Game Developers Play Kickball For Charity


Wideload Games, the Chicago-based development team responsible for Stubbs the Zombie, is organizing a charity kickball tournament for game developers.

Wideload Games, the developer of the inimitable Stubbs the Zombie, as well as a forthcoming political party game set in the animal kingdom titled Hail to the Chimp, is organizing a charity kickball tournament for game developers. However, Christopher Cobb, an environment designer for Wideload and the organizer of the tourney, secretly regrets choosing kickball.

“I originally wanted some sort of Fight Club-type set up, or maybe paintball with real guns, but some people had issue with that,” he tells The Escapist in an email conversation. “In an effort to meet in the middle, I suggested kickball, but with a spiked metal ball, and even that didn’t go over very well. … Can you believe it? So here we are, playing regular, boring old kickball.”

The sarcasm stems from his real-life hopes that the tourney, which has already raised over $1,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago, could help to alter the often-negative perspective the public has toward game developers.

“I have many teacher friends, and they all say to me, ‘You’re the reason my kids never do their homework!’ So this is a way of saying, ‘See, we aren’t so bad,'” he writes.

The event, taking place on September 15 at the OZ Park in Chicago, will kick off it’s elimination rounds at 12:30 p.m. Twelve teams from several midwest-area development teams, including Midway, Volition Inc., Electronic Arts and others, will square off for the championship trophy. In terms of donations raised, however, there’s already a leaderboard. So far Wideload is in first place, with $920 in donations, while Raw Thrills/Play Mechanix (the folks responsible for that Big Buck Hunter arcade game at your local bar) come in at second, with $420. Anyone can support their favorite team through the tournament’s website; the tourney-winning team will receive a trophy and goodies from the tourney’s sponsors. But the ultimate reward, for Cobb, is the chance for game developers to do some good for their community.

“I’m not going to pretend I’m this martyr that’s super passionate about helping out charities,” Cobb writes. “It just seemed like a nice thing to do.”

As to the question of whether or not desk-bound shader jockeys will be fit for running around a diamond, Cobb is apprehensive.

“A few of the players that have not left their desk chairs for the last 10 years or so will actually be playing in their chairs. We have hired runners to push them around the bases. Practice has consisted mainly of oiling up the chair wheels with WD-40. Due to popular request, we are playing on fields that don’t have any dirt or grass. Its all concrete … much easier to roll on.”

Click here for more info on the tournament.

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