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Support BoardGaming.com and children in crisis

Posted by Jim {Power Gamer} | 16-Dec-11 | 23 comments

Art with Heart - Healing kids through creativity

Help us help others.

We’re donating 25% of all our gem sales during the month of December 2011 to Art with Heart!

Get some Gems! >

Art with Heart video

This video is an overview of Art with Heart’s mission and work on behalf of children in crisis.
6:21

About Art with Heart
“Art with Heart helps kids through the healing power of creativity.

We do that through the creation and distribution of our therapeutic books… Our books combine engaging art with therapies that help youth cope with overwhelming feelings even in the midst of a crisis. In this way, Art with Heart supports their emotional and social growth, paving the way for success in school and in life.”
visit site >

 

Giving back to our supporting users

We’d like to reward those that have purchased 2011 supporter badges (anytime during 2011) with Gamer XP.

What we don’t want is for this to turn off users by making it feel like you can just buy your way to the top. Below are our proposed rewards. Give us your opinion in the comments below. Do you like this idea, or is having the badge in your inventory reward enough?

Buy a support badge! >

Platinum Supporter

Platinum Supporter

All 2011 Platinum Supporters would receive 200 gamer XP

Gold Supporter

Gold Supporter

All 2011 Gold Supporters would receive 150 gamer XP

Silver Supporter

Silver Supporter

All 2011 Silver Supporters would receive 100 gamer XP

Bronze Supporter

Bronze Supporter

All 2011 Silver Supporters would receive 50 gamer XP

Comments (23)

Gamer Avatar
7
Miniature Painter
Intermediate Reviewer
Master Grader

Neat, wonder what happened here.

Gamer Avatar
9
Sweden
Bard

A great cause. Please, do repeat it this year!

Gamer Avatar
8
Count / Countess
Senior
Went to Gen Con 2012
I play black

What a wonderful cause. Thanks!

Gamer Avatar
8
Gamer - Level 8
Expert Recruiter
Count / Countess
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

I am glad to see this site contributing to good causes. I don’t have any answers to the posted questions, though. Sorry.

Gamer Avatar
8
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Subscribed to BG News
Platinum Supporter
Advanced Reviewer

Speaking of badges… The Marine badge in mine is in support of Toys for Tots, granted they don’t teach kids how to play games, but through our donations, you can share the gift of gaming with kids of all ages. 🙂 There’s still time left to bring a couple board games over to your local Toys for Tots drop off area. (check your local malls) Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

I do like that some of the money is going to a good cause. There should be more of that during the holidays. I wish there was a group that brought games and taught games to kids in need. I’m sure you looked for one. 🙂

Granny think Chaos in the Old World is quite healing… Nurgle loves the little girls and boys.

Happy Holidays!

Gamer Avatar
4
Viscount / Viscountess
Advocate
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

I don’t see any problem with letting people use gems to purchase these badges. It’s their money, after all. If people want to demonstrate their support in other ways, that’s cool too.

It seems like a pretty straightforward fundraising tool. Go for it, fellers, is my 2cents.

Gamer Avatar
8
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Subscribed to BG News
Platinum Supporter
Advanced Reviewer

There is no real “right” or “wrong” answer, but I do tend to be in Ururam Tururam’s court here. Inviting members is a huge help to the site, it’s why gems are rewarded for accomplishing that quest. Using those gems to get a badge that says “I am a supporter!” in lieu of other enhancements is the users prerogative. If the user wishes to use those gems to purchase cool avatars, themes, or bank the loot waiting for new items and treasures, that’s their choice as well, and more often that not, I would think that user’s mentality falls in line with yours Wind Land, in that they’d rather not “brag” or “boast” about their support of the site anyway, so I can’t see that they’d care if they got the badge or not. Their support is clearly seen in their contributions, high levels and their enhanced profiles. Users who wish to display the badge, are no more or less proud to help out the site than users who use their loot for treasure, it’s just a different kind of treasure. There’s a certain level of “cool” and “prestige” with either avenue of expense. Ultimately the owners of the site know full well who’s a supporter and that’s really all that matters. Well that, and ensuring the site’s growth and development. 🙂

Gamer Avatar
7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter

Well, if people like M.M. would like to spend their gems and gold on any of the “supporter” titles instead of fancy avatars and themes they should be able to do so. Obtaining at least 10k gold means contributing to the site a lot. The contribution may be money, new users or overall activity. Giving the badges just for buying the gems is like doubling the bonus – making people having a cake after eating it. It’s nice, I admit, but it makes the badges effectively less valuable and less prestigious.

Gamer Avatar
9
My First Heart
My First Wish!
My First Favorite!
Gave My First Grade

Exactly. And then there’s cases like Michael Mindes. He’s gotten almost 1200 invitation points and could probably afford to get the Bronze Site Supporter badge without having donated a single cent.

You can’t really say it’s not fair that he can get the badge without having to spend money because of how many people he’s brought to the site. But you might be able to say it wasn’t fair that bronze might be as high as he can get even though he and another person from his staff (he runs Tasty Minstrel Games for those who didn’t know) are far and away the most prolific in getting the word out to other people about this place.

And in the long run, that brings in more money for the site through page views and potential future donators much more than a single donation would.

It just seems like this could be thought through better.

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

Granny gets Wind Lane’s stance. Someone could spend $200 on the site, be an excellent contributor, and not be considered a supporter just because they didn’t buy a supporter badge. I consider spending money at any time as being a supporter of the site

Nevertheless, I bought a supporter badge, and I want my XP! :p

Play on!

Gamer Avatar
7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter

If you buy gems and then you purchase a lot of avatars, themes etc. – you have much to show and you are already rewarded. Keeping badges as separate “donation” items is a better idea then rewarding just buying the gems in my opinion.

Gamer Avatar
8
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Subscribed to BG News
Platinum Supporter
Advanced Reviewer

@Wind Lane

So then you’d be more comfortable with the badges being doled out automatically based on gems purchased, so if you buy 100 gems, the Platinum badge for 2011 becomes available to you regardless of how you spend your gems?

I can see merit in that approach. I bought gems just to get the badge in that I wanted to donate and then I could display the badge more as an advertisement to other members of the site since the badge is, as Jim said, the replacement for the donate button. The more you display the badge, the more you create awareness that there are donation means available to help this site grow and flourish. Which might hopefully create a buzz with the users. That said, I completely agree that ANY gem purchases are helping this site out tremendously so I can see a compromise in having the badges be maybe 50% (or some other rate) reduced in cost, that way you’re donating just for the sake of donating, but also getting a little something via the market for yourself for the fun of the “game”. 🙂 Thoughts?

Gamer Avatar
9
My First Heart
My First Wish!
My First Favorite!
Gave My First Grade

@bobb33z3r

That’s kind of my concern.

Right now it works like this:

You donate $75 to the site.
You get 100 gems.
You cash those in for 100000 gold.
You buy the Platinum supporter badge for 100000 gold.

What’s bothering me is that you’ve already donated the money, yet you have to use all of it for the badge if you want to show that you’ve donated. Your donation is by default unprovable to anyone but the good folks running the site (and that’s not sarcasm – I really do think these guys are good folks, this place is great and always getting better).

It just feels like you’re being asked to get nothing in return if you want one of those badges, other than the badge itself.

I’m willing to bet that the number of supporter badges below Platinum level were bought mostly by folks who’d donated the $75 for the 100 gems. It seems also likely that the folks who donated just enough money to get the supporter badge they have are going to be in the extreme minority if non-existent.

The weird thing is, I don’t know that I’d ever want or use one of those badges no matter how much I donated because, for me, it feels strange and uncomfortable to bring attention to what I’ve given to someone/spent on something.

I don’t object to the badges costing something, I’m just not sure I find it fair to have them cost as much as they do.

Gamer Avatar
8
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Subscribed to BG News
Platinum Supporter
Advanced Reviewer

Oh, I think I get it now… your concern is that the badges cost the full amount of the gem purchase, and not that they’re given out because you’ve bought gems. Is that it? If so, I personally like the way it’s set up, the badges are a direct donation to the site solely for the purpose of donation, not for buying various market items. It’s a little thank you from BG.com for your donation, it’s just a two step process instead of the badge being automatically given in lieu of gems.

Gamer Avatar
6
Pick a Favorite LGS
Robots on the Line fan
Miniature Painter
I play blue

Buying Gems for any reason helps support the site! The support badges are meant to take the place of a “donate” button. This year we will keep with having the badges cost BG gold vs being rewarded, but we do like the suggestions we’re hearing!

In terms of having more items available in the market… What I’m most excited about, but can currently say the least about, is we have new publishers that are joining up to create themes, badges and avatars based on their popular games! The holidays will slow this down a bit, but you should be seeing some great things early January!

We really appreciate everyone’s participation and support this year in the beta! We’ve come a long way in four months, and can’t wait to see where next year takes us.

Gamer Avatar
8
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Subscribed to BG News
Platinum Supporter
Advanced Reviewer

@WerrWaaa

Without having any factual knowledge about BG’s theme plans, we already know there are female heroes and villain packs planned and I’m confident there’s going to be more game themes and avatars (and anything else the staff can come up with) available in the market as the site grows and as the staff gets time to develop them (or in Greg’s case, draw them). Patience. 🙂

Gamer Avatar
8
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Subscribed to BG News
Platinum Supporter
Advanced Reviewer

@Wind Lane

I’ve read your post 5 times and it’s still not sinking in. What bothers you about the badges? Maybe it’s just that it’s early and I didn’t get a lot of sleep (sick kids) so forgive me for being slow on the uptake today.

Gamer Avatar
9
My First Heart
My First Wish!
My First Favorite!
Gave My First Grade

The thing that kind of bothers me about the supporter badges is that you’re effectively saying it’s $75 to buy the highest level badge. It seems like these badges should be given out just for that, rather than making the money already donated be 100% spent on the badge itself.

The experience thing seems a bit weird too. Not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing…I’ll have to think about it more.

Gamer Avatar
7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter

I’m with b0bb33z3r here: rewarding buying supporter badges with gamer XP would be too much IMO. Personally I have one supporter badge for 2011, I plan to obtain another one in 2012.

What I’d suggest is treating support badges as Reporter achievements – in fact helping funding the site is helping others, which fits well in the reporter category. Thus:
– Displaying newly bought supporter badges in “recent achievements” in profiles (maybe in green octagonal frames?).
– Adding a few points to the reporter XP, but not as many as proposed above, not to make the points a “goal for the rich”. Let us say: 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 Reporter XP for the four different badges each year.

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