Penny Arcade has kicked off the 2008 campaign for its amazing Child's Play charity, and Chris Morris at Forbes serves up some history detailing how the PA guys popularized the concept of gamers giving back:
It's funny what a little righteous anger can do. Five years ago, Mike Krahulik, co-founder of the popular Penny Arcade Web site, read yet another editorial decrying video games as tools of violence that desensitized America's youth.
To combat the bad press, he and partner Jerry Holkins decided to launch a charity drive that encouraged readers to send them games or cash, and they would pass the donations to Seattle's Children's Hospital...
They ended up receiving $225,000 in video game and toy donations, along with another $26,000 in cash... To date, Child's Play has raised over $3.5 million in cash and toy donations. The charity has gone from improvised effort to nonprofit organization. And recipient hospitals have grown from one to 40.
GP: What an outstanding thing to do. While there are a number of other gamer-centric charitable efforts, it's fair to say that Child's Play sets the standard.
That's why it's so unbelievable that in 2005 Jack Thompson tried to have the Penny Arcade guys arrested.