Sunday, April 27, 2008

p.s.s. and no one stares at me there

A few days ago, I wrote about Hardcasual, a gaming blog created by my son and his friend. Already, his friend, Chris Plante, a local kid from Lee's Summit now living in New York, has been picked up by a professional site and has a weekly column called Why We Play at GameSetWatch.

The kid is getting paid to blog. Obviously, I could learn a thing or two . . .

Chris' column this week is something special. He writes about a girl with Spinal Muscular Atrophy upset about the closure of her favorite site, Virtual Magic Kingdom. She wrote
"My favorite web site, Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) is closing May 21st. I’m sad and MAD! I can’t live without my friends on VMK. PLEASE sign my guestbook like a petition to SAVE VMK for me and my friends. Pass my site on to everyone you know so they can help too. I love VMK cause I can WALK, TALK, EAT, DANCE, SHOP and play checkers all by myself.

PLEASE HELP ME!

Love,
Madison
p.s. VMK is GERM FREE too!
p.s.s. and no one stares at me there.
As readers of this and other local blogs might have guessed, this heartfelt cry from a vulnerable person provoked a firestorm of ugly, hateful comments. Chris uses this awfulness as a point of departure to discuss more generally his own experience growing up with a cleft palate, and how the world of gaming offered a place where he was able to escape a world of staring kids and insensitive adults.

It's thought-provoking stuff. Maybe even relevant for some of us who are wrestling with the ugliness of what we create and host.

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4 Comments:

Blogger whistleblower said...

How much would it cost to take over and host the Virtual Magic Kingdom site?

Maybe we can help.

4/27/2008 12:24 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

That's a kind thought, Whistleblower, but maintaining a site intended for children would require fulltime attention and a pretty impressive liability policy.

4/27/2008 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have under good authority that such sites cost no more than US$850,000 per year, including all staff (mostly moderators). There appears to be some sort of contractual conflict between Disney and Sulake, the outside contractor who did VMK, and who just signed a multi-virtual world contract with Paramount. Check out the comments on www.savevmk.com. Heart-rending.

4/28/2008 4:27 AM  
Anonymous Dustin said...

I don't have any money, but I would be willing to help. ~16,000 signed the petition so far, assuming 1/2 would actually pay and a million dollar budget, that's only $125 per person per year. I pay something similar to that for World of Warcraft. Let me know. I'm guessing that there might be quite an investment in servers/internets. Dan has my Baker email.

4/29/2008 10:32 AM  

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