Article: Turbine asking players to play 24 hour marathon to raise money.

Image Credit: once-upon-a-hobbit.blogspot.com

Turbine games has been acquired by Warner Brothers. There have been many noticeable changes since Turbine was acquired, but the largest I’ve seen is this game marathon they’re hosting on October 20th. There are many ways to help sick children, but there has to be a bit of sensibility about your health and the health of others that you’re willing to risk to save incredibly ill children.

Going a healthy route, you can cut your hair and let a wig maker craft it into something for a little girl to wear who lost her hair from chemo therapy, you can give blood, and marathons are going on all the time as well as walk-a-thons.

Then there’s the not so healthy ways: you can sell candy bars, a 24 hour gaming marathon… wait, games? I can play games and earn money for sick kids? Tax deductible too?? And I get an excuse to play 24 hours straight? Yes, I love that! Now, it might not actually mean 24 hours straight, but it sure as heck looks like it and can be interpreted that way.

OK, so this is a parody of another game not owned by Turbine, but it gets my point across. Image Credit: vgc.zachwhalen.net.

Of course that’s what an addict of MMO’s and other games would say. It isn’t that I disagree with raising money, and Turbine is a gaming company so playing games seems like the best way to do it to represent their company.  It’s sort of like my Tangsoodo school using a ‘kick-a-thon’ to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, in this particular event every kick equaled $1 and I earned over $1,000 in one hour. That is healthy and a nice physical challenge that was carefully monitored by each school participating. It made sense, a martial arts school doing something with kicking. But, a gaming company asking players to play 24 hours straight and being completely aware that addicts will see this along with young children, is a little unethical in many people’s eyes.

Other ways Turbine could have raised money are:

  1. Having people donate their monthly subscriptions to the charity instead of using it to play the game, it’s a free to play game anyway so the players would still have access to limited parts of the game. Or, even better, they could give the players the VIP time they gave money for (if they gave $60 then give them 6 months VIP, if they gave $15 give them one month, etc.). Of course there would be a max limit here for the VIP status, maybe 6 months, so the company didn’t lose too much revenue.
  2. Take half of the revenue earned by Mithril Edition and donate that to charity.
  3. They could have LotRO (Lord of the Rings Online), DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online), and Asheron’s Call badges for backpacks/purses/hats or sell steeds on the game for customers to buy and donate proceeds to the charity.
  4. Have their Dev team do a walk-a-thon dressed up as Lord of the Rings characters with their customers and earn donations that way and maybe even sell their costumes and give additional proceeds to the charity.

That all being said, I will not be participating in this particular event, though I am an avid gamer myself. I know that I will not be able to stop playing LotRO after 6 hours easily as it is very addictive. I will, however, participate in a walk-a-thon for Milestone treatment centers instead, something a little more on the non-addictive side of things.

I wish Turbine the best of luck with their charity! Here is the link for Team Turbine for the Extra Life charity http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=9175 .Please participate with caution, and remember to get up and be active after each hour of game play as the site recommends.

I sincerely hope that Warner Brothers and Turbine incorporate one of these ideas for their next charity drive. I know not all players are addicts, and some youth still actually have parental supervision with gaming, but there are a large amount of people who could possibly be harmed with a 24 hour gaming marathon.

They can stop when they want to? That’s what you think.

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