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RPG philanthropy, then and now

Posted by WJWalton on Mon 30 of Jan., 2012 05:47 PST
It still amazes me how these sorts of things seem to arrive in little clusters like this. This morning, as I settled in with my cup-a-joe to check the ol' inbox, I spotted two stories, spanned almost exactly 30 years apart, about roleplayers using their hobby to raise money for a worthy cause:

THEN: northjersey.com posted a "Back in the day" article from The Record, dated February 3rd, 1982: 40 hours in dungeon nets $750 for Ringwood youths, about a group of teenagers who raised money for a worthy cause through a marathon game of Dungeons & Dragons:
The lawful good youths planned to play the game for 40 to 50 hours straight to raise money for the Leukemia Society of America. They planned on going door-to-door to get sponsors to pledge a set amount of money for each hour they played.

The boys got an almost full-page newspaper spread about their quest, including a picture of nine of them decked out in matching "The D&D Fellowship" T-shirts.

Read the full article here - it's not only a great example of a group of young people doing something good for humanity, it's also a rare specimen of RPGs being covered in the 1980s-era media before it became obligatory to force in some references to suicide and Satanism.

NOW: Things really haven't changed very much in the intervening 30 years. Sadly, we still have cancer - but we also still have gamers who want to do good for others (some of them are even playing the same RPGs from three decades ago!). On the RetroRoleplaying blog, a fund drive has been started to raise money for the medical expenses of a woman who has oral cancer - the goal is to raise $3000 by the end of February, and for each increment of $750 raised, a drawing will be held for some very nice old school RPG goodies, with each donor getting an entry in the drawing for each $10 they donate. Please visit the RetroRoleplaying Blog for more information, and give what you can.


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