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Veteran Member - Level 11
Hmm. A blog
of this sort requires a certain amount of finesse tap dancing as to not come
across as arrogant and self serving. It's funny, because at one point during my
third or fourth or fifth draft I made the comment, "This might sound arrogant,
but I don't care." Yeah, so I scrapped that. I truly don't want to sound
arrogant, but I do think what I'm about to share is potentially life changing,
or at the very least, capable of brightening your day. It's on my heart so I'm
going to do it.
suggesting everyone will fit into this generic and broad categorization, but
chances are you fit into one of the two groups.
spent years acquiring and collecting a vast library of video games spanning
games and get rid of them.
concede limiting the categories to two doesn't accurately capture the variances
in how gamers acquire or retain their video game inventory, but for the sake
of this discussion, either you get games and keep them, or you don't.
If you keep
all of your games, then chances are you're not going to be interested in this
blog. But if you're the kind of gamer that plays a game and gets rid of it,
then I challenge you to read this with an open mind and a charitable heart.
Yes, it's a video game topic if you make it all the way to end...but even more
than that, it's a blog that could change your life, and possibly the lives of
your friend and fellow gamers.
To start with, the title of this blog is
inspired from a movie that some of you may recognize called "Pay it Forward" -
a pretty decent movie from 2000 starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley
Young Trevor McKinney,
troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father,
is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher,
Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it
into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but
forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to
three new people. Trevor's efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution
not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally
scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely
unknown to him.
key thing I'm focusing on is...
...conjures the notion of
paying a favor not back, but forward - repaying good deeds not with payback,
but with new good deeds...
more simply put...
Do a good deed.
Do a good
deed unannounced, without drawing attention to what you're doing, without
receiving credit, without somebody doing something in return, without somebody
doing something in advance, without expecting a single thing except...doing a
do a good deed.
thought for just a minute.
How many of
you have ever gone to GameStop or other store to trade in games and been
severely disappointed? You're all mad at the employees for only offering you $5
- $7 for a game that is only a year old and that you paid $50 - $60 bucks for.
You don't really stop to notice, or even care, the store has a dozen of the
game in stock (new and used) or that yours looks like you polished it with an
electric sander. Nope. You're mad. You're so mad you feel like if you trade it
in, you're practically giving it to them for free.
And that my
friends and fellow gamers is where "Play It Forward" comes in.
"giving away" your game to a place that is only going to give you a few bucks
for it, give it to one of your fellow gamers. Yes I said it...
game away for free. Actually, not even free...it will in fact end up costing you
roughly $3 bucks to buy a nice cushy padded envelope and pay the $2.50 in
postage to ship it.
a bizarre concept that is totally contrary to everything we know about life and
material possessions - "He who dies with
the most toys wins!" But I'm telling you, it works. Not only will you feel
great about blessing someone else, from time to time your turn will roll around
and you'll reap the reward from blessing others. Call it faith, karma, the Force,
coincidence, whatever you want...it works.
any special day that involves gift giving...birthdays, graduations,
anniversaries, holidays...whatever the event is, it's fun to give gifts and it's fun
to receive gifts. It makes everybody happy (well, maybe not ALWAYS...but it
should when done correctly).
If that is
true, then why don't we do it all the time? Why do we wait for special
Now I'm not
going to go into any personal specifics about this concept...and would ask those
who might know firsthand to refrain from commenting, but I will take the
opportunity to throw my good friend Mojomonkey12 under the bus, since he is the
Community Member of the Millennium. As many of you know, Mojomonkey12
coordinated a rather successful charity fund raising event among the GIO
community. As an incentive to generate contributions he donated what I'm
guessing was hundreds of dollars in merchandise and Xbox Live points. So, not
only did he spend the time and energy to coordinate the event, he also donated
a ton of stuff to make sure it was a success. At the end of the day, I'm sure
he felt an overwhelming joy with the sacrifices he made. It feels good to give
I'm not even
suggesting you do anything that extreme. Heck, I don't even know that I
would've undertaken such a lofty project. But what I am suggesting...next time (not
even every time) you go to trade in that game you're probably only going to
make a few bucks on, find someone to give it to instead. You never know how it
might change your life, or theirs.
Now, I'm a
realist. I don't live in fantasy land. I know most people who read this will
dismiss it. Some might even chuckle, others might scoff. Most of you might
think I'm crazy. It's okay. I'm okay with that. It's not my job to make you
believe...only to share the formula for success...for happiness...for doing good
If only one
person takes me up on this, I'll be content. And for the record, if you're
considering it, I don't want to know...this is something you do in private on
your own volition. The tricks is not telling others, not taking credit for it
and certainly not bragging about it. Just doing it.
Okay, so I
said I wasn't going to tell any specifics but I do feel a story is in order.
Obviously to carry out such a devious plan you have to have the person's
address (or at least an address to send the item to) and possibly your own
return address (I'll tell you how to get around that).
not comfortable giving a complete stranger your snail mail address so they can
send you a surprise there are ways around this, like using a General Delivery
address. Google USPS General Delivery (basically you send the mail to the Post Office and they
pick it up there).
require you to include a return address when you mail something. That way if
it's contraband or hazardous they can track your sorry butt down and arrest
you. Obviously that's easy enough to bypass - don't use your name or address!
Part of blessing someone is not expecting anything in return and well, if you
include a return address then that person could send you something back. Not
good (unless you want something back). So, I'm not saying I did this, but I heard a story of someone who used the
name Nathan Drake on the return address for a game they sent someone. The older female postal worker (and
clearly not a gamer) took a look at the name, looked up at the person, back
down at the name, back up at the person and said, "Who is this?!" Her tone (I'm
told) was very accusatory and the sender of said package...well his pucker factor
was to the nth degree. His jaw dropped a bit as he stuttered, "Uhhhhh...." Before
she interrupted and said, "That's my cousin's name. I gotta cousin named Nathan
Drake." This person (I'm told) voiced his surprise at the coincidence. The Post
Office employee looked at this guy, who was in uniform (I'm told) and had his
last name embroidered across the front of his uniform shirt, which was clearly
not Drake or Nathan. Just when she was about to comment on the disparity, a few
exaggerated sighs from the growing line behind him caused her to change her
mind about saying anything. She collected the money and sent him on his way
learned...if you want to be sneaky, just buy about $2.50 in postage, dump it in a
mailbox, and let the United States Postal Service sort it out.
Play It Forward. Give a game away to a fellow gamer, feel good about doing
it...and you'll never know how it will change your life...and theirs. But it will...
Although I like the idea, I would not be able to afford new video games without the money I get from Gamestop. I would love to pass on my games, but gettting $160-$200 for trading in games on double credit weekends.
I have thought about doing this before really good idea just never really have done it as the address thing...and im suuuureee you where told that story and it's not a personal experience
That won't work for me, half of my games I have on Steam and the other half are games like Assassin's Creed and Halo that I would never dream of selling.
End of story :D
Once again you've written another great blog Saint. Truly inspirational.
Well, I used to be one of the gamers that had a huge collection, but now I am most definitely one of the ones who only have 2-3 physical copies at a time(can't trade back those downloads, as much as some of us want to once we realize that that game that got both good scores and sounded really awesome was just a mess of half _ssed backgrounds, sloppy controls, and horrible enemies that were either impossible to get past or as easy to topple as a house of cards). I don't know about right now in my life(Preparing myself physically for the years to come and squeezing everything I can out of the games I currently own), but some years from now when the road I travel doesn't have as many potholes, I can see myself being able to do this if I so choose.
This is a great idea! I have considered this before, but after Extra Life, I realized just how many people are not comfortable giving out their addresses, particularily with so many younger GIOers. I then considered a hub of sorts, one place where the games would go and that person would send them to the respected people, but then I realized that was crazy to try and manage.
I suggest that if you want to participate as a payer, then maybe somebody could create a logo or badge that could be placed on a profile. There could be a list of potential games available from that person that the person would have to update regularly. If somebody stumbles across the profile, sees the badge and list, they could then send a convo and do the deal real discreet like.
I also recommend books as another thing that could be sent.
All that said, I still believe as many people as possible should buy new games:)
Finally, please pull this bus off me! Or back over me one more time and finish me off, one or the other!
This is an excellent idea. I'll definitely think about doing this!
That's a great idea! I don't really know to who I'll give the game,there are no gamers in my class so far. Today I asked my classmate:''do you play video game?'',he said that he plays only CS 1.6 and CoD 4.
P.S.:I'm new in the class,so right now I'm working on knowing my classmates better.
Great post. Inspiring.
On a somewhat related note, I've been trying to make efforts to let people borrow my games. Last year at church, a guy in our small group was talking about how someone had brought Super Mario Brothers Wii to his house (he has a Wii, but doesn't have many games.) He seemed really interested in the game & stated that he had a lot of fun playing it. I then spoke up and told him I had that game if he wanted to borrow it. The guy looked dumbfounded when I said that - he acted like he couldn't believe that I'd let him do that. He never ended up borrowing it, but he really seemed to appreciate the offer.
The pay it forward concept is an extraordinary one that will, with earnest intentions, yield instantaneous results. In your personal happiness through the satisfaction of having done charity some form, and hopefully carrying on through several more persons.
It's of paramount important to think of any way to just DO GOOD, however one should find the balance between charity and naivety. Some (sadly, many) actions of selflessness will amount to absolutely nothing positive due to the variables on the other end - the recipients.
Be mindful of where your charitable acts go, or you may as well be throwing cash into the wind - and that is no exaggeration.
Love the idea. Is there anything in the forums that would help an idea like this take root? I had a similar idea a while back, trying to match up GIO members with others looking for friends to play games with, something like a "gamers seeking gamers" classified section. That could easily work for people looking to match owned games with gamers looking to pick up games they don't already own.
i must have so much karma because on the steam holiday thing i got a ticket for 1 free game and i gave it away in the holiday sprite
Hey, Pay It Forward was my summer reading book and the school theme this year. To bad I didn't read it...
Anyways, this is a great idea. I certainly wouldn't mind getting a free game in the mail. ;)
This is a great idea, but I am one of those people who keeps all of my games. I tend to open them back up and play them every once in a while. Not to mention that I can only afford to buy a few games, and don't want to feel like I wasted a bit of money. I do, however, lend out my games to people that I trust. I am not stingy about it, and they tend to keep it as long as they need to (within reason). Once somebody has had a 5-6 hour game for three months, it starts to get a bit insane. Games like Oblivion, however, are a different matter.