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Christmas Cheer Entertainment Games

Child's Play 2005 Launch 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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Child's Play 2005 Launch

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  • Let's go! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Southpaw018 ( 793465 ) * on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:48PM (#13980166) Journal
    Let's show Jack Thompson the what for!
  • memories (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sedyn ( 880034 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:49PM (#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).

    • 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.
    • 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 surgeri

    • 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.
      • 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.
    • 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

  • Open-books charity? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dada21 ( 163177 ) *
    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!
    • by Southpaw018 ( 793465 ) * on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:52PM (#13980196) Journal
      It's near 100%. You buy the stuff on special wishlists at Amazon, and it's shipped directly to the hospital.
    • From what I remember reading last year, all of it does.
    • by MauMan ( 252382 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:55PM (#13980218) Homepage
      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.
      • I guess PayPal could also be taking a cut on the direct donations.
      • by Zathrus ( 232140 )
        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 eve
    • by fallen1 ( 230220 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:55PM (#13980222) Homepage
      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.

      • by Tim Browse ( 9263 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:56PM (#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.)

      • The site does no render properly from my PDA browser. I just tried it in an alternative one and it DID render OK, but I don't usually have the second one installed...

        The warning is also a general one focused on any charity. Why would you think I am asking an inflammatory quesion? Because I've volunteered to charities in the past, and not one has kept its original vows. Over time, it is very easy to become corrupted by the money, so you have to check and re-check every charity, every time you give.
    • by Alaren ( 682568 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:57PM (#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.

      • ...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 conf
  • by CupBeEmpty ( 720791 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:52PM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:57PM (#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.
    • 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.
  • 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, 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.

  • Good Cause (Score:4, Interesting)

    by th1ckasabr1ck ( 752151 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:14PM (#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?

  • by iapetus ( 24050 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:18PM (#13980414) Homepage
    ...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...
  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves ( 236787 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:22PM (#13980457)
    Jack Thompson might show up dressed in a santa suit and green fur and try to steal all the toys.
  • by giantsfan89 ( 536448 ) <linuxwebguy.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:54PM (#13980803) Homepage Journal
    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]!!!
    • 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
  • by R2P2 ( 193577 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:52PM (#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...
    • 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.
    • Shit, cut a brother some slack, yo. I don't get paid until the 15th. :D

      Last year I gave to the houston children's hospital here, and an equal $ donation to the general fund. (Gave to the first one too. Shooting for 3 for 3 this year.) A few weeks into the new year, I got a card , written out by one of the candy stripers (generally elderly volunteers that do various non-medical things to help out patients, for those not familiar). It showed a little girl, couldn't have been much more than about six or s
  • 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?
  • This year has a been a rough one for my family, both emotionally and financially, and when it came time to start discussing options for the pending holiday season, we came to a concensus: we wanted to give to others, not eachother. It's going to be a lean year, regardless, but there is nothing at all like a little altruism to help you understand what it means to help your fellow man. I know that I, for one, will be purchasing gifts off the wishlist for Texas Childrens of Houston through Child's Play, and
  • The FAQ says:

    Q: When are you going to expand into Canada/UK/Australia/other countries?
    A: 2005!

    .. and yet I only see Canada/UK on the list of hospitals. If I donate it's going to be to an Australian hospital, so I guess I won't be doing it through Childs Play. Shame, it would have been good to contribute to the total figure.

    Yes, I know, I can just donate directly (which I may still do).

The optimum committee has no members. -- Norman Augustine