If you’ve ever been overwhelmed in a crowd, you know how good it can feel to step out of the chaos into a quiet, still space. For a lot of us in the video game industry, the AFK Room program offers that space — a room at busy gaming conventions where there’s no crowd, no noise, nothing being sold. Just peace, quiet, and trained volunteers and mental health clinicians who are there to help when people need more than room to regain their calm.
Since Spring 2014, Take This has hosted AFK Rooms at every North American PAX event, often with hundreds of visitors per day. Starting in 2015, the AFK Room has been available at every PAX worldwide, and we’ve brought it to many other events as well. We want to make sure we’re there for everyone who needs us at the conventions we already attend, and we want to bring the AFK Room program to more conventions. To do that, we need your help.
If you’ve followed the progress of our fundraising campaign so far, you may be wondering why we’re switching platforms. Allow Take This co-founder Russ Pitts to explain, and to address a few changes:
As you may know, our campaign to raise funds for the life-saving AFK Room program was ended prematurely. We are still in discussion with Indiegogo to determine why, exactly, that was. So far it looks like we were caught up in an administrative change Indiegogo was making to it’s own platform, and our campaign was closed against our will and with no warning as part of that change. This was disappointing, and left us with the program not quite funded for two of our planned 2017 shows.
Thankfully, we have enough funds on-hand to put on the AFK Room at PAX East later this week. And the funds raised through Indiegogo (plus an amazing weeklong fundraiser from one of our Twitch friends) will allow us to keep the program alive long enough to try again.
So now it’s time to try again.
Today we will be re-launching our campaign on Kickstarter. And we’ve made some changes.
But first, a note to everyone who was kind enough to contribute to our Indiegogo campaign: Your contributions will be counted. Indiegogo is in the process of finalizing those contributions and will be sending them to us soon. And we will be sending your rewards as soon as we are able. Thank you so much for believing in us, and we’re sorry for any confusion. Whatever happens with our Kickstarter relaunch, your Indiegogo contribution will go toward helping save lives.
The biggest change we’ve made to our campaign relaunch is our total ask. Thanks to the generosity of our Indiegogo backers (and MissKyliee’s audience), we can fully fund the AFK Room program and expand it for less than what we were asking for on Indiegogo. But we’re asking for even less than that.
The goal for our Kickstarter campaign is $10,000. This is the minimum we require to cover our “hard costs” for sending two Take This team members to Seattle for PAX West, hiring a licensed, experienced clinician to act as our recruiter and organizer, and fully staff and stock the AFK Room to serve the hundreds of guests we will see at the show.
If we meet our Kickstarter goal, we will be able to return to PAX West with the AFK Room. And we are hoping that we can raise some or all of the remaining funds we need for 2017 as stretch goals, one goal per show.
The next change is to one of our most popular reward tiers, for the Pinny Arcade pin designed by Mike “Gabe” Krahulik. There’s no better way to say this: We had originally priced that reward way too high. What can I say? We’re do-gooders, not salespeople. For the re-launch on Kickstarter, backing our campaign at $50 will earn you one brand-spankin-new collectible Pinny Arcade “Psychomancer” designed by Gabe. The pin is still being designed and will be available for sale in person at a future PAX event, but this campaign will be the only place to buy it online and guarantee you can get your hands on one, whether you go to PAX or not.
Friends who backed this reward tier on Indiegogo will receive two extra pins with our thanks. You may sell them, trade them, gift them to a friend who needs one. It’s up to you. They’re yours to keep.
Finally, the “Take Everything” tier has also been reduced in price for the Kickstarter re-launch, and backers of that tier at Indiegogo will receive double the reward (two of everything!) PLUS one of our very limited edition Wyrmwood “Tranquility” Shields of Hope.
We hope that those of you affected by the changes will understand, but if you have any questions or issues with your pledges, please feel free to reach out. And I hope that the changes we’ve made to this campaign will help justify the cost of backing this program and ensuring that an AFK Room will be there when you or someone you love may need it. The AFK Room program does save lives. I’ve seen it happen. When we started Take This almost five years ago, we never imagined it could touch so many lives and that so many people around the world would come to rely on our efforts, our hope, and our message.
Friends, it really is dangerous to go alone. We need your help to keep this thing going.