Games sometimes used to relax


I would honestly love nothing more than to put this entire Xbox/racism/Roxy Hammond debacle to rest, but I couldn’t help but object to the view of gamers put forth by Sara Ibis in her recent letter to the editor, cryptically headlined “Do other than Xbox.”

While I admire Ms. Ibis’s ability to grasp the concept behind Roxy’s inexplicably inflammatory statements regarding the idiocy of prejudice in all forms, I am disappointed that she fell into that same trap in regard to the gamers. Suggesting that instead of frittering away their time on games, gamers should instead “[donate] cans to the food pantry, [pick] up trash ? or [be] a mentor to a small child.” It doesn’t seem hard to imagine a person coming home to relax after a hard day of donating, picking up trash and mentoring to relax with a few rounds of Halo. “But such a violent hobby could never lend itself to acts of charity,” I hear some of you sighing in exasperation. Au contraire.

Three years ago, Jerry Holkins (AKA Tycho) and Mike Krahulik (AKA Gabe), creators of the webcomic Penny Arcade ( got fed up with exactly that stereotype and created Child’s Play (, a charity aimed at providing games and toys for children at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. It was an unbelievable success, raising something in the realm of $250,000 in donated toys and cash. Last year, the charity was expanded to five hospitals throughout the nation and raised around $310,000. Let that sink in for a moment. Two guys decided to start a charity and, over the course of about four months, (the drive usually starts around the beginning of November), raised nearly $600,000 in donations. And about 100 percent of the proceeds, both toys and cash, go to the hospitals with no administrative costs taken out. This year’s drive has expanded to 20 hospitals in three countries and has already, as of Monday, raised over $185,000.

This isn’t an easy time to be a gamer. With people like Jack Thompson (go ahead, look him up) not only trying to destroy our pastime, but also literally declaring us to be mentally deficient and drug addicts, it’s understandable that we get a little touchy about people criticizing our hobby. I really don’t care if you like video games, but at least let us enjoy them in peace.

Ben Nesson

Computer Science Major