Tea Talk: The TF2 Community and charity

I brewed some tea

I frequent Reddit a lot. More specifically, I frequent /r/tf2 a lot. It’s like a more civilized SCUD with more fun things happening. Recently though, there was a thread that caught my attention.

A teacher was asking for help. He or she has a student that falls on the autism spectrum, and the teacher found out that he likes TF2. Recently, the student has been getting into trouble and getting frustrated. One of the reason is that the student was getting bored of the entertainment available. Thus, the teacher turned to the community and requested for TF2-related images. The only condition is that there must be no guns in the images. If there are any, it will need to be edited out. The community in /r/tf2 rose to the occasion, providing the teacher a fairly respectable amount of pictures after he or she made the request. And the messages from the community are rather warm and encouraging.

It is heartwarming moments like this that reminds me, no matter how much that stupid Sniper main tried to kill me with insults, the TF2 community is still a gem. Sure, there are some blemishes and smudges, but a gem retains its colour and luster no matter what it went through unless that gem is completely obliterated.

The TF2 community as a whole has never been a stranger to providing aid. Just this year we already had the hugs.tf event and the Blapature Co. Summer Jam. And who can forget Tip of the Hats, the (I think) largest TF2 charity event that is happening at the end of this month (22 to 24 September). At this point, we might have more charity events than major TF2 updates. Dammit.

And every time there is a charity event in TF2, the whole community gets involved. The YouTubers start hyping things up, advertising, and preparing visual/audio/video assets for the event, YouTubers and competitive gamers alike preparing to play, Valve puts up a post on the TF2 blog post to bring more visibility to it, and Robin Walker reaches for his Valve Rocket Launcher. Even the trading sites get involved. From donating items for raffles, to some accepting item donations and then converting it to cash for charity. The different aspects of the TF2 community mobilized and moved in unison to make it work.

Of course, there is always something wrong. Remember Flares that Care? One of the co-founders, Snoven, eventually made off with the items donated. The direct cash donation to Child’s Play arrived safely at its destination since Snoven has no way of intercepting it. However, the PayPal link on their site actually has FtC as the beneficiary. Items donated to the item donation bot, which has Snoven as its only Steam friend, were pretty much lost. I was never really in the loop for this, so I definitely missed a large chunk of the details. But this is a rather unsightly sore in TF2’s charity efforts.

Yet we pushed on despite this setback, year after year. Helping people. Giving them a hand. Day after day, year after year, there is always at least one kind soul in the community helping a person in need. And we have more than one such soul in the community. And no, we are not necromancers, that’s a figure of speech.

This community is a rather nice place to be in, after all.

I finished my tea

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