Board index Community General Discussion Thank you for making charity donations optional!

Thank you for making charity donations optional!

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Posts: 24
I don't know how long this has been around, but I only noticed today that it's no longer mandatory to donate to the developer's charity of choice in the featured game deal. I wanted to let the staff know that I very much appreciate this change. This is because, for reasons I cannot fathom, by far the most popular charity chosen by developers is Child's Play, which is probably the most insulting idea of a charity I've ever heard of. I've often found myself deciding against buying an otherwise interesting looking game precisely because I'd have to give money to CP.


Posts: 273
All the Child's Play charities are optional now, but I believe that is the only one. Thanks for voicing your opinion on the subject though, I encourage our community to speak out on things that they feel strongly about. We always listen to the community and try to accommodate when we can.

Children suffering from serious conditions and multiple surgeries in hospitals can be quite traumatic and depressing. I think that Child's Play does some good work. There are thousands of charities, I don't know if its really fair to choose one vs the other, that's why we let the developers choose. Clearly providing food or medical aid can be deemed "more important", but the argument could also be made when donating to the ASPCA vs The Red Cross.

Any charity that I donate to or support I personally check out, this is a good example of a testimonial from Child's Play: http://www.childsplaycharity.org/testim ... tter/david
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Posts: 3
Vercinger wrote:
I don't know how long this has been around, but I only noticed today that it's no longer mandatory to donate to the developer's charity of choice in the featured game deal. I wanted to let the staff know that I very much appreciate this change. This is because, for reasons I cannot fathom, by far the most popular charity chosen by developers is Child's Play, which is probably the most insulting idea of a charity I've ever heard of. I've often found myself deciding against buying an otherwise interesting looking game precisely because I'd have to give money to CP.

Interesting, maybe I am not too well read on the subject, but what is insulting about trying to make life more fun for kids who are unfortunate enough to be sick?

I mean, do you think that animal hospitals are equally insulting because we should be using the resources and manpower on other things?

Or is there some kind of scandal or such that I am just not aware of?

Please do not take this the wrong way, I am genuinely interested in why Childs play would be a "bad and insulting" option as we choose that to be the charity for our game if it gets on the PWYW-deal. And we do not want to insult anyone :)


Posts: 485
the way we see it, they seem to be affiliated with the guys at humble since every bundle curated by Humble (not the other publishers or devs) has child's play as its charity, sometimes even the only choice. Humble isn't a nonprofit, so it makes us wonder how dependent Child's Play is on Humble Bundle. Just my opinion, but I am sure others share my sentiment.
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Posts: 913
Location: Utah
While not completely worthless, Child's Play is most likely my least favorite charity. I'd prefer to advance technology or provide mosquito nets. In addition, Child's Play tries to turn the sick and ill into console peasants... at least give them a proper gaming tower.

Regarding the optional aspect, as long as by default it is checked, then I'm happy.


Posts: 589
Location: Wilmo Delaware! Represent

As an interesting anecdote, we actually had to implement the optional checkbox for Child's Play after they told us that it was in violation of their terms/service (i.e. requiring a Child's Play donation with purchase vs. Humble's slider or an optional donation amount). We had several conversations with them to come up with the opt-in solution.

Months later when Humble Store launched, they give a % of all their store purchases to Child's Play and other charities without an opt-out. I assume CPC changed their policy or made an exception.


Posts: 913
Location: Utah
mgnade wrote:
I assume CPC changed their policy or made an exception.

Where there is big money, there are usually exceptions. Even non-profits are still businesses that actually do make money. A family member of mine worked for a non-profit and was given a six figure salary.

No, non-profits aren't evil, but they sometimes do seem to act as a tax shelter with sometimes less than legitimate needs for the tax protection.


Posts: 24
The problem with Child's Play is that it exists to solve first world problems (child boredom) in first world countries - the only ones where children get prolonged hospital care. Out of the 70+ hospitals they work with, only 18 are outside the US, and only 2 aren't in first world countries. In the rest of the world, neither families nor the state can afford to keep children hospitalized (and presumably undergoing expensive treatments) for months, let alone years. Here, they just don't get treatment and die. And if Child's Play actually helps children with short (less than a few months) hospital stays... Well, suggest to any person in my country that there should be a charity that buys toys for children that are in hospital for a few weeks and watch their amazement or amusement at your insanity.

In any case, there would be no problem if CP got its donations only from rich countries and primarily from the US, but it doesn't. If I buy something here and am forced to give some percentage of my payment to CP, that means a person from a country where children die because they can't get treatment is paying for toys for children in the richest countries in the world. That's insulting.

Also, CP was created to combat the negative perception of video gamers in mainstream media. Yet, if I was an outside observer, I'd now think gamers to be the sort of wealthy and detached from the real world people who buy Apple products, for choosing such an inane cause to get excited about.

Finally, I am bothered by the charity's specific focus on children, as if older people's problems are somehow of lesser importance. This is by no means an issue specific to CP, as it's a global or at least international phenomenon, but they are guilty of further propagating it. Every time some sort of accident results in deaths, news shows never fail to make a mention of how many children were hurt in addition to the total casualties, as if that's somehow meaningful. Seemingly every charity tries to find some way of putting children in its promotional materials, if it isn't child-focused to begin with. It's all quite disgusting.

WindMillGames wrote:
Interesting, maybe I am not too well read on the subject, but what is insulting about trying to make life more fun for kids who are unfortunate enough to be sick?

I mean, do you think that animal hospitals are equally insulting because we should be using the resources and manpower on other things?

Or is there some kind of scandal or such that I am just not aware of?

Please do not take this the wrong way, I am genuinely interested in why Childs play would be a "bad and insulting" option as we choose that to be the charity for our game if it gets on the PWYW-deal. And we do not want to insult anyone :)


Of the problems noted above, the first one is what you need to keep in mind in general when choosing a charity. IGS has an international userbase and since charity payments (minus CP now) are mandatory, it can be insulting for a lot of users to have to donate to a charity that only operates in regions that are far too wealthy to need outside help. The US is at the top of that list, as the primary benefactor of the globalised world economy. So any US-only or US-centric charities are likely to alienate non-US users.

The best bets given those circumstances are global charities that focus on the most disadvantaged regions of the world. Nobody can argue with helping out those less well-off than oneself, and people who have a computer, an internet connection and access to online banking services are certainly not among the most disadvantaged.

Regarding animal hospitals, my stance is the same - I would support them only in regions that aren't better off than mine.

EDIT: Forgot to mention something - The Electronic Frontier Foundation is perhaps an exception, as US laws do matter abroad due to various international agreements and the influence of US embassies on weak local governments. Even worse, clueless governments will tend to copy other nations, especially the US, when making their own laws. So this is a cause that most gamers worldwide will probably care about, to some extent, as nobody likes to see their favourite old game's fan remake get a cease and desist, or their favourite YouTube channel's videos brought down, or whatever other crap corporate lawyers like to keep themselves busy with.

Note that I'm not endorsing the EFF. I don't know just how effective they are at achieving their stated goals and I don't know how efficiently they use donations, so do your own research before picking a charity.


Posts: 45
You know I have been watching this issue since you lodged the first complaint about it and I have got to say you had me up until you started explaining your reasons.

I too understand the sentiment on a certain level. There has been many times I have chosen not to buy a deal specifically because I personally have reservations against the developers selected charity. So on that level I do fully understand and support options to opt out of allowing charity donations.

However I have been highly curious about what the aversion towards Child's play was. Out of all the reasons expressed , I can understand not wanting to support a charity because the charity does nothing for where one lives. I get that and you will get no argument from me from anyone not wanting to support a charity that does nothing to benefit the individual or their community.

The remainder of the complaints lodged are shaky at best. Predominantly because of the whole "First world problem" perspective. You might chose to see it as alleviating boredom, but what it actually is, is well known, well documented therapeutic measures that help to alleviate suffering and in cases facilitate healing known as counter stimulation. To distract those who are suffering making the suffering easier to endure, rather than leaving the afflicted to dwell on that suffering, which can lead to despair, hopelessness and losing the will to live. The film Patch Adams provides an entertaining example of this in practical application should you want to understand it better.

So it is rather baffling to see hostility toward a well known and effective therapeutic technique on a basis that in other parts of the world there are those who do not even have access to treatment. As if it was deplorable trying to alleviate the suffering of one because there are others who have greater suffering.

it is "almost" (I know it is an apples v oranges comparison. It is not used to compare tit for tat, but to compare similar ridiculousness) like trying to condemn American food charities because those in America live in what is arguably the most well fed country on the planet when there are millions across the globe that also suffer from hunger and starvation, there by completely dismissing that hunger and poverty exists in the US as well all the charitable efforts to combat global hunger that also originate from the US.

And to find such a charity "quite disgusting" because the focus of the charity is applying a solution to a problem when there are far greater problems out there I honestly feel is incredibly misguided and I have to think comes from a place of great confusion. Almost as if this one obscure niche charity is somehow taking away from the millions collected yearly by dozens (if not hundreds) far more well known and organized American charities that DO in fact contribute to alleviating human suffering across the globe due to things like living in countries where medical treatment is non existent or inaccessible due to financial constraints.

Now if it were only that I could likely have just chalked it up to personal opinion. However the whole "First world problem" argument comes off as incredibly indignant when it is also accompanied with a chorus of complaining about "first world privilege" on a forum built around an American web store, transacting in American currency for an American market that just so happens to also be open for any international customers who can also access it by using that expense of internet access to purchase digitally distributed content through online banking facilitation. . You are free to see it as a first world problem, but the position comes off as incredibly hypocritical when dissent against it has to come by way of so many different layers of first world privilege. Sort of deflates the validity of the argument in the process from the way I personally see it.

Now it might not have been my place to call this out and I am honestly not trying to debate its validity. In fact, I feel that even though it seems apparent it comes from a less than altruistic place, good has certainly came from this as we now have more options and freedom which will benefit current users and those who will come to use IGS in the future. I felt compelled as there seemed to be entirely too much tap dancing around the subject in the name of being nice, while the original sentiment spawned from a place that had no such reservations about being nice.

Anyway. this is just my opinion and we all know what opinions are like. So take it as that.


Posts: 589
Location: Wilmo Delaware! Represent

We can certainly make all charities optional - right now it's only a few though.


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