Twenty four years ago I was adorable. Now I'm inquisitive and hilarious.
I have a plastic tooth to replace one lost in a mosh pit during my more ridiculous high school years. I speak shitty German and I ride a bike. My Xbox gets so much use, I'm sometimes embarassed. But I'm unemployed, so my time is spent writing blogs on the internet, reading good literary fiction, and playing video games.
In the grand scale of things, I'm a late-bloomer. My parents banned all consoles from my house as a kid. See what you've done? Now I game constantly to make up for years of lost time.
I won't list my favorites, because you've probably seen ten lists like it before me.
There's a life-sized Boba Fett standee in my living room.
I understand that this post is only partially related to video games, but if I've noticed anything about gamers over the years, it's that they are often some of the most generous people out there. I've heard of more than a few stories of guild-mates in World of Warcraft paying out of pocket to help a fellow player through hard times IRL. Rent, court costs, medical payments. This goes beyond tossing your n00b friend a handful of gold to buy a mount. Real help. Factor in those fine gentlemen at Penny Arcade into the mix, with incidents of spontaneous altruism as well as their own charity organization, Child's Play, and you've got yourself a pretty benevolent circle of pixel enthusiasts.
Alyson, a long-time hardcore gamer and friend of mine, has been having a series of health problems over the last few years. A number of illness and conditions, ranging form cancer to septic blood infections, have lined up one after the other. Now, what she needs is a procedure called Radio Frequency Ablation, which is a medical techniques that uses alternating current to fix an abnormal heart beat. However, her insurance company has deemed the process unnecessary and instead prescribed a series of alternate treatments, which have all proved ineffective and, in some cases, caused further complications. So, she find herself stuck trying to pay for the expensive procedure alone. Her mother has started a donation site which tells the whole story and provides an option to contribute. So if you can scrape together some extra funds, even a few dollars, or pass off on that Assassin's Creed 2 DLC to help out, you'd be doing a great thing for a fellow gamer.
But the word is starting to spread far and wide thanks to a man named Nathan Barnatt. Some of you may know him more so as his awkward persona Keith Apicary, the socially backward, mouth-breather from the video game series Talking Classics.
Well, the good man that Nathan is has not only made a post over on ScrewAttack asking for support, but he's spread the word around his impressive circle of celebrity friends. Actress and Comedian Charlyne Yi (Paper Heart, Knocked Up) stepped up to the plate almost instantly to auction of a superbly nice guitar, with all proceeds, of course, going to help pay for the operation.
This guitar is up on Ebay right now, and it's no pawn shop piece of crap. It's a beautiful Tone Soloist 2008. It's got stripes! Three of them! To go fast, I assume. So if you're looking for a guitar, you won't get a deal much better than this. It comes with a crap-load of good karma.
But it seems the train hasn't stopped there. Nathan has gotten donations from a number of wonderful actors, actresses, and various comedians out there. Zach Galifianakis, the Reno 911 guys, Jon Hamm (Mad Men) Charlyne Yi, Casey Role Wilson (SNL), Paul Rust (Inglorious Basterds), and others have donated items to be sold in a big auction which will be coming up soon. Nathan himself is even selling a neat arcade cabinet! Everyone wants one of those! This whole super-auction will be gracing the internet soon and I'll update once everyone can start bidding.
But, honestly, I can't think of a better use of even a few dollars you can spare to throw into the pot. And if you can't spare it, perhaps you could at least give it a solid digg to get the word out.
UPDATE Charlyne and Nathan made a video to garner some more support. YES. WE. CAN.
SUPER UPDATE Nathan's auctioning off a sweet, signed picture of the ineffably cute Mary Lynn Rajskub (24, Mr. Show) and even a totally sweet Neo Geo cabinet for the cause. VIDEO GAMES = SAVE A LIFE. You can't do much better than that.
Here's a tour of the sweet 2,000 some arcade titles AND seven emulators.