Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh, C'mon!

As mentioned here, the gaming world was saddened this past spring by the death of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons. Subsequently, as a way of paying homage to Mr. Gygax, the organizers of this year's GenCon gaming convention decided to give the proceeds of the annual charity auction to his favourite charity, the Christian Children's Fund. The auction duly raised over $17,000 dollars for the CCF.

Imagine, then, the dismay and astonishment of the GenCon organizers when the charity turned down the donation. And for what reason? It turns out that the CCF was unwilling to accept money that had been raised partially through the sale of D&D material. Fortunately, another, more willing charity was found, so the money did end up going to a good cause.

Now, I don't wish to bash on the CCF too much here. I know that it does good work all over the world, and has been doing so for a long time (the CCF was founded in 1938). Indeed, I could even see their point, had the funds offered been raised through the sale of, e.g., hardcore pornography. But D&D material? I mean, really! I've got the mid-1980s on the line here, and they'd like their irrational fear of a harmless and enjoyable hobby back please.

Update: First of all, a bit of clarification. CCF actually refused to allow itself to be associated with GenCon before the charity auction occurred, rather than turning down the money afterwards. I don't think that changes matters too much, though; they still refused to accept a donation from a group based on its ties to D&D.

A couple more things, here. To begin with, in CCF's favour, the organization has a bad reputation among some of the quite fundamentalist groups over the fact that it doesn't attempt to convert the people whom it feeds. Secondly, and not in CCF's favour, they've responded to the whole issue with a fairly mealy-mouthed statement saying essentially that the fact that they didn't want their name associated in any way with a gaming convention doesn't mean they dislike gamers. Hmmmm.

It is possible, of course, that the matter was out of CCF's hands. If the charity was pressured not to accept "D&D money" by some of its more important donors (and I'm sure that there are people and groups out there who donate far more than $17,000 to CCF), then the decision is perhaps more understandable. Anyway, there's a lengthy discussion of the issue, including CCF's statement of response, right here.

4 comments:

Chorus said...

Really ??? That's ridiculous...

Chunklets said...

Yes, it's very disappointing.

Crimson Rambler said...

http://www.palinaspresident.us/

slide the cursor around and click on things -- don't forget the light switch!!!

Chunklets said...

Dangit! :) Can't make the site work right now! I'll have to head off to one of the labs where the computers are a little more up-to-date...