One of my Silly Ideas

This is number 99, yo! I was sitting here thinking of what I was going to do for these last couple arbitrarily designated posts. Number 100 is going to be something kind of personal, so I figured that I’d do something I’ve wanted to do for a while on this post. You see, I started this blog for a few reasons. Most obviously, I wanted to improve my writing skills and to have a place to put my thoughts on horror. I also wanted to spread my love of the genre and games in general. But, there’s a place somewhere very near my heart that wants to gain enough notoriety to do some good with my life.

You see, I try to be as nice as possible in my daily life and, though not always successfully, to be there for my friends and family. This last bit has been kind of difficult lately, because I’m so wrapped up in my studies and the ongoing battle for survival that is making a career out of writing. More troubling than that, though, is that there are many things a single person cannot do on their own. The ability to band together and work as a team is one of the things that makes humanity great. We can be very destructive, but we can also perform acts of immense creation and preservation. I assure you, for every individual that’s motivated solely by money, power or anger, there is at least one person for whom benevolence is part and parcel of their daily lives.

It goes deeper than that. Inside each of us is the seed of both of those acts. Inside destruction is the key to creation. Inside creation lie the tools of destruction. It’s one of the interpretations of the yin-yang, and together, they make up the Whole. As humans, we are Gestalt meldings of these two things, and we can tip the balance in either favour within ourselves or within our society. We can’t always do it alone. That’s why we have words and the internet. Words aren’t always enough in the physical realm, but, on here, they are the basis of our communication. Well, that, jpegs, gifs and videos. So, let me use some words to share an idea I had.

Obviously, I can’t do this, because I’m neither a programmer nor an investor. I don’t own a company, and I’m not connected to, well, anyone with scads of influence. Nor do I own a webpage or have any capital. But, hear me out, and even if you hate this idea, maybe it’ll get you thinking.

Do you remember that printable Starbucks Card that was going around? Well, here’s a little reminder, if you forgot about it. Honestly, it warms the heart. That gave me an idea. A game-related idea. I’ve been a part of the history of gaming for as long as I’ve been alive, and I’ve spent a considerable amount of time digging back to enjoy some of the classics we built the industry on. There are games out there that are essential to understanding how we got to where we are. They are, in part, the lifeblood of our gaming culture. A culture that I don’t want to see disappear. This isn’t just The Ozymandias Problem. This applies to the gamers of today, too.

As I’m sure you know, not everyone can afford to be a gamer. It’s a really expensive hobby. Maybe this sounds silly, because there are people starving in the world. In the streets and houses of first and third world nations alike. And, it’s not the Desert Bus for Hope, either. Those guys are a stand-up bunch, just like the charities they support. I’m also a big fan of The Humble Bundle people. Pretty great way to spread the availability of games and raise some money for charity, if you ask me.

The longer I write, the sillier I feel, but I also think that we need to preserve the culture we’re a part of. The only real way to do that is to spread the experiences that helped define it. Right now, we’re in a unique position to do just that. We have digital downloads. A presence on the web. And more gamers than ever before. So, here’s my idea. We set up a webpage where we can vote on the most important games in video game history that are available right now. Obviously, we can’t send people a digital copy of Duck Hunt, but we can get copies of Portal, Deus Ex, Half-Life, Warcraft… there are a ton of games that have helped to define modern gaming. I’m not equipped to define it for you.

Then, we make it so you can buy a key. Hopefully, we can get companies on board to provide it at a reduced price. After all, they’re probably not selling a TON of new copies. That key is then made available on another part of the site for anyone who couldn’t afford it otherwise. Or, we group-finance it. Say, you want to make more copies of Star Craft available, but you don’t want to buy the whole thing. So, instead, you donate two bucks to the pot. That pot is then subdivided into the number of copies that total would otherwise buy. $10 bucks a pop. $98 + $2 = 10 copies available for gamers to pick up. And let’s, why not, put a percentage towards a charity or two.

Humble Bundles are great, but they’re only around for a limited time, and we don’t really have a say in what goes in them. This plan would allow us to increase the availability of the games we consider to be formative to people who might be otherwise unable to afford or procure them. And, I don’t think I need to outline the number of ways this would be good for any company involved. PR, sales on dead products, download service traffic. You know, things companies like.

The main point is that everyone should know why the cake is a lie. I’d like it if this could encourage the creation of ports for masterpieces like ICO and Mario 3. I’d also love it if this idea helped bring the good of gaming culture to as many people as possible. Gaming has seen a lot of bad press in the past, but it’s a grand, new artistic medium. It’s the thing that taught me to empathize. To pick up your god-damn sword (or pen, in my case) and do what good you can with the tools you have. I only have words and an idea. That’s nothing, really. Not without the support of others.

Most of all, I’d like it if you’d consider my silly idea. You don’t have to agree, but if it gets you to think for even five minutes about what good you can do in your life, in your community or with your words, then it’s accomplished as much as I could truly ask for. DFTBA.

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