I haven’t blogged in a while, so when I came across the idea for today’s topic, I knew I had to write this.
I don’t know how many of you read Penny Arcade. It’s a very popular web comic that lampoons gaming culture and those involved in it. Jack Thompson is a popular subject (read as: target). But then again, he deserves it. If you don’t know Jack Thompson, he’s a very staunch advocate of the theory that video games are a societal ill which train kids for violence. If I had the chance, I’d show Mr. Thompson Child’s Play, an organization run and supported by the gaming society.
Child’s Play is a charitable organization started by the same two guys that write Penny Arcade. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind organization. What Child’s Play does is partner with Amazon and childrens’ hospitals worldwide to provide games and entertainment to children with long-term diseases, who spend most to all of their time in a hospital. The hospitals and kids create wish lists on Amazon, and then generous gamers can view the wish list for the hospital of their choice, and purchase anything on the list. Whatever they purchase is then shipped from Amazon directly to the hospital for the children. Large items such as consoles are often kept by the hospital for all patients to enjoy, while other items are given to children as gifts. Child’s Play also receives a commission from Amazon for each sale, which is then donated to the hospital. In addition, they’re a registered “eBay Giving Works Charity,” which means that you can sell an item on eBay and have 100% of the profit go to Child’s Play.
At first, buying video games for kids doesn’t seem all that impressive. But, imagine actually having to stay in a hospital for months or even years at a time. I can’t imagine how scared, lonely and restless I would be. Video games provide these kids with a means of entertainment, a refuge from the fright of a hospital where the children can have some fun. Not to mention the financial benefit from the donated commissions. Most donations come during the holiday season, giving some holiday joy to the kids as well.
Child’s Play has raised well over $3 million since its inception in 2003, and over $1 million in 2007 alone. This is an amazing organization. Look for me to (hopefully) start a fundraiser at PSU around the holiday season for Child’s Play. (I’ll need help!!) If you have a little extra money, or something you want to sell on eBay, give it a look.
http://www.childsplaycharity.org/ Child’s Play home page. You can also choose a hospital to buy for from that page, or donate by PayPal.