Penny Arcade's Child's Play Charity Auction Brings in $200K

December 12, 2008 -

This week's Child's Play Charity Auction Dinner raised more than $200,000 for worthy causes, reports Gabe of Penny Arcade.

Among the items auctioned off was the rather impressive statue at left depicting an Orc from World of Warcraft on his mount.

Simply awesome - both the event and the statue...

15 comments

EA Exec Steps Up to Help At-risk Kids

December 4, 2008 -

As we move into the season of giving, it's heartwarming to learn that a top exec with EA Vancouver is giving back to his community in a major way.

As reported by the Globe and Mail, senior VP Rory Armes (left) is among Canadian execs who have gotten involved with Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, a nonprofit which connects businesses with social service organizations.

From the newspaper report:

For Mr. Armes, a commitment to help Vancouver's at-risk youth seemed like a natural fit... His mid-October tour took him to the Potluck Cafe, the Urban Native Youth Association, PLEA Community Services Society of B.C., and Directions Youth Services.

"It drove a point home," says Mr. Armes. "Most of us have teenaged children and we could identify with the problems faced by the kids we met. In our case we could see an immediate fit between what they need and what we can provide."

That fit included making the Potluck Cafe a sort of unofficial caterer to Electronic Arts, and donating used computer equipment and software to Directions Youth Services.

"They told us they needed things that would help boost the self-esteem of the kids they dealt with," Mr. Armes says...

"We are also offering paid time off through the week to any of our people who might want to spend the hours from, say, two to four teaching these kids how to operate the software," he adds.

GP: Kudos to Rory Armes and EA!

Via: Our sister-site GameCulture

5 comments

Desert Bus Running Once Again for Charity

November 30, 2008 -

Comedy troupe LoadingReadyRun has launched its second annual Desert Bus for Hope charity drive.

The gimmick here is that LRR members control the annoyingly monotonous Desert Bus simulator continuously as long as their mostly gamer audience continues to make donations.

A live stream shows the "drivers" at work (see pic). The game is reportedly part of the never-released Penn & Teller's Smoke & Mirrors, originally intended for the Sega CD system.

As a bonus, none other than actor Wil Wheaton (he's an ECA member!) will be checking in with the Desert Bus crew later today.

What They Play has a detailed explanation of the diabolical way in which the Desert Bus fundraiser works:

Viewers are asked to donate money via the Desert Bus website, and as the dollar total rises, so does the length of time the team must continue driving the bus... In order to limit the event to a few days, each additional hour costs more in donations than the previous hour did, until they become prohibitively expensive.

 

Despite this limitation, though, last year’s event ran 108 hours long. Viewers are encouraged to participate by e-mail, or by live internet chat, where they can ask questions of the crew, make requests, and become an active participant.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

9 comments

Parents To Start a Foundation in Brandon Crisp's Memory

November 12, 2008 -

In a just-released statement the parents of Brandon Crisp say that they plan to create a foundation to help unpriveleged children have the opportunity to play sports.

Although it was known that the Crisps would release a statement today, the focus of the proposed foundation is a bit of a surprise. Some believed that the family would target video game addiction, which was initially blamed for Brandon's disappearance by his parents. The oft-repeated game addiction theme gathered much traction in the Canadian media as well.

The 15-year-old gamer will be buried on Friday.

The full text of the Crisp family's statement follows:

The story of our son's disappearance and tragic outcome has touched the hearts of families throughout our community and across our Country.

 

We are so very proud to have parented such a wonderful, caring and beautiful son who has touched so many hearts.


We take great comfort in our time of grief, knowing that his story has and will continue to have a profound impact on parents and children alike, that more time will be made by families to share precious time together. Life and love should never be taken for granted.

 

To honor Brandon's name we will be creating a foundation to support under privileged children throughout our community and across Canada to play minor sports they may not otherwise be able to afford. An interim donation account has been set up with the CIBC as the Brandon Crisp Trust Account, Donations can be made at any CIBC branch across Canada.

 

The support we have had from so many has been completely overwhelming and has made an everlasting impression on our family. 

275 comments | Read more

Penny Arcade Launches 2008 Child's Play Charity Drive

November 12, 2008 -

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.

57 comments

Gamer Army Wife Keeps Combat Troops Supplied with Video Games

November 10, 2008 -

As we look forward to Veteran's Day tomorrow, we're reminded that serving with the military in Iraq or Afghanistan must be very difficult, indeed. Our troops face constant danger and are far removed from their families and the things they enjoyed at home.

But a Philadelphia-area woman, Stefanie Doctor Shea, works hard to bring at least one of the comforts of home to the front lines: video games.

As GamePolitics first reported on Veteran's Day, 2007, Stefanie takes a very personal interest in how our military personnel are faring overseas. That's because her husband, Sgt. Michael Shea, spent the last year with the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq before returning home recently (Stefanie and Michael are pictured at left).

But while Stefanie's hubby may be back, the nonprofit organization she founded, Fun For Our Troops, is still engaged in its mission. A just-issued press release offers Stefanie's thoughts:

In our first year we were able to provide gaming relief to over 200 deployed troops and several Morale, Wellness, and Recreation (MWR) stations in Iraq and Afghanistan. We hope to continue the momentum this Veteran’s Day and in 2009.

SPC Joseph Burris adds:

As a soldier, I just wanted to say thanks for Fun for Our Troops. Words cannot describe the feelings I get when I see people like you selflessly donate time, money, and energy just to make our lives a little better. Something as simple as a videogame can mean a lot to a soldier who has nothing more to look forward to than another dusty day on convoy.

The Sheas are gamers themselves. While waiting for Michael to be deployed last fall, the couple spent a good deal of time playing the Wii. Stefanie attended PAX for the first time in August of this year.

Fun for our Troops is seeking tax-deductible donations of new or gently used game systems, video games, PC games or MP3 players as well as gift cards for distributors of games and gaming systems. The organization can also make use of monetary donations which are used primarily toward shipping costs and purchasing used gaming systems.  

Donations can be sent to:

Fun for our Troops, Inc.
506 Corporate Drive West
Langhorne, PA 19047

...or via PayPal.

18 comments

Sarcastic Gamer Raises $115K for Charity

November 10, 2008 -

Last month GamePolitics covered Sarcastic Gamer's Extra Life marathon, a charity event held for the benefit of Texas Children's Hospital.

Despite tough economic times, Sarcastic Gamer now reports that gamers came through in a huge way, with $115,000 raised. A joint press release issued by the hospital and the website gives more details:

Thanks to your support, over $115,000 was raised to fight pediatric cancer.  The funds raised will help provide critical dollars for research in childhood cancer as well as provide support to the families and patients being treated at Texas Children’s Cancer Center.  And hopefully everyone had fun at the same time!

8 comments

ESA's Nite to Unite Raises $750K for Kids

November 7, 2008 -

The ESA Foundation, the charitable arm of video game publishers trade group the Entertainment Software Association, announced this week that it raised $750,000 for various children's charities at the organization's annual Nite to Unite.

The sold-out event was held on October 22nd in San Francisco. Legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto (left) was honored with the 2009 ESA Champion Award.

ESA CEO Michael Gallagher commented on the spirit behind Nite to Unite:

The video game industry’s commitment to giving back is stronger than ever. For ten years now, Nite to Unite has been the premiere industry event dedicated to children’s causes and honoring its creative visionaries. I’m honored that so many distinguished individuals and organizations attended.

2 comments

Children's Charity Turns its Back on Gygax Memorial Donation

November 4, 2008 -

As many gamers know, Gary Gygax (left), the famed creator of Dungeons & Dragons, passed away earlier this year.

By way of honoring the man and his achievement, the folks behind GenCon’s yearly charity auction decided to donate the proceeds to Gygax’s favorite charity, the Christian Children's Fund.  The auction, held at this year's GenCon, raised more than $17,000.
 
Unfortunately, according to a post on Live Game Auctions, the CCF refused the donation when it found out that the money would partially come from the sale of D&D merchandise.  GenCon instead donated the money to the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that enables family members to live nearby their hospitalized loved ones.
 
A curious member of the Giant in the Playground forum e-mailed the CCF about its decision and received the following reply:

Christian Children’s Fund made the decision to decline the gift from GenCon, LLC as the request presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which CCF was not.

 

As [with] many non-profit organizations, CCF is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as CCF holding an opinion on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeons and Dragons.

GU Comics offers an amusing take on the situation.
 
-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen

59 comments

Awesome MMO Calendar Benefits Sick Kids

November 4, 2008 -

The fabulous MMO Calendar is back for 2009.

If you are into MMOs, do yourself a favor and grab one. They're just $12.95 and proceeds benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

They tend to sell out quickly, so don't wait too long to order.

Here's some info from the MMO Calendar press release:

With the help of some wonderful MMO developers we have put together our 3rd annual one-of-a-kind calendar featuring autographed artwork from the hottest released and upcoming MMO's!

MMO Calendar 2009 proudly includes:

    * Age of Conan
    * DC Universe Online
    * Dofus
    * Eve Online
    * EverQuest II
    * Free Realms
    * Guild Wars
    * Pirates of the Burning Sea
    * RuneScape
    * The Agency
    * Warhammer Online
    * World of Warcraft

...As always, 100% of the proceeds of the sale of MMO Calendar go directly to the amazing people at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, helping them in the fight for children's lives. Is there a more noble cause anywhere?

7 comments

EVE Online Fan Club Raises $4K for Get-Well Gamers

October 29, 2008 -

With its corporate raids and virtual intrigues, EVE Online is perhaps the most cutthroat of MMOs.

But its devotees, it seems, are pussycats in real life.

A press release issued this morning by the Get-Well Gamers Foundation reports that the official fan club of EVE publisher CCP, The Camarilla, raised $4,000 for the charity by holding silent auctions and raffles of donated items during gatherings.

CCP exec Val Massey commented on the donation:

The generosity of The Camarilla continues to amaze us. It's entirely to their credit that this donation was made possible. Get-Well Gamers is such a worthy cause and we are in awe of their tireless efforts to bring some much-needed fun to young people who need it most. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to act as a conduit to connect these two incredible groups.

GWG president (and longtime GP community member) Ryan Sharpe praised the EVE Online community: 

Given the recent economic climate, especially in Iceland where CCP calls home, this is a particularly poignant donation. We cannot begin to thank CCP, White Wolf and The Caramilla for their generous support of Get-Well Gamers and other worthy causes. They truly show how online communities can be used as a force for good.

 The Get-Well Gamers Foundation accepts donated console games and equipment as well as hand-held systems and the games which it then re-distributes to children's hospitals. Donations are tax-deductible.

5 comments

EA May Auction Madden Cover for Charity, Says Peter Moore

October 28, 2008 -

Bloomberg reports that Electronic Arts is considering allowing the highest bidding player to become the cover athlete on its best-selling Madden NFL franchise.

All money received from the winning bidder would go to NFL charity partner the United Way.

The news comes by way of EA Sports president Peter Moore, who told Bloomberg:

I bet you can find 50 players that would say, `I'd pay good money [to be on the cover of Madden]. The league does a lot of work with them to make them realize how lucky they are and a lot of them have come out of poor circumstances and they give back...

 

Our research tells us we don't see a huge up-tick or down-tick depending on who's on the cover -- [gamers are] buying Madden.

 

16 comments

Game Lets Players Predict U.S. Election, Win $$$ for Charity

October 13, 2008 -

A clever online game offered by Peritus Public Relations of Louisville, KY challenges players to predict which states will be carried by Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama in November 4th's presidential election.

Peritus will send $1,000 to the winner's favorite charity. And, no, your PS3 acquisition fund is not among the list of eligible charities...

I registered and gave it a try. It's fun to use the interactive map of electoral votes to make a prediction, although the registration process was slightly intrusive. Why do they need my address? Confession to Peritus: I lied.

Here's some info from the press release:

We are a firm of veritable political junkies... We created this game because we wanted to inject some fun into the political season while benefiting a charity at the same time. We felt by creating a game that was essentially unprecedented, and entertaining we would be able to reach to people who are generally politically apathetic. So we asked ourselves, why can’t politics be fun for everyone?

The Peritus Pundit gives the user an opportunity to compete against a national audience of political enthusiasts in picking the next President of the United States. The winner picks a charity of their choice and our firm will donate a $1,000 to the organization...

7 comments

Destructoid Editor Singing Like a Bird... For 24 Hours

October 3, 2008 -

Destructoid Editor Jim Sterling hopes to raise $5,000 for charity for Sarcastic Gamer's upcoming Extra Life marathon, and he's offering a bonus if he does.

Sterling promises that if he reaches his goal, he will play SingStar, Sony's popular karaoke game, for 24 hours straight and do it live on the web. From his post:

Just think about this for a moment. That's twenty-four hours of singing. If we exceed $5000 by a significant amount, I'll even take requests. You might be able to force me to sing Total Eclipse of the Heart for an entire hour...

 

Think about it -- I might die. If you want to be able to tell your grandkids that technically you killed Jim Sterling, then give, give, give and make your dreams a reality. 
 

The Extra Life marathon takes place on October 18th. From Sarcastic Gamer's website:

On Saturday October 18th, 2008 gamers from around the world will come together for 24 hours to raise money and awareness for the cause of pediatric cancer.  Cancer is the number one cause of non-accidental death in children.  Together, we’re going to stand with the families from around the world who come to Texas Children’s Cancer Center in Houston, Texas for lifesaving treatment.  Texas Children’s Cancer Center serves kids worldwide regardless of their family’s ability to pay.  This generous philosophy means that your support is crucial to ensuring not only the development of new cutting edge cures, but also to provide care to kids from all corners of the globe.

GP: It's gonna be like a train wreck. I know I should look away, but... Anyway, I've signed up. Anyone else in? Click here to make a pledge.

6 comments

Red Cross Rolls Out Humanitarian Adventure Game

October 1, 2008 -

Citizen Sugar reports on a new, web-based game offered by the British Red Cross.

Traces of Hope is designed to raise awareness of the plight of children in war-torn Uganda:

Players aim to help Joseph, a boy whose home and family has been torn apart by rebels, find his missing mother. The game site says: "He has a satellite phone, you have the web – together you’ll make a great team. Time is running out; guide Joseph through sickness, fire and violence as together you follow his traces of hope."

 

By placing clues for the game around the Internet, the game creators hope to blur the boundary between the game and the real world conflict. Since atrocities in the region often go unnoticed, perhaps this educational entertainment will help some wake up.

Cnet Asia has more:

After registering your email, Joseph contacts you and the game begins... The game is part of the Civilians and Conflict Month, a media blitz to raise awareness on the plight of those displaced and separated from their families because of war.
 

5 comments

Prominent Media Watchdog Group Among Game Biz Grant Recipients

September 29, 2008 -

The Entertainment Software Association, which lobbies on behalf of U.S. video game publishers, announced last week that it would award $1 million in grants to nine non-profit organizations. The money will be distributed by the organization's charitable arm, the ESA Foundation.

Most notable among the recipients is the Minneapolis-based National Institute for Media and the Family. The watchdog group, headed by Dr. David Walsh (left), is best known for its annual video game report card. At times it has been a harsh critic of the video game industry. In 2005, for example, NIMF tagged the ESRB with a failing grade in the wake of the Hot Coffee scandal.

According to an ESA press release, NIMF will receive funding to "develop an on-line e-learning zone for using the latest interactive technologies to help kids and adults understand the issues and potential areas of concern with the Internet."

GamePolitics has requested comment from NIMF.

Of the ESA Foundation grants CEO Michael Gallagher said:

We are pleased to help these organizations address such critical social issues. The creativity and commitment of these recipients gives us a glimpse into the countless ways technology, including video games, can be used to improve the quality of life of our young people.

Additional details on the grant awards are available on the ESA website. Aside from NIMF, other recipients include:

  • Animation Project, Inc.
  • HopeLab Foundation
  • PAX (not the game conference)
  • ThanksUSA
  • WGBH
  • Web Wise Kids
  • Federation of American Scientists
  • One Economy Corporation
12 comments

Miyamoto to Be Feted at ESA Nite to Unite for Kids

September 19, 2008 -

The ESA Foundation has announced that legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto will be honored with the 2009 ESA Champion Award at the charitable organization's annual Nite to Unite for Kids on October 22nd in San Francisco.

ESA CEO Michael Gallagher lauded Miyamoto in a press release:

Miyamoto-san truly has defined video games as we know them today. With his remarkable creativity and passion for fun, family entertainment, Miyamoto-san and his team at Nintendo have produced many iconic games that appeal to audiences of all ages.

Past champions include George Lucas, as well as GameStop’s Dan DeMatteo, Electronic Arts’ Bing Gordon, Toys ‘R Us’ Michael Goldstein, Nintendo's Howard Lincoln, Sega's Isao Ogawa, Sony Computer Entertainment’s Ken Kutaragi, and Electronic Boutique’s Jeffery Griffiths.

14 comments

GamersGive Charity Set Up to Aid Hurricane Ike Victims

September 17, 2008 -

GameDaily reports that website GamersGive has been established to assist victims of Hurricane Ike.

The GamersGive site links visitors to the Hurricane Ike relief page of the American Red Cross. Free2Play games provider GamersFirst, a part of the K2 network, is behind the gamer-centric relief effort.

Gamers have been quick to respond to past disasters such as 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

19 comments

Austin GDC Games Competition to Benefit Charity

August 27, 2008 -

Gamers who want to test their skills at the upcoming Austin Game Developers Conference will be making a charitable donation at the same time.

Twenty buck entry fees for the Level Up Charity Games competition will be donated to the ESA Foundation. Said Marc Mencher, CEO of competition sponsor GameRecruiter:

We have a long-standing commitment to supporting the educational needs of minority and female students who are interested in being part of the video game industry. By providing this support to the ESA Foundation’s Scholarship Program, we hope to allow deserving individuals to further their education and expand workplace diversity within our industry.

The September 17th competition at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin is open to all gamers. Featured titles include:

  • Rock Band 2
  • Madden 08
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • I-Play Bowling
1 comment

ESA Raises $800,000 in "Nite to Unite"

October 31, 2006 -

Sure, they're a bunch of suits, but when game publishers do good things, honor is due.

Such is the case with the industry's successful "Nite to Unite" dinner/auction which took place last Wednesday. The event raised more than $800,000 for various charities. ESA honcho Doug Lowenstein commented:
 

The annual Nite to Unite dinner is about competitors joining in a common cause on behalf of children, and for me it is truly the most gratifying night of the year on the industry calendar. Each year, as a result of the unwavering support throughout the industry, we are able to make a real difference in the future of thousands of young people.


Proceeds will benefit Web Wise Kids, HopeLab, Working Achievement Values Education, and PAX. The ESA Foundation will also used funds to create a scholarship program designed to support minorities and women who are pursuing academic opportunities in gaming.

An ESA press release on the event can be found here.

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MaskedPixelantehttp://steamcommunity.com/app/251150/discussions/0/43099722329318860/ In this thread: Idiots who don't understand how licensing works.07/29/2014 - 9:20am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/28/gaymerx-in-dire-straits-after-nis-america-allegedly-backs-out-of/ NISA backs out of GaymerX support, but it seems like the only people crying foul are GaymerX.07/29/2014 - 6:30am
Papa MidnightIt's not bad so far, but I am honestly not sure what to make of it (or where it's going for that matter)07/28/2014 - 9:44pm
Matthew Wilsonis it any good?07/28/2014 - 9:36pm
Papa Midnight"Love Child" on HBO -- anyone else watching this?07/28/2014 - 9:27pm
MaskedPixelanteNah, I'm fine purple monkey dishwasher.07/28/2014 - 4:05pm
Sleaker@MP - I hope you didn't suffer a loss of your mental faculties attempting that.07/28/2014 - 3:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOK, so my brief research looking at GameFAQs forums (protip, don't do that if you wish to keep your sanity intact.), the 3DS doesn't have the power to run anything more powerful than the NES/GBC/GG AND run the 3DS system in the background.07/28/2014 - 11:01am
ZenMatthew, the 3DS already has GBA games in the form of the ambassador tittles. And I an just as curious about them not releasing them on there like they did the NES ones. I do like them on the Wii U as well, but seems weird. And where are the N64 games?07/28/2014 - 10:40am
james_fudgeNo. They already cut the price. Unless they release a new version that has a higher price point.07/28/2014 - 10:19am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, It most likely is. The question is whether Nintendo wants to do it.07/28/2014 - 10:12am
Matthew WilsonI am sure the 3ds im more then powerful enough to emulate a GBA game.07/28/2014 - 9:54am
Sleaker@IanC - while the processor is effectively the same or very similar, the issue is how they setup the peripheral hardware. It would probably require creating some kind of emulation for the 3DS to handle interfacing with the audio and input methods for GBA07/28/2014 - 9:30am
Sleaker@EZK - hmmm, that makes sense. I could have sworn I had played GB/GBC games on it too though (emud of course)07/28/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, the DS has a built in GBA chipset in the system. That is why it played GBA games. The GBA had a seperate chipset for GB and GBColor games. The DS did not have that GB/GBC chipset and that is why the DS could not play GB and GBC games.07/28/2014 - 7:25am
IanCI dont think Nintendo ever gave reason why GBA games a reason why GBA games aren't on the 3DS eshop. The 3DS uses chips that are backwards compatable with the GBA ob GBA processor, after all.07/28/2014 - 6:46am
Sleakerhmmm that's odd I could play GBA games natively in my original DS.07/28/2014 - 1:39am
Matthew Wilsonbasically "we do not want to put these games on a system more then 10 people own" just joking07/27/2014 - 8:13pm
MaskedPixelanteSomething, something, the 3DS can't properly emulate GBA games and it was a massive struggle to get the ambassador games running properly.07/27/2014 - 8:06pm
Andrew EisenIdeally, you'd be able to play such games on either platform but until that time, I think Nintendo's using the exclusivity in an attempt to further drive Wii U sales.07/27/2014 - 7:21pm
 

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