Humble Bundle

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Are Charity Bundles getting Out of Control?

Charity bundles are part of the landscape at RPGNow. Medical bills for a creator in the hobby. Death in the family. Apartment gutted by fire. We've all seen those. Heck, I back those without hesitation. Doesn't matter the content - it's going to a good cause and generally they need money fast.

Then you have incidents like Black Rock. Time and money is of the essence and getting a chance to donate to a cause you support while getting gaming content back is a win win. Again, you know it is time limited. You know the incident won't be lasting forever.

Now we have the Southern Poverty Law Center bundle. The SPLC was formed in 1971. Its not going anywhere. This isn't something where raising money has a time issue. What's next? Planned Parenthood? Right to Life National Committee? ACLU? Judicial Watch? PACs? Political Candidates? Where does one draw the line?

When I can see the person or family where the money is going, I'm all in. If its an incident going on NOW I can see how a bundle to raise cash has an imminent need. When its for organizations that have been around for decades it just seems to me to belittle what a charity bundle is for (from my perspective) - a call to arms, either for a member of out community or for a current incident.

Constant charity bundles might just leave those in need with less charity coming their way.


21 comments:

  1. It's rather silly seeing that on RPGNOW -- doesn't belong.

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    1. It's politics plain and simple, and bordering on Identity Politics at that.

      The SPLC is an icon of the Progressive Left. So if anything this bundles promotion just tells you the politics of the ownership behind rpgnow/drivethrurpg and the folks donating their products to the bundle.

      Vote with your dollars I say.

      (I'll be flabbergasted but also pleasantly surprised if a bundle goes up soon for a right leaning organization)

      Delete
  2. I presume the intended "current emergency" is not the existence of the SPLC itself, but the current and projected spike in the kinds of groups and incidents it opposes, buoyed by the Trump election.

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    1. The same hate crimes that were reported via a form on the SPLC website, with no verification or validation of their legitimacy.

      https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/kristine-marsh/2016/11/30/media-hype-bogus-hate-crime-study-left-wing-hate-group-southern

      Granted newsbusters is a right leaning news outlet so take it as you will, but several other media outlets have questioned the validity of the "spate" of post Trump election hate crimes.

      And also yes this is about politics not RPG's but the topic is about a bundle of RPG PDF's which all the proceeds go to a very political organization.

      Delete
  3. I'm thinking there isn't much room to discuss this topic, being that you want to be a neutral ground. That being said, while I don't intend to buy the bundle, I have no issue with seeing it there. Clearly all the people adding to the bundle felt it was a current pressing need.

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  4. I think the reason it makes people uncomfortable is that the group is politically charged.

    If it was something like the American Cancer Society we could use the same arguments; been around for years, no time sensitive single event involved, etc... But I don't think it would cause a stir.

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    1. perhaps - but that is why I listed organizations from both sides of the political theatre.

      I do, however, think that there comes a point that these charity bundles lose their shine and uniqueness - next RPG creator with catastrophic medical bills might find it harder to raise money with the constant release of charity bundles for causes that are not time sensitive.

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    2. The more you cry WOLF! the less people will be likely to listen the next time.

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  5. That is a good point, and you were clear in your post about that. I think I shifted focus because I got drawn into reading the comments on the link. Never read the comments!

    Well, except here of course :)

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  6. The thing about charity is that donation is by choice. Don't agree with the subject matter related to the donation or think they don't deserve your cash? Then don't donate. There's no obligation involved.

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  7. It's kind of a tradition (especially around the holiday season) to buy things and have donations going to someplace tied to the purchase... "Buy a coffe, and we'll donate 50 cents to the Salvation Army" and the like. This seems like basically the same thing. Just because a charity is well established doesn't mean that they don't need fundraising.

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  8. While there are more charity bundles as of late, part of it is being part around the holiday season of gift-giving and such. As for the SPLC, it's not so much "donate to keep them afloat" so much as "every little bit helps." Even more so in times when their services are needed the most.

    Over time I've found protests and social media posts as a way of activism to be directionless if not backed up with actual community work and support. Charity bundles are a fine way of appealing to the gamer instinct of collecting things while raising money for a cause as a side benefit. I'd definitely trade in half-hearted "protest for a day but then go back to your normal lives" in exchange for charity bundles as means of support.

    FYI I am very left-wing and support the work the SPLC does, so I may be positively inclined towards this particular bundle. :P

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  9. I'd feel the opposite - it's better to support a political cause than an individual.

    I'm not saying that one shouldn't give money to support one of the creators of products we love, and more power to you if you do. Still, it seems that a broader problem here is catastrophic end-of-life health expenses, especially for people in creative fields. Maybe looking for solutions that can help others in the same situation would be better than simply fielding another GoFundMe every few months?

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  10. Tenkar, with all due respect, if your intention (as stated a while back) is to avoid political discussions, this kind of post is probably a mistake.

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    1. Second.

      You're just asking for politicized comments with this.

      But since you asked.

      Yes, Planned Parenthood should be next.

      And no, I'm not going to worry about the rpgnow charity 'bubble' bursting.

      Delete
    2. Third.

      I don't see how this can be discussed without making it about the merits of the particular charity. The comments both here and on Facebook tend to support that.

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  11. Politics rammed its way into Monday Night football, and now it is inching into Role Playing... Very sad that folks can't have a place free of politics.

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    1. You can thank Paula Poundstone for all this.

      http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/this-is-why-we-cant-have-nice-things

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  12. Politics wedged it's way into Table-Top RPG'ing years ago.

    Just google #consultantgate re the lead-up to 5E D&D. Or heck many of the threads at rpg.net for years and years.

    I'm not saying this in relation to anyone here in particular. But one side of the political spectrum shoe-horned progressive politics into the RPG world years back now, and have had no problem with that. It was only when the other side of the political coin began to push back did they cry afoul.

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    1. I'm not inclined to take sides on this Gwarth, but your memory of those events is perhaps tainted by your allegiance. Both left and right on the spectrum started a lot of crap, and escalated it beyond all levels of ludicrousness.

      Delete
  13. Wow. Engage "Uncle Duties" for a few hours and come back to a mess ;)

    My issues weren't the political bent of the organization in question, I just feel as a community we are more effective directing our energies towards our own community and that a plethora of charity bundles makes that less likely.

    I shouldn't be surprised politics found its way into the discussion.

    Closing to further comments. Nothing personal. As far as I can see, no personal attacks in the discussion, so I'll avoid deleting comments.

    If any disagree, you generally know where to find me ;)

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