One of the things I love about our community is that, despite all the bickering and flaming, there is a good heart beating in our collective chest. We pitch in when others are in need, we raise our voices in support of one another and we give of ourselves generously. One of my favorite groups showing the friendlier side of gaming is Operation Supply Drop, a military charity that sends videogame care packages to our troops in the world’s most dangerous combat zones. Nearly at $60,000 worth of goods shipped in over 20 drops, the group is relentless in its attempts to provide uniformed men and women just a bit of respite in places that typically offer none.
This year on Saturday, November 10, 2012, Operation Supply Drop will be hosting the first ever 8-Bit Salute to Veterans. Events will take place in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City to honor the men and women of our armed forces and you can participate. Here is the list of events across the country:
2011 63rd St.
Downers Grove, Ill. 60516 (West Suburb of Chicago)
Live music, many game stations throughout the area, game challenges with prizes, raffles as well as a full bar and kitchen. Raffle ticket purchases and donations via ChipIn will go towards Operation Supply Drop. Organizer: Konas Kornerand Off Duty Gamers. 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Mark ‘ODG6Actual’ Christianson (of Off-Duty Gamers)
Shawn “Kona” Warbiany
2710 McKinney Ave.
Dallas, Texas 75204
Red Carpet entrance with photo ops, 20 different game stations on 55” TVs, three DJs, geek-speed dating, nerf weapon battles, an online-only QuakeLive tournament and a full bar. Play games with special guests, the Charisma+2 models, Mike McFarland (director and voice-over actor for Dragonball Z, One piece and Full Metal Alchemist), Alexander Rossi (Formula 1 racer) and executives from id Software, Gearbox Software, Robot Entertainment, Terminal Reality, GameStop and a dozen soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Lockbox will accept monetary contributions and a box for donated games and hardware on site. Organizer: Charisma +2 . 1 to 9 p.m.
6363 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, Calif. 90028
In association with the Los Angeles Film School, and Hollywood production company Shifted2U Productions, Operation Supply Drop will be holding a single elimination Medal of Honor: Warfighter tournament in the Game Lab of the Los Angeles Film School to celebrate student and alumni veterans. The event augments the school’s 3rd Annual Salute, a yearly Veterans Day event held at the campus in Hollywood.
Veteran students and alum from the school will shoot it out for a chance to win a variety of prizes as well as to play side by side with veteran Celebrity Battle Buddies Scott Levy, Michael Broderick (voice and motion-cap actors “Stump” in addition to “Tick” from Medal of Honor: Warfighter) and Tyler Grey (military technical advisor for EA Games) in celebration of Veteran’s Day. Additional celebrity battle buddies for this event will be announced shortly. Organizer: Shifted2U
Tony “Money” Hulse
702 Union St.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215
Multiple game stations, live Music, party photos, raffles and with proceeds of the door going towards Operation Supple Drop. This event will be MCed by MC Death Bear, feature a Hip hop music performance by Modern Shark recording artists Junk Science which will be followed by a chip-tune dance party headlined by Dj Cutman. Organizer: Sick Damage
In addition, Microsoft stores in Bridgewater, N.J.; The Fashion Centre, Pentagon City, Arlington, Va. and Tysons Corner Center, McLean, Va. will be collecting current generation games and consoles for troops from Labor Day through Veteran’s Day. (So you can get an early start on saying “thank you.”)
If you can’t make one of these events, but want to participate, you can send contributions via PayPal to email@example.com, or send new games or consoles to:
Operation Supply Drop (OSD)
9301 Alvyn Lake Cir.
Bristow, VA 20136
If you really want to be a hero, you can host your own 8-Bit Salute to Veterans event. Contact Operation Supply Drop and Front Towards Gamer Founder Stephen “Shanghai Six” Machuga at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can check out the amazing work that the group does on their website here.