A few weeks back, Vampy and Velvet invited a group of RCM staffers for a special episode of their Saturday afternoon game stream Chaos Will Ensue. As I stated in my last post, some of RCM's cultural values center around responsibility, hard work, a willingness to be helpful whenever possible, and giving back to our communities. It all ties into a philosophy I refer to as RivalCares, and it manifests itself in different ways. In this particular case, the ladies proposed a wager among friends: each of us came with a charity we support and pledged $5 into the pot, with the idea being that at the end of the game, the money would be donated to the charity of the winner's choice. Our charities were David's House, Defending the Blue Line, SpecialEffect.org, Operation Supply Drop, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and my choice, The Good People Fund. It was a simple enough idea that also happened to dovetail nicely with the RivalCares mindset - small gestures can make a big impact.
The internet community as a whole, and gamers in particular, generally get bad raps in the kindness department. This isn't entirely unjustified - a brief glance at the argument (excuse me, 'comments') feed on any news website or the global chat of any major game server gives plenty of evidence supporting the notion that everyone on the web is a twelve-year-old bully with a serious lack of social skills. But what's talked about much less frequently are the positive gestures communities make. Major communities like those run by EVO and Penny Arcade offer yearly scholarships for college-bound gamers as well as run charities to bring games to sick children. On a smaller scale, independent streamers like the members of IlluminateXP raise money for the charity ExtraLife4Kids. Drops in a bucket, perhaps, but again, when they work together over time, those drops add up.