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"It started very slow. After dozens of hours of begging though, I got three more Golden Wrench owners to sign on. Then things picked up," he explains.
The plan was that people would donate money to see Tran destroy his Golden Wrench. He hoped to reveal another Golden Wrench owner willing to destroy his Golden Wrench for charity at each monetary milestone. Eventually, fourteen owners joined in to do some good, including Grantz, who had his wrench reinstated by Valve.
The Golden Charity event had many incentives for donors. The first thousand people to donate $10 or more would be featured on the Golden Charity site. A special Steam Community group was made just for donors to join so that they could display their generosity. Additionally, the top twenty donors would be invited into a server with the charitable Golden Wrench owners and would get front row, splatter-zone seats to watch the Wrenches get used one last time before they were destroyed.
The Golden Charity ultimately saw fourteen wrenches destroyed and 2,000 donors helping to raise more than $31,000. However, Tran still has mixed feelings regarding the level of success of his event.
"I am always surprised how few people know about it nowadays. So in that regard, no [the message I was trying to spread didn't get around that much]. But ultimately, the fundraiser was such a huge success that I can't really say anything other than I'm ecstatic with the results. I thought it would be like $2,000 max," he says.
As of this writing, Child's Play is already nearing the $450,000 milestone and is poised to deliver games to sick children in the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Egypt, showing the world that gamers are able to come together for something besides than LAN parties.
It is only natural for gamers to obsess over collectibles. Going for that 100% completion rate is one of our main motivators, after all. When an individual or a group of individuals is willing to take a stance against virtual items, it is definitely something worth noticing, even more so when they are able to do something positive and potentially life-changing in the real world.
Murray Chu is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Jonathan "WingspanTT" Tran is the organizer of the Golden Charity and runs the gaming tactics blog, Top Tier Tactics (http://www.toptiertactics.com).