There has been a lot of discussion between members of QT, streamers etc about IndieWeekend and its involvement with donation drives for good causes. We love charity, and want to continue to support not only Child’s Play, but loads of other fantastic and worthy organisations.
However, going forward, IndieWeekend will not be including a charity element.
Why No Charity?
Historically, our gaming events have drawn a decent amount of cash for good causes, but those events were specifically for charity. IndieWeekend, on the other hand, is for indie games – we want to highlight the work of dedicated and talented developers; to get more people interested in – and hopefully purchasing – their great games. The best way to do this is to limit the amount of distractions and other things going on at once.
Less Pressure for the Streamer
If you’re streaming playing a game, and talking with the developer over Skype, asking questions about their game, and how they got into game development, it becomes kind of awkward to have to segue into chatting about charity causes, donation goals etc.
When you’re playing a game, it’s fairly natural to be talking about that game. It’s only natural when trying to draw attention to a cool product to talk about the cost to the consumer for said product. Having to chop and change between selling (in the figurative sense) something to ask for donations is a difficult tightrope on which to balance.
Less Balancing for the Viewer
Charity drives work in entertainment industries because people are usually willing to chip in a few coins here and there if the cause is aligned with their own sense of morality and if they’re enjoying what they’re watching. This becomes difficult when they are enjoying what they’re watching on a hobbyist level.
What I mean by this is; a comedy skit on the popular Game of Thrones franchise will get people to donate money to a good cause because the comedy element is entertaining and they like Game of Thrones stuff. A stream highlighting a load of cool features in an early access game gets people excited for the game and wanting to buy it.
If you muddy the waters with charity as well, it becomes a quandary for the viewer: “This game looks awesome, but I kind of feel bad for not donating…”
But… I Like Helping Charity
I mentioned this before, but it probably bears repeating – we’re not giving up on charity events. We will do more of them in the future, we just don’t want to confuse issues by having multi-purpose events that cause headaches for the streamers and (potentially) ethical dilemmas for the viewers.
IndieWeekend is for indie games. Charity streaming events are for charity donations. Simple.