Friday, December 14, 2012

Good Causes & the Value of "Quirky"

by Randy

Hello, readers!

A couple weeks ago I wrote about an auction on BoardGameGeek for the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund. The Growing Up Gamers/Escapade Games crew stepped up and contributed a couple things, and we're proud to say that with the help of the generous buyers, we were able to raise a little money for this great cause. We hope the JVMF is able to be a force for good and help many gamer families in need for years to come. I hope you all take a moment to look at the JVMF and its mission, and if you are the type who plans charitable giving for your year in advance, consider this as a recipient.

So what did we put up? Well, first, and probably the most interesting, Angie and Julian offered up an opportunity to contribute to their game, Story Realms. The winner of that item is going to be designing a custom Enemy or Ally Lore Card for the game... in addition to getting a copy of the deluxe set (available for preorder here). How cool is that? Not only an awesome game... but one they got to contribute to!

And second, a generous guy took my offer to create a custom-made Pathfinder RPG character to his specifications. I had a lot of fun with this one! I just love making characters. You can see the results of this one here. He gave me permission to share this with everyone, and I hope you find it entertaining. In addition, I want you to consider one more thing.

Everyone has their own skills and passions, and these things are not always easy to put a price on (should one even want to). Sometimes, though, like in the case of this auction, it may be worth the effort to offer up one of your skills as a service, or something you have made, or something else along these lines. I saw a few amazing-looking handcrafted things up for auction, for instance. I just want to point out that you don't need something from a store shelf nor be a game designer to participate in something like this.

I want to challenge our readers a bit, too. When was the last time you made something for someone else, or offered a minor service? How about you try doing that in the next month or so? A lot of people I know are doing handmade holiday gifts. For that matter, many are also offering a variety of services from the practical to the absurd online at Fiverr. Take a little inspiration from that the next time your child's school has a fundraiser auction, or a birthday is approaching, a friend or online acquaintance needs a hand, or even just to make an extra few dollars. And then tell us about it!

What I'm trying to say is that not everything of value has a price, and not everything with a price has a value. We are all unique, special beings with our own quirky skills. Gamers, especially... some of us have been rocking "quirky" for decades. Let's enrich each others' lives, and the ones around us. So... what have you made lately?

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