Category: Child’s Play

Attended a Dinner, Helped the Children

Tonight was kind of a roller coaster ride for me.  After submitting our auction idea to the Child’s Play charity and having it accepted, then upgraded to the live auction during the dinner, I was kind of a bundle of nerves going into it.  First I said I would like to get $500 dollars for the idea, then when it was set to be live auction I back peddled and twittered that I would be happy with $250.

I’d like to take this opportunity to quote Jerry “Tycho” Holkins from a little while ago: “Dude the Banhammer aspect *had* to be played up. Great idea”

Tonight I sat in awe as the auction opened at $500.

You gotta understand the Child’s Play dinner.  Major Nelson, e and I arrived early to visit with friends and hang out at the silent auction. I got there ahead of Rochelle, because I wanted to chat around before dinner and the actual event. I was already pretty nerved up when I ran into my friend Wil, of the Wheaton clan, at the registration.  I didn’t know he was going to make it in so we chatted for a bit before we got our respective auction packets. After exchanging greetings and an inquiry as to where Rochelle was (she was caught in traffic) I blurted “Dude I’m nervous”, to which he replied the best possible response “Have you *seen* the Scribblenauts painting up for auction?” I had not and unfortunately my pic of it didn’t turn out. I’m convinced the reason for this is that it was so epic it cannot be captured by film. But it got my mind off of being one of only a dozen or so live auction events for the night for such a huge charity.

Rochelle arrived shortly thereafter and e and his girlfriend and Rochelle and I reached our table.  As various auctions came and went I only grew more nervous.  Stupidly in my mind I envisioned Jerry or Mike calling out “And now, lot 109, an entire day touring the Xbox Headquarters and being a member of the enforcement team!  Starting bids are 20 cents” followed by a crippling silence.

As each auction passed, bids ranging from under a thousand to many thousands I started to relax a bit.  But my jaw hit the table when Jerry opened the bid on our auction at 500 dollars and multiple hands shot in the air. A wide spread bidding war, to my total amazement, brought the total to $1500 dollars before two foes battled it out-battle….style- to bring the final bid total to $2000.

To be clear, we’re going to make sure the winners have an EPIC visit, but I want to say right here, right now: I’m going to ride this fucking high well into the spring.  It’s not every day you can send an email, spend six hours, and create $2000 worth of love and help for a sick children.

Wield the Hammer, Help the Children

I’ve been insanely busy lately, although not as busy as people have made out. As today is Thanksgiving I thought it was appropriate to make an announcement. 

My junior year in high school our social science class had a choice for field trip: The burn recovery unit at Dallas’ Parkland hospital, or Children’s Medical Center.  Being squeamish as all hell, I chose the Children’s Medical Center trip.  It was a trip that I would say has profoundly affected my life. To see children in various stages of severe or terminal illness, yet still behaving like children in spirit and temperament, was both eye opening and heart breaking. Throughout my career at Microsoft, child medical oriented charities have been my charities of choice.  This year, I’m hoping to do something a bit beyond just my own giving.

As I’ve said on a couple of occasions, I’m insanely lucky to have the job I have doing what I do. This December 8th Rochelle and I will be attending the Penny Arcade Child’s Play charity dinner.  Just attending the dinner includes a donation to the charity, but this year I decided to see if we could do a little more given where I work.

So this year, We’re auctioning off several slots to serve as an honorary member of my team and come on out to Xbox HQ to help us protect the Xbox LIVE service! Here are the details I submitted to Child’s Play, which they excitedly accepted:

Have you ever wanted to help the Xbox LIVE enforcement team enforce the guidelines of Xbox LIVE against those who might want to be, for lack of more direct and not-family-friendly term, miscreants?

Well then, this is your auction!

The Xbox LIVE enforcement team would love to have your help. We’re offering you the exciting opportunity to be a honorary member of our team, on-site at Xbox HQ.  There are three openings for auction that will take place during the month of January, each slot is six hours in duration.

To get the law talking stuff out of the way, you must be 18 years of age, willing to travel at your own expense to the Xbox LIVE HQ at Microsoft Studios B, Redmond, Washington. You must be willing to sign a Non-Disclosure agreement because you will see top secret secret secrecy stuff that is also secret and you should not tell anyone. Because it is secret.  Shhhh.  We can’t talk about it.  Stop talking!  Oh wait, that’s us telling you how secret it is.  Sorry. But it’s secret!

In return for your compliance with the rules, you may experience (in no particular order):

  • A tour of the Xbox headquarters with Eric Neustadter (e) and Larry Hryb (Major Nelson).
  • A briefing with the Stephen Toulouse (Stepto) and the Xbox LIVE enforcement team discussing what we see online on the service and how to protect it.
  • Slack jawed looks of wonder.
  • A meal at the Studio Commons at Xbox HQ (numerous restaurants are available)
  • Private insider awesome stuff
  • And, best of all: Several hours of actively working to help police the Xbox service alongside the Xbox enforcement team, playing games and working to stop bad guys from being, well, bad guys.

You’ll walk away with a free year of Xbox LIVE, some cool Xbox gear, and the knowledge you helped us protect the service from potential bad guys.

We’ll also provide you with a souvenir certificate thanking you for your help.  I have no idea how much people would want to bid for this but the retail value is roughly $75. I think I would be insanely happy if we could get $500 for the charity total.

There are only a couple of dozen tickets left for the event!  So if you want the chance to help an amazing charity, and whack some bad guys, here’s the link.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving everyone, and we hope to see you at the charity dinner!

Child’s Play 2008

Sometimes I’m amazed at my geek luck.

From a comic book nerd and video game freak I often spin around in circles at what I get to do each day. It was my great fortune to attend this years Penny Arcade Child’s Play Dinner week before last. For those who get a chance to attend, this is a formal dress dinner and auction. It benefits children’s charities and is a who’s who of video game and geekdom participants. I felt completely out of my league as I traversed the auction room. Are those the Harmonix guys? Was that Gabe and Tycho? Holy Christ did Wil Wheaton just shake my hand?

I snapped a couple of low light photos with my crappy Nikon, couple of the auction:



ooo really fancy

one of the dinner:

Should have moved closer

It was a great event and Wil actually caught up with me later in the evening to chat since his "Don’t be a Dick" speech had such an impact on me. The next day he dropped by my office after his Major Nelson interview and I got to walk him through how we police the system and do bans as well as drop him by the company store.

Overall it was a great event and if you can manage the trip or tickets to do it, it’s pretty much a no brainer as to the level of fun you will have with awesome people.