Monday, July 2, 2018

Charity in an age of anger

(Photo courtesy Blue Diamond Gallery)

If you have listened to us (and if you haven't WHY THE HELL NOT!?!), you would know that we become... ahem.... impassioned in our conversations.

And by impassioned I mean scream at each other and call Jake a soulless ginger (sorry/not sorry Jake).

There has always been hate. Rome didn't conquer the world through flowers and happy thoughts and the people they conquered didn't just love the little legion-oody-woodies and their machine of war. No, they hated their guts and liked to make sure that every inch of guts were spilled to check (you HAVE to make sure. SCIENCE!).

In our community of gamers of the tabletop variety we have a LOT of hate. Be it a model (looking at you Zero.) or a faction (looking at you... every faction not Minions) or even a type of player (looking at you... me?). What we do well though is charity. See, we are use to saying things like "I would skip a meal for a new model" or "Who needs electricity when you have a new army". We laugh but I have seen people go into a grocery store and buy $100 of canned food to win a $10 painted model.

Why? There are hundreds of charities that give to children's hospitals and the needy. Child's Play, #SmashTheRecord, St. Jude’s Play Live, Extra Life, Humble Bundle, Orange Crush... the list goes on and on. But why are there so many? Wouldn't we rather spend $20 on a new model than give it to some kid in a hospital?

When I was a kid, I sat in front of my Atari 2600 on Christmas day and played Combat! with my uncle and brother for hours. Two tanks made up of three rectangles, a stick for a cannon, and shooting a single block as a bullet running around a maze of barriers. I remember when new neighbors moved in behind us and they had this game called Battletech. Oh... how I was doomed from that moment on. When I was in college we adopted an angel off the Christmas tree in the mall (you took an paper angel off the tree and it was an anonymous child whose family couldn't afford gifts). She was asking for clothes and books because they didn't have any and books you can read over and over (I just have dust in my eye... ITS DUSTY!). We filled a bag with a ton of clothing, books, and even a Gameboy. I slipped in a copy of D&D 3.5 Players Handbook cause you got to hook them young on the good stuff.

We all have stories like this... and we want others to have that same joy. This is why we give. We will scream at each other across a table or curse our dice. We will gloat over our fallen foes and flip tables. When it comes down to it, we will do it over a ton of donated food or a $10 dropped into a donation jar because we know that kids need to have joy. We will stay up playing games for 24 hours straight just to try to raise enough money for a video game console to go into a child's burn unit.

Because deep down we really just want everyone to be happy and to be able to play a game.

And we need more easy opponents across the table!
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