kids in US, UK and Canada who are having rough lives but I am sure that there would be poor children in India, Africa and South America that are in far greater need. Generocity is always great and reflects the same way on the donor nomatter where it is going to, however toys and money can do so much more for those who have even less.

Re:US, UK, Canada (4, Insightful)

Spytap (143526) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980229)

My guess? While setting it up the first time, it was just Seattle, then it was the US, now it's the US, Canada, and UK...give them time, this is only the third year...

Re:US, UK, Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980237)

Nothing is stopping you from starting up your own charity similar to Child's Play and doing what your asking.

Let us know when you have it setup.

Re:US, UK, Canada (1)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980309)

Logistics may play a large role as well. It is fairly easy to donate to a local children's hospital, but it could be very difficult to set something up with one in Africa. For one thing, Amazon ships the donations directly to the places.

Re:US, UK, Canada (2, Interesting)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980333)

When the PA guys did the first Child's Play, it was almost a spur of the moment kind of thing in response to a newspaper column written about violent video games. They had absolutely no idea what they were getting into, and were utterly shocked when they hit $10,000. They finished that first year with over $110,000. This isn't an organized charity organization, this is two guys frontlining an army of gamers and geeks for a good cause. As another reply to your comment says, just give them time. :)

Re:US, UK, Canada (5, Insightful)

Browncoat (928784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980335)

Child's Play isn't for poor children -- it's for sick children in hospitals.

Children in India, Africa and South America need medical care and food above a PlayStation 2. That said, I understand that since the organization is Penny Arcade, they are doing this charity as a twofold purpose:

1) To give to children
2) To promote the idea that games are healthy for kids and offer education, not violence

The second reason is because there is a lot of criticism over the gaming industry and this is one way that PA can approach the subject with actions, not just words, and help needy children.

Kids in the US, UK, Canada, etc. who Child's Play is geared toward are getting the medical care they need -- the problem is, many of the parents of those sick children might be seeing all of their income go towards medical bills and basic expenses such as food and utilities.

They might not have enough money leftover for a good Christmas. PA steps in and helps a little bit. Yes, toys and games are material and can't be as valuable as clean water and food for children in India and Africa. But it's about evaluating what these countries need. Kids in India and Africa need medical care more than they need toys. Kids in the US and UK in these hospitals are already getting that medical care. What they need is a little happiness during their illness.

Re:US, UK, Canada (0, Flamebait)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980478)

Summary of your argument in point form:

* Child's play is not for poor children, it's for sick children.

* Child's play is a cynical political stunt for the computer gamer lobby.

* Child's play really is for poor children since sick children are poor.

* Poor sick children need aid far more than other sick children since they are missing far more than just comfort.

Ok, so basically I said that Child's play is a very honorable and generous program that may be a little short in scope due to some natural human localisation of thinking. You defend them saying that Child's play is a self-contradictary undertaking based on political motivations who's contributions become insignificant compared to even basic care. I'm currently wondering if I'm responding to a fan with bad argument planning skills and an itchy reply link finger or a strawman sock puppet [wikipedia.org] operated by Jack Thompson and the "fuck penny arcade" lobby.

Re:US, UK, Canada (1)

Browncoat (928784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980618)

What I am saying is that Child's Play is a charity that is geared toward a certain group of people. It's fine for them to branch out but that if they were to choose to send toys to countries like India and Africa, there might be concern that those kids need things more significant than toys and that their goals are misguided.

Also, it says right on the Child's Play web site that they are using this as a way of proving wrong critics of the gaming industry.

Under "About Child's Play" it says, For two years now we've set up and organized a charity called Child's Play. We set it up because we were angry the media decided to blame all the world's problems on games and gamers. Basically they said that gamers were bad people, and we thought that wasn't right. Apparently, you guys agreed: through Child's Play you sent nearly a million dollars in toys, games, and cash to the sick kids in Children's Hospitals around the nation.

Re:US, UK, Canada (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980884)

I'm currently wondering if I'm responding to a fan with bad argument planning skills

And we have a win-nah! Winnah!

Few have quality arugment planning skills; myself included.

Re:US, UK, Canada (2, Insightful)

James_G (71902) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980382)

This is not an "Insightful" comment. If anything it's a fairly subtle "Troll", but I'll give the benefit of the doubt.

Just because someone else may have a greater need doesn't mean people shouldn't help out those that have a lesser need. If you follow this logic, people would only donate to, say, earthquake relief in Pakistan, or hurricane relief in Lousiana. Just because there are people out there who have a greater need doesn't negate the fact that there are others with a need as well.

The tiny P-A team is doing far, far more than most people ever do, and the theme they picked reflects their interests - ie, showing the world that gamers aren't the rabid church tower snipers people like Jack Thompson make them out to be. If that's not right for you, don't donate to them.. but don't criticise them because you think there are people who are more deserving.

Re:US, UK, Canada (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980759)

but don't criticise them because you think there are people who are more deserving.

I don't know how 9 people so far believe that I am criticising them. I don't know how I could have been more gentle about my disagreement with their priorities, if you have any suggestions I'd like to know of them. And I don't think I ever claimed anything about who is more deserving. Charity has never been about who deserves, it is about who has the most needs that can be satisfied.

As for the insightful rating, I may or may not deserve it. In fact I've got a lot of insightful ratings on stupid posts before. This time I had the curse of posting early so now I have a bunch of idiots and their junior home made strawman kits responding to what I said.

There are poor kids here too (3, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980397)

And you know? You can only care so much, fix so much. You can't take the burden of the whole world on your shoulders. Nor can you, or should you, ignore a problem somewhere, just because there's a worse problem somewhere else. For example we should not stop giving food to soup kitchens in America until all the kids in Africa are fed first.

Also, there's a matter of making sure that the donations get to the intended recipiants. In a stable, first-world nation, that's pretty easy. I'd venture to say 99.9% of all Child's Play gifts go where they are supposed to, and the small fraction of a percent that don't are mistakes, not thefts. In Africa? Well try arranging that. That's always been a massive problem with aid over there. You drop off tons of food, only to have it seized by a local milita, and this is when the UN and governments do it and they can actually back their position up with guns, if they so choose. PA, well thy'd send shit there and just hope it got where it was supposed to.

There's also the matter of trying to do things others aren't. There already is aid going to Africa, lots of it. It's not enough, but as I said it's also due to reasons of it not getting where it's supposed to. But the point is, if you want to give aid to Africa, there are ways to do it. However this market, toys for hospitalised kids in teh states, seemed to be totally neglected. So they started it up. Rather than try to duplicate the effort of others, they started something new.

Re:There are poor kids here too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980784)

Triage.

Why on earth would anyone be giving video games to hospitals when there are SO many more useful things they could be spending money on?

There's absolutely no way that video games should get a higher priority than, say, treating people. Hospitals are in trouble in the US, they NEED money. Giving patients video games is kind of a slap in the face. For the price of that XBox, the hospital could have bought supplies to save people's lives. But instead someone can play NFL 2k6. Yay.

Child's Play will never get a cent of my money. There are more worthy things that it can be spent on, and it's quite frankly depressing how many people are willing to donate video games but not medical supplies.

Re:There are poor kids here too (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980846)

Why on earth would anyone be giving video games to hospitals when there are SO many more useful things they could be spending money on?

<Obligatory demand for parent's 1040 form so we can audit your charitable deductions>

Re:There are poor kids here too (1)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981560)

Triage.
Why on earth would anyone be giving video games to hospitals when there are SO many more useful things they could be spending money on?

I know you're just a trolling AC but a lot of people seem to have this opinion and it's quite backward. Instead of saying "ok maybe not how I'd choose to spend my charity $$, but good job guys" you actually take offense at something that in the end is still a charity helping children. Look, you can disagree with the best way to help people but please don't get angry just because the organization's solution doesn't cure cancer/AIDS/hunger/war.

The fact of the matter is that there are millions of people suffering from thousands of different problems in the world, and it's more or less impossible to save everyone from everything. In addition who are you to prioritize the worlds' problems? OK, so maybe starvation trumps childrens' boredom, but what about AIDS vs cancer? Starvation vs TB? How are we supposed to determine which charity/goal is the most decent/most needed? And how is it that we're supposed to tell people dying from any of those other problems "sorry little girl, but we're committed to curing world hunger before we can get you those malaria meds."

Look, there's a lot of charity resources in the world, and there's a lot of needs to be met, the only distribution system that is really fair is to let people decide how they want to give and how they want to help - and many times this is influenced by a personal experience with that problem. If a need becomes more pressing, the charities will advertise that need and money will tend to flow there. Sick children that have nothing to do in the hospital but feel miserable is not the worst thing in the world, no, but that doesn't make it any less real or depressing for that child. Can you honestly tell me that little Billy or Sally will be at all comforted when you tell them that no, you didn't buy them a game to take their mind off their cancer, but you did donate to starving kids in Africa? A single person only has so much they can give, but it is up to them to choose how to give it, and the fact is they are still doing good and helping a child. That child will appreciate it, and most likely in the future it will affect their decision to donate or volunteer and help others.

You can choose any charity you feel helps the world best, but don't disparage others for helping in a different way, we're all working for good, and this way every problem is helped a little instead of some not being helped at all.

Re:There are poor kids here too (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13981698)

-- I'm not a pessimist, I'm a realist. It's not my fault that life sucks so much. --

Then you must understand the concept of triage.

You can't save everyone. So you start with those who really need it, doing what you can that's likely to actually save lives.

Video games are VERY low on the "charity triage" list.

Yes, it does mean some kids don't get helped. Because they don't NEED the help as much as others.

If you're really a realist, you'll understand that Child's Play is actually harmful since it's diverting resources that could have been used effectively into frivility.

Would these kids get better without video games? Yep. So what's the point? You really going to feel better at night knowing that for the cost of saving lives in poverty-stricken countries, you brought Mario to an American child?

Re:US, UK, Canada (2, Insightful)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980479)

I don't necessarily think you're wrong, but I do think your comment is misplaced, with regard to childsplay.

This was a spur of the moment thing they started before Christmas a few years ago. I remember reading the newspost - they were pissed that gamers were always shown as a bunch of demented teenagers running around with trench coats and black-tape pentagrams on their social studies book covers. They wanted to show these condescending media pricks what the gaming demographic actually is like.

And then they made $110,000 in, what, 2 months? Just for donations for the Seattle Children's Hospital (I'm not sure if that's the name, but it's the children's hospital in the seattle area, I believe). Games - not just video games, but board games and coloring books and crayons and whatever-it-is that kids play with. The response was staggering.

It was after this year that the letters started rolling in. Parents of children in these children's hospitals. Now-grown-up children who visited these hospitals. I highly, highly recommend you read the letters yourself. If you're not choked up at the end of it, then I posit the notion that you're a cylon. Or a heartless monkey. Your call.

Letters concerning childsplay [penny-arcade.com]

My favorite [penny-arcade.com] .

It's a slowly growing charity (1)

Solr_Flare (844465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980576)

The first year of the charity it was only for the local children's hospital in Seattle. It turned into such a huge success that the second year they opened it up to 2 or 3 children's hospitals throughout the US. Now, this year, there are multiple hospitals involved and for the first time, 3 different countries.

So, the charity is growing each year, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it expanding into even more countries as each christmas rolls around.

Re:US, UK, Canada (2, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980950)

I'm a huge fan of penny-arcade and I admire them a lot for doing what they are doing. However, why(1) is it that they pick three of the countries in which children would be most likely to be able to afford gameboys etc. themselves in? I appreciate that there are lots of kids in US, UK and Canada who are having rough lives but(2) I am sure that there would be poor children in India, Africa and South America that are in far greater need(3).

1) Because they live in the USA, near Canada, both former colonies of the UK.

2) But you don't think they have it hard enough to deserve chartiy.

3) Yes, they have greater needs: Food, clean water, peace. When they have reliable electricity, they'll want videogames.

PSA: This is what a real troll looks like (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981281)

The parent of this post is not a troll. If I were to post a troll, this is what it may look like (further explaination can be found after the blockquote):
This is a standard American example of "charity", i.e. a gift of a trivial product to photogenic white children in order to generate publicity for a political cause and personal public gratification in places close enough to home to have their arses kissed in person. America has internal problems with poverty that could be sorted out if you got the browncoats out of Washington for long enough to realise that setting up some sort of real welfare system and universal healthcare does not equate to losing the cold war 15 years after it ended. Of cause this will never be the case since to every American I've met, social responsibility means nothing unless one can have one's name etched into a big plaque and recieve a tap dance from a homeless person in exchange for some food stamps and small change.

What would we do without compassionate conservatism, the long overdue return of the Client-Patron system of Rome whereby the poor are constantly reminded of their station for the amusement of others. This way, instead of having an anonymous charge in tax, you can now whack off at your charity reciepts before writing it down in the deductions column.

No doubt this will be modded down a lot as well, after all, I did advocate something approaching socialism, and this is slashdot which basically turns into a Nuremburg rally as soon as the sun's first light crosses the Atlantic.

What made it a troll? Here's why:

* Deliberate hyperbole in order to make certain readers angry.

* Message not completely based on author's own viewpoint.

* Drifting off topic early in the post.

* Insult of many of slashdot's readers at the end

I don't know why people would bother using their modpoints to mod someone down, but if you logged onto slashdot today hoping to "mod me down a troll YEEHAW!" I suggest that maybe you would be better to mod this post down as a troll, and maybe mod the parent up as overrated. The parent may not be right by many people's reckoning and the subject it is on is considered taboo by many, but I believe it was phrased in a very gracious way and is clearly on a subject worthy of discussion. A lot of people seem to have thought I was being a jerk, which I do not understand but I can assure anyone that I did not intend to be, I really like Gabe and Tyco and admire them for putting so much effort into giving something to those they consider needy.

MOD PARENT DOWN (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981325)

See subject (yes, I know it's my own post)

Piracy in the headlines again... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980207)

It's refreshing to see that there is a focus on real pirates in the news again. I think this may be a shocking eye-opener for many of the software theives that frequent /.

First Post??

This is not charity.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980213)

..it's a PR exercise. They'll sell x more shirts and other merch because of the free publicity this shit generates. Charity should be anonymous, not plastered all over a hugely popular website in a grandiose display of self-back-patting.

Re:This is not charity.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980472)

Do you also believe that all charity is essentially selfish because those bastard charitable people feel good performing their god damed charitable acts?

The truth is that there are millions of things that Penny-Arcade could do that would attract a greater readership; creating a highly efficient charity that helps sick children is probably the most selfless one with the lowest personal gain. I recognize that charitable acts make for good PR, but do you think the people who need the help (or benefit from said chaitable act) really care that it improved the image of the person/company that did it?

The fact that they're a very popular website, and that they take part in this so called 'self-back-patting' is what actually makes this charity possible; the attention that they generate actually causes thousands of people who don't normally donate money to do so because they like Penny-Arcade and they like the cause.

Why was Parent modded as troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980760)

I think someone has low reading comprehension ...

I hate to feed the trolls... (2, Interesting)

supersocialist (884820) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980497)

...but it ought to be said: anonymous charity doesn't set an example, and greater overall good is achieved by encouraging others to contribute. Do you really think humility is more important than helping more children? Is helping people wrong if you benefit as well?

Now I'm not intimately familiar with Gabe and Tycho's financial situations, but this I do know: they're comfortable enough to throw down $10,000 to embarrass Jack Thompson. That may have been all their givin'-away money for the year, but let's assume it isn't, and in fact, they have $100,000 squirreled away to donate anonymously. Good deal for those kids, huh?

Except during their first year, Child's Play pulled over $110,000 and it was hardly organized at that point. I'm having trouble coming up with a concrete total for their second year, but anybody who follows the strip/newsposts can confirm they did a hell of a lot better than the first run, and they generated a lot more money than they could have donated on their own. Kobe Bryant might be able to personally compete with their totals, but comic strip artists don't make quite as much money as so-called sports heroes ... who I suppose are doing all their charitable work on the down-low (or on the wrong end of a community service sentence).

Re:This is not charity.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980774)

I believe it is Slashdot rule #33 - do NOT criticize Penny Arcade. Apple zealots, Xbox fanbois, GPL freaks - none of them have anything on the legions of Penny Arcade dick suckers on this site.

Re:This is not charity.. (1)

Tolwyn_993442 (795967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981332)

Funny that you got modded down for that.

Re:This is not charity.. (2, Insightful)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981178)

..it's a PR exercise. They'll sell x more shirts and other merch because of the free publicity this shit generates. Charity should be anonymous, not plastered all over a hugely popular website in a grandiose display of self-back-patting.
Perhaps it's a PR exercise. Perhaps (more likely), that PR and the PA name attached to the charity is what truely garners the massive donations required by this undertaking. YES, they sell their own branded stuff. Yes, they do make money on ads. But you know what. Why don't you try and anonymously help the hundreds(if not thousands) of children by yourself. Oh, or better yet, throw that magic switch of yours that turns off human greed and turns on human giving.

Come on, I'm waiting....

Re:This is not charity.. (1)

Gruneun (261463) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981335)

Charity should be anonymous, not plastered all over a hugely popular website in a grandiose display of self-back-patting.

You're right. Perhaps, it should be plastered all over a hugely unpopular site where it's sure to generate all those donations in a more appropriate manner.

Open your hearts and wallets (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980247)

As the father of a cancer survivor, I can tell you that whatever you can give to this charity, and these kids, will have a more positive impact than it ever could have had you spent it on yourself, and will bring more joy and happiness than you can possibly imagine to someone who desperately needs it. The letters on the Child's Play site will give you some idea of that, but know that it's only a pale shadow of what you actually feel when you're in that situation. Donate, and know that you've done something wonderful.

Re:Open your hearts and wallets (2, Interesting)

tashpool (919935) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980771)

Reading through some of the letters and seeing the positive responses like this one put me in the holiday's mood. I just ordered a handful of items through the website. I'm usually a stingy bastard too, but that honestly did feel pretty good.

Letters from beyond the grave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980257)

Either that or the healing powers of a PSP is nothing short of miraculous.

Hospice: A program that provides palliative care and attends to the emotional and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients at an inpatient facility or at the patient's home.

"(...)letters from former patients who have been touched by games in hospice(...)"

Re:Letters from beyond the grave? (1)

Hrvat (307784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981007)

Most hospice patients actually leave hospice to go home to die. Hospice is there to give care to patients who would otherwise not receive adequate care or companionship at home. Most families can't afford to have someone stay with their child/family member at home all the time, and they certainly can't afford not having a parent working. Thus you have hospices, a community where a patient can get care they need. However they can't treat really serious conditions so for the last few months/weeks, the patient is usually at home or in a hospital.

Free PA Prize! (0)

Mulletproof (513805) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980281)

And for every dollar donated, each kid will recieve the new iPod white 2006 Fruit Fucker! Ok, maybe not, but hats off to 'em for doing this sort of thing. It's an easy thing these days to take the money and run when it comes to internet profit.

You know... (1)

RatBastard (949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980371)

You know, there was nothing quite like the feeling I got when I read my Thank You letter from the (I forget which one) Children's Hospital I donated a gift to. I'm going to donate again this year.

Re:You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13981236)

You're REALLY not going to live up to your account-name THAT WAY...

Good Cause (3, Interesting)

th1ckasabr1ck (752151) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980391)

I've given to this charity each of the last few years - Not only does it give a child something he might not otherwise have been able to enjoy, it also makes me feel better about myself and lastly is more ammunition for use against the Jack Thompsons of the world.

I can remember visiting my grandmother in the hospital a year or so back, and while waiting for her to wake up I took a walk around the hospital and found a group of kids sitting in a recreation room all playing games and having a great time. It's a phenomenal way to keep these kids happy while going through tough times.

Anyone want to go in half with me for a PS2?

Is it possible to make a donation... (3, Funny)

iapetus (24050) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980414)

...so that they don't send a copy of Spyro: A Hero's Tail to an already-sick child? That's just cruel and unusual punishment...

They better watch out... (3, Funny)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980457)

Jack Thompson might show up dressed in a santa suit and green fur and try to steal all the toys.

I would donate... (0, Flamebait)

NessusRed (710227) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980460)

However how could I be sure it would reach a caucasin child not a minority? Especially an East Indian, can you imagine anything so ridiculous as one of those mud people trying to figure out how to play a Game Boy?

Question not on FAQ Page - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980494)

Q: How can I be sure my donation is not stolen my some unscrupulous CNA or maintenance person?

I can't tell you how many times I have heard of things being stolen by the personnel in the hospital. It's typically the cleaning or maintenance crew that works at night, but the CNA's do it as well.

Re:Question not on FAQ Page - (1)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980935)

My soulution, buy two.

Seriously, there are so many good reasons to get these things for these kids. For example a study was done, and linked to here on /. (tho I can't find the link at the moment) that showed gameboys are more effective at relieving pre-surgury stress in children than seditives, and are obviously much safer. The fact that some maintenace person might stoop to the vile act of stealing from sick children is no reason not to give.

Re:Question not on FAQ Page - (2, Informative)

audacity242 (324061) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981694)

Having done recreation therapy at a large hospital, and been in charge of numerous things you'd expect to get stolen (VHS tapes, DVDs, craft supplies, a GameGear and games, etc.), you'd be surprised at how RARELY things get stolen.

Most of the stuff stolen from our hospital was stuff that wasn't going to adversely affect patients -- a package of gauze here and there, the staff microwave, etc.

-Jenn

Wtf is a 'chok'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980709)

There's no need to create new words when existing ones will suffice just fine. The word is "chock". Look it up sometime.

Not Just Games (2, Funny)

giantsfan89 (536448) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980803)

Yeah... Children's Hospital in Oakland, CA (my mom used to work there) also needs 30 copies of the best of the Hanson's Live [amazon.com] !!!

Re:Not Just Games (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981857)

The funny thing is that after recovering from the success of that terrible godawful mmmBop song, hanson released some surprisingly good acoustic rock albums that nobody took seriously because of their early career.

Seriously. Go check them out on iTunes. They may not be my favorite band, but they definitely take more crap than they deserve.

Nonetheless, I think that doing something a lot more personal would have an even greater effect. I helped coordinate a project where we made a home movie of sorts for a terminally ill child in my town that featured almost every child in his class (and the school for that matter), and members of his family who were unable to go visit him. It was easily one of the most worthwile endeavours of my life. The project produced about 12 hours of footage that myself and 3 others spent a week and half editing down to a 2.5 hour film (working 12+ hours a day over spring break using a hodgepodge of borrowed equipment). We finished it just in time...............

Child's Play 2005 (0, Redundant)

AlteredEgg (849856) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980943)

I saw the headline and thought "Great, another stupid Chucky movie." What a relief!

Not Slashdotted? (3, Funny)

R2P2 (193577) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981381)

The Child's Play site isn't slashdotted yet. That means either a) they've got a really good server, or b) Slashdot readers are a bunch of cheapskates who don't care about charity. I know what my vote is...

Re:Not Slashdotted? (1)

David Horn (772985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981517)

I've bought them a CD and one of those cool 20 Questions things. Unfortunately, I tend to agree that the majority of Slashdotters are cheapskates - just look at the number of posts in this thread where people have been karma whoring "funny" mods.

Re:Not Slashdotted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13981959)

It's Penny Arcade. Their servers are like tiny Gods.

Amazon a bit disappointing (1)

David Horn (772985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981791)

Shame Amazon are still making a handsome profit on all the items in the wishlists. How about they chip in by agreeing to send double what has been bought?
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