Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Bitter Cup of Coffee

Every year geeks gather for Gen Con, the best known D&D convention in the world, for a celebration of gaming. Polyhedral die are cast, we've heard, like grains of sands in the wind.

But it is not all fun and games: geeks know the importance of giving back to the world that has given us so much. As such, there is a charity auction, with the proceeds going to a cause selected every year.

This year was special. In memory of Gary Gygax, the creator of D&D, it was decided the money would go to a organization Gygax had championed, loved, and given to.

That organization is the Christian Children's Fund.

The auction produced a sum of $17,398 dollars for the charity. For an organization normally reduced to soliciting less than a dollar a day at a time - that's a lot of money. It was intended to do a lot of good: after all, this is the charity that has boasted the frugality to provide a child food, water, medicine, and health care for the cost of a cup of coffee a day.

And yet, they refused the money.

Their stated reasons are somewhat unclear, but the subtext of their motivation is easy to grasp: the money could be... tainted.

This is of course ludicrous. The influence the dark powers exercise over Dungeons & Dragons is grossly exaggerated. Satan barely touched that money.

This isn't the first time a religious institution has insulted Gygax: despite our repeated calls, the Vatican has yet to do the right thing and canonize him.

What's more: it seems unlikely that the children who would have benefited were consulted in this decision: seventeen thousand dollars is a lot of money in these troubling economic times.

It's enough to sponsor a single child for more than 60 years or, alternatively, enough to buy 22,023 thirsty children each a cup of coffee. Today.

Gary Gygax must be rolling in his grave.

Anyway, you can read more about this here.

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