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Eric: Holy Fuck.

As you should already know, Child's Play is once again ongoing. Child's Play is a charity founded by the exceptionally cool folks at Penny Arcade. For those who don't know, this is a charity that provides toys and other needful things for children's hospitals all over the world. You can donate money, or you can donate actual presents via Amazon.com wish lists that get sent to the hospitals in question, so you know exactly what's going to what hospital when you order.

Which, by the by, is very cool. As a New Englander who lived on the Canadian boarder much of his life, I have a certain love of the Maritimes. So, I sent a gift via Child's Play to the IWK Children's Heath Centre in Nova Scotia, and I sent some cash via Paypal to the main charity as well. You should do so too.

(I have no idea if I'm going to do another charity snark this year. I'm still waiting to hear from the guy who got the charity snark last year -- though at one point he sent an astounding piece of fan art for Gossamer Commons, so I know he's out there somewhere. But part of me feels like I should close the book on that one before I do this one. And other parts of me think "that's silly. Let the fans give money to the charity people." Chime in if you wish.)

Anyway. That's not why I'm saying all this. I'm saying all this because the Charity Dinner was held yesterday. Last year's dinner was highly successful, bringing in $17,000 plus. So, hopes were high for this year.

Guys.

Gabe and Tycho, at their charity auction, raised eighty two thousand, one hundred dollars. There was a bidding war for the "appear in Penny Arcade" item that went up to twenty thousand dollars.

Holy fuck.

Holy fuck.

At this point, I think those two could commit murder and still get into Heaven.

Wow, guys. Wow.

Don't think for one second that means you don't need to donate, though. Santa is watching.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at December 14, 2005 8:58 PM

Comments

Comment from: Yook posted at December 14, 2005 9:10 PM

Y'know what's funny? If I had 20K to spare, I'd have to think long and hard NOT to use it to get into a PA strip. Add charity to that, and I'd do it in a jiff. I'm both jealous and proud of the geek who ponied up the 20K. And I am more than proud of the PA boys and girls. Jerry, Mike, Robert and the rest kick all sorts of ass. Yay!

Comment from: Tyler Martin posted at December 14, 2005 9:13 PM

"At this point, I think those two could commit murder and still get into Heaven."

LOL

And the 20 grand, that's crazy. They could pay that to get an animated special made of themselves with Gabe & Tycho. It must be rich celebrity readers.

We all need rich celebrity readers. We could have Rich Child Star Paypal tip jars that they could randomly throw a few grand in to keep webcomics going. I'd even plug their latest shows and movies.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 14, 2005 9:16 PM

We're talking about two guys who started a charity just to show up people who claimed that gamers were terrible, and this is according to childsplay.org. Not out of any sense of charity, but to make other people look dumb.

They're not nearly the saints everyone wants to make them out to be.

Comment from: John Lynch posted at December 14, 2005 9:22 PM

We're talking about two guys who started a charity just to show up people who claimed that gamers were terrible, and this is according to childsplay.org. Not out of any sense of charity, but to make other people look dumb.

I have another take on it. They started a charity to show those who claim gamers are homicidal maniacs, that no, gamers are actually loving and caring people.

If it was MERELY to prove a point, and not to raise money for kids, then I think they would have stopped after one or two years. But no, they hired someone on to be in charge of child's play. No matter how it started, I think you'd be hard pressed to claim Gabe and Tycho aren't doing it for the kids now.

Comment from: Shaenon posted at December 14, 2005 9:29 PM


Well, they could commit murder and get a bunch of rich nerds to defend them, I guess.

Comment from: Zutto posted at December 14, 2005 9:31 PM

Besides, who is to say you can't start with some upstagery and stumble upon a great, worthy thing? I have a hard time believing that work on Child's Play has not transformed them somehow, even if a person insists that the PA guys are jerkwads in an elementary fashion.

And yeah, I am very proud of them.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 14, 2005 9:32 PM

32 -- with hundreds of thousands of dollars going to make the days of sick children better, I don't care if they started this thing on a bet made with whores to score crack and buttsex. On this subject, they get every possible benefit of the doubt from me.

Comment from: Zutto posted at December 14, 2005 9:32 PM

On a related note, on the off chance that you are also a fan of the Epic Legends of the Hierarchs, they're auctioning off some pretty keen t-shirts that any lover of Epicness (and the color purple) would love. All proceeds to CP.

Comment from: Tyler Martin posted at December 14, 2005 9:37 PM

They are in the clear until they go the Neverland Ranch route.

That Holkins guy has a bit of an illfavored look about him.

Comment from: Abby L. posted at December 14, 2005 9:38 PM

You can do things for more than one reason by the way. Unless you're some sort of absolutist.

Comment from: Chris Crosby posted at December 14, 2005 9:43 PM

Only the Sith deal in absolutes.

Comment from: quiller posted at December 14, 2005 9:46 PM

And the vodka distributors.

Comment from: Montykins posted at December 14, 2005 9:48 PM

I was at the charity dinner last night, and Gabe and Tycho were clearly stunned at some of the bidding (as was everybody in the room -- I mean, twenty thousand dollars?!). There was one guy who was responsible for around 35K of it, I think. Possibly more.

As far as their motives, well, remember that time they donated money in Jack Thompson's name? That was explicitly to make him look stupid, and it was also ten grand directly to the ESA foundation. I don't care about their motives (although since they're both new fathers, I'm guessing that "helping sick children" is pretty high on the list); they raised over $82,000 in one night. That's good enough for me.

Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at December 14, 2005 9:49 PM

Please, please, no vodka donations.

I remember all of the photographs of the umpteen-million Amazon boxes they had to go through during the first Child's Play. All heartwarming and stuff.

Oh, and I think it's entirely possible that they do these things with both evil and good intent, all up front.

Comment from: xcarex posted at December 14, 2005 10:04 PM

As someone who lives about a three second walk from the IWK and has had several friends sick enough to need their amazing services growing up-- you, sir, fucking rock.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 14, 2005 10:14 PM

I'm all willing to admit they did good things for a crappy reason. Still, I hardly think this nominates them for sainthood, as some would have it. Besides, I know of several video-game related charities that were started to be actual charities from the get-go, and I don't see people tripping over themselves congratulating them.

Comment from: Rich Burlew posted at December 14, 2005 10:38 PM

Well, thanks, Eric. I was all feeling good about myself because the guy who won the set of OOTS signed-and-sketched-on items I donated emailed me to tell me he payed $255.00 for them. I was all, "Look at me! I scribbled in Sharpie and some kids got 255 bucks! I'm so cool! I'm so cool!" But that wasn't good enough for YOU, you needed to put it into realistic perspective with your $82,100 total. Damn you, Burns!!

Comment from: Ford Dent posted at December 14, 2005 11:00 PM

I'm gonna have to step in here, not as a defender of the Penny Arcade guys, but as a defender of not missing the point. The reason I'm not going to bother with defending the Penny Arcade guys is that they need no defense. I don't care what they started the charity for (and personally, I think they started it to show that gamers are in fact socially conscious, which is a worthy cause in itself), we're looking at two men--and let's go back and repeat that--two guys--two--who started a charity to help sick children (and don't pretend that helping children wasn't in their minds, because it was) and now they're spectacularly successful.

So yes, I congratulate them. I think they're doing something fantastic.

And I think the real thing to keep in mind is that there's another $82,100 going to kids that need it. Don't take their success as an opportunity to complain that you don't think they're noble. That's missing the point.

$82 grand! Go PA!

Comment from: William_G posted at December 14, 2005 11:26 PM

We're talking about two guys who started a charity just to show up people who claimed that gamers were terrible, and this is according to childsplay.org. Not out of any sense of charity, but to make other people look dumb.

They're not nearly the saints everyone wants to make them out to be.


Shhhh!

Do not question the sainthood! It is not allowed in webcomics. It makes everyone feel better that they only care about sick kids when Penny Arcade tells them to.

DON'T RUIN CHRISTMAS, 32 Footsteps!

Comment from: Violet posted at December 14, 2005 11:44 PM

Goodness bloody gracious. One might almost suspect that Mr. G was possessed of an agenda.

This is utter rubbish. No one is insinuating sainthood on the part of Gabe and Tycho, so far as I can make out. What purpose does it serve to put forwards the false dichotomy?

And what on earth is wrong with using the idiocy of others as inspiration for a charity? Who is harmed by this? Can we not simply apply situational ethics and be done with it?

Comment from: Montykins posted at December 14, 2005 11:44 PM

Has anyone actually called them saints, except for people who are trying to tear them down?

Comment from: Zutto posted at December 14, 2005 11:57 PM

I get the impression that the folks in favor are impressed, proud, pleased by the whole endeavor -- but no one is falling down in worship.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at December 14, 2005 11:58 PM

Gabe and Tych didn't do a good thing for a crappy reason, they did 2 good things for 2 good reasons. By starting a charity in response to negative press towards gamers they both help children, and they take the wind out of the argument that gamers are all about to snap and kill someone.

Comment from: Akilika posted at December 15, 2005 12:03 AM

Not to seem like a horrible person, but I don't see what's wrong with only caring about sick kids when Penny Arcade tells one to.

Putting aside my own failings and inability to see outside the minor problems in my admittedly sheltered and very lucky life, there are a LOT of frickin' problems out there. Some of them involve sick children. Some of them involve missing children. Some of them involve children who are starving, dead, poor, disadvantaged, or abused. Some of them even involve adults. I could spend all day listing problems, and it still wouldn't be anywhere near comprehensive.

Some people have issues very near and dear to our hearts. And they spend their time getting people to try to care, at least for a little bit of the time, about *their* issue, above all the other hundreds of millions of issues out there.

The rest of us, I don't think it's unreasonable to give a little support to the issues we care about above the others, or the issues represented by the people we admire most, when they're brought to our attention. Because no one can care about everything all the time, and it's emotionally draining to try.


Of course, I could be missing the point entirely. Please feel free to pelt me with tomatoes if this is true.

Comment from: LessThanKate posted at December 15, 2005 12:07 AM

William G is an odd beast, one that can be summoned by simply suggesting that perhaps our heroes are not worthy of the praise they have earned. After all, you can qualify an unpopular opinion simply by championing it. The rest of us are mearly cheerleaders.

If you actually visit the site you'll see that its not meant to be an "in your face!" undertaking (the Jack Thompson thing was, and a brilliant one at that). Its about disproving stereotypes and helping kids in need. And they've raised nigh one million over the course of CP's run so they must be on to something. Thats commendable, no matter how much hype you think surrounds Gabe and Tycho. I'll shake my pom poms for them any day.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 15, 2005 12:08 AM

Guys?

I very, very rarely ask this.

But can we please, please, please not have a pissing match over whether or not Gabe and Tycho rock or suck? Please?

I don't give a damn why they did it -- they did it. I don't give a damn who hates their ever living guts. They've raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for sick children.

If you can't stand the thought of saying something nice about them, I respect that. But just for today, just for this one fucking post, let's not make it about drama, okay?

For one thing, it is functionally impossible to look good taking potshots at people who are buying toys for sick children. Honestly. Gabe and Tycho could have stolen your wallet and raped your dog this morning, and if you come in here to trash them, everyone's going to think you're the dick.

(Note I am not calling anyone a dick. Seriously.)

For another thing, it's honestly irrelevant. If you cannot stand them, do me a favor and buy a toy for that children's hospital I linked. I can't imagine the Nova Scotia IWK Children's Heath Centre is getting the lion's share of these donations, so I say they can use all the people jumping onto the as they can get. If you buy play-doh for those kids, they will like it and you can feel good and also pretend that Gabe and Tycho had nothing to do with it.

And if other people around you laud the pair for raising money for children, just this once just smile tightly and leave the room before you explode. Okay? Please?

Comment from: Kristofer Straub posted at December 15, 2005 12:13 AM

Thank Heaven that the good people who haven't donated any money are at least not donating money honestly, instead of the duplicitous $400,000 or whatever it is now that Penny Arcade has raised for kids. I'd rather be an honest tightwad than a very-slightly-questionable philanthropist!

I charge you, refund the money, Gabe and Tycho! Call off Child's Play! Those kids will feel better knowing that their days of infirm boredom and sadness is honest and real.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 15, 2005 12:16 AM

Would it make anyone feel better to know that IWK expands to Issac Walton Killam, and therefore your donations are also ironic?

Comment from: UrsulaV posted at December 15, 2005 12:22 AM

I'd like to speak for a moment on the wonderful powers of spite.

Seriously. What's with dissin' spite? Spite is WONDERFUL. Spite is inspiration and motivation in one tight little emotional package. I've said it before, I'll say it again--You can make art for love, or for money, or for awe, or for glory, or for no earthly reason you can think of, but I've found that some of my very favorite paintings are the ones that I made for the express purpose of stickin' in somebody's eye.

Spite, well-channelled, is a beautiful thing. It can lead to marvelous works of art, impressive acts of charity, inspiring acts of courage. And I don't think it gets nearly enough credit.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 15, 2005 12:23 AM

I can contribute to charities and know that those two didn't have anything to do with it. It's neat contributing to charities started for what are, uneqivocably, the right reasons to do so.

Also, if you want to avoid drama, don't call me a dick and then claim that you're not calling me a dick (given that I *am* being snide at them, therefore, I must be the dick here by your formation). Or starting with the cursing - I think little of those two, but at least I'm being perfectly civil here.

Again, I recognize that for whatever reason, they're doing good with this. However, in terms of respect, motive means just as much as action. And in my eyes, the former is sorely lacking. If my honesty offends, well, I don't know what I can sincerely say.

Comment from: Arachnid posted at December 15, 2005 12:25 AM

But can we please, please, please not have a pissing match over whether or not Gabe and Tycho rock or suck? Please?

This doesn't sound like the voice of the Number 5 troublemaker in comics! Why, I'd almost begin to think that article was _inaccurate_ or something.

Comment from: LessThanKate posted at December 15, 2005 12:27 AM

I have to imagine then, 32 footsteps, that you were (and by extension currently are) helping sick kids in some way while you typed that.

Comment from: Kristofer Straub posted at December 15, 2005 12:27 AM

I don't understand the failed motive here. The public thinks gamers are a bunch of on-the-verge-of-committing-murder, disenfranchised, lazy underachieving 12-year-olds. Penny Arcade says "let's prove them wrong, and do some good at the same time!" Plus, it mobilized people who ordinarily wouldn't have given money, to give money. It opened everyone's eyes a little. What could have been done better?

Comment from: LessThanKate posted at December 15, 2005 12:28 AM

They're not being altruistic. Gabe donating all his vital organs would be a good start.

Comment from: Kristofer Straub posted at December 15, 2005 12:33 AM

But the kids' lives who were spared by Gabe's organ gift would forever have to live with the knowledge that Gabe's actions also made gamers look a little better. I'll stay on dialysis, thank you very much.

Or, he could at least have the courtesy to somehow hide his donations. Child's Play would have been a true success if no one even knew it had occurred. This "website" business is a little distasteful.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 15, 2005 12:34 AM

Also, if you want to avoid drama, don't call me a dick and then claim that you're not calling me a dick

Sigh.

Was your dog raped this morning?

Then I wasn't talking about you. There's a reason I phrased the way I did.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go toss these cornflakes out.

Afterwards, I'm going to buy some kids some playdough on your behalf.

(This is what one gets for asking a favor of people. One really ought to know better.)

Comment from: Montykins posted at December 15, 2005 12:34 AM

Note to self: check out Checkerboard Nightmare over the next couple of days.

Comment from: John posted at December 15, 2005 12:39 AM

Hey, they're bastards. But they're bastards who care. Good enough for me.

Btw, did you know you can type "bastards" with only the left hand? I think that's kinda cool.

Comment from: William_G posted at December 15, 2005 12:41 AM

See what you did, 32_footsteps?

Enjoy your excommunication from these elightened shores, buddy. Don't worry though, once Chirstmas is over, it shall ALL be forgotten. You'll be welcomed back.

Of course, if you change you tune right now and promote all of the nice things you've done, maybe LessThanKate will give you a blowjob.

Think about it.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 15, 2005 12:44 AM

Okay, know what? We're done here.