Depending on whom you ask, the charity Child's Play fits one of two descriptions:
- It is a charity that organizes worldwide toy drives to children's hospitals, distributing toys, games, books, etc. to children going through a difficult period in their lives.
- One of the most epic, if not the most epic, instances of Take That! to the entire anti-video game industry.
Video gamers getting decisively negative treatment in the media seems to go with the territory of being a gamer nowadays. However, after seeing the aforementioned article, Penny Arcade creators Mike Kraulik and Jerry Holkins collaborated with a local children's hospital to create the first incarnation of "Child's Play": a simple Amazon.com wish list and a desire to let the world know that the way gamers are portrayed is wrong.
They ended up raising $250,000 in the first month, and got a written apology from the writer of the original article.
With each passing year, more and more hospitals collaborate with the charity, and they raise more and more money that goes straight into helping sick kids. The charity got more exposure thanks to segments airing on X-Play around the holidays. Starting in 2005, they hosted a charity dinner, with silent auctions of items donated by just about every major video game company on the planet. Then comes a live auction run by Penny Arcade's founders, with the crown jewel being a guest spot in a Penny Arcade comic strip. And they were both beside themselves when people started throwing ridiculous amounts of money at the auction, with an exasperated Holkins shouting out, "...it's like they're jousting with money!" The eventual winner, Christian Boggs, dropped $20,000 for the winning bid.
Say what you want about the comic, but you never had to justify making a comic that was worth $20,000.
On March 5, 2009, the Washington State Senate officially honoured Penny Arcade creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik for Child's Play and their Penny Arcade Expo.
As if you needed any more evidence of how awesome they are, you can start crying right here.
$2.5 million dollars were raised for Child's Play in the year 2013, the charity's 10th anniversary. Over $20 million have been raised in the past 10 years for a network of Children's Hospitals that now includes over 90 hospitals around the world.
Take That!, [insert your favorite anti-video game critic here]!