Hats For Charity

Valve's Japan Charity Bundle is a set of in-game items for TF2 that are available until April 6. They cannot be crafted or traded, and 100% of proceeds from their sale will go to the Red Cross's Japanese Disaster Relief Fund.

Six items are available, including the “Humanitarian’s Hachimaki” ($7.99), the “Benefactor’s Kanmuri” ($19.99) and the “Magnanimous Monarch” ($99.99).

It’s a strange interpenetrated world we live in, and there are some thorny issues around how much doing something like this benefits Valve itself (not at all, I’d venture, except in terms of good will) but it’s a good cause, and of course, you can always donate directly, if you want.

  1. Very cool. I hope Valve discloses the total donation amount after the sale is over.

  2. I’m sure they will disclose. It’s good PR for them.

    (but I don’t think the primary motivation behind doing this is good PR)

  3. I think the primary motivation behind this is an excuse to have a hundred dollar TF2 item. Which is HILARIOUS.

  4. It really is. If it were any company but Valve, I’d be a little skeptical and critical, I think, but it’s Valve, and thought they can do and do do wrong, they are pretty amazing in their dedication to doing what’s best for their customers and everybody else (while raking in the dollars for doing so).

    I was thinking about what TF2’s become. I fell out of love with it with the advent of hats and paint and a million other for-cash gewgaws (which can be crafted, traded or gotten through random drops, too, of course), and too many confusing new weapons, but in terms of what-i-want-to-play, I’m right back in there again. They’ve managed to balance things so that the new stuff doesn’t interfere too much with the gameplay itself, which is pretty amazing, and probably one of the design objectives for the new experiments.

    But the in-game store — that’s pretty gamechanging in the larger sense, right there. I am deeply afraid that many other game companies — companies that, unlike Valve, don’t understand how to delight their customers and how important that is for their business — will start bolting on similar things to their crappy warsims and rpgs, and every game we get will be crippled out of the gate and begging for extra money to ‘unlock’ stuff that should have been in it in the first place.

    Not, of course, that that’s what’s happening with TF2 — I just fear that they’ve started a trend that less-smart companies will emulate less-smartly, to the detriment of us, the gamers.

    But we can always talk with our pocketbooks and torrent clients, I suppose.

  5. I think I feel an FGEC post coming on. ;-)

  6. I’d pretty much decided that I didn’t want to spend any real money for pretend hats and other things like that, but I’m probably going to get that hachimaki. It looks cool, and for some crazy reason, I don’t feel so bad about spending money on a pretend hat, if (almost) all of the money is going to a good cause.

    This kind of reminds me of the whole Golden Charity event (even though it was before my time in TF2). I know that one was started by a player and not by Valve, but it’s always nice to see a community come together and try to do something good in the world.

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