Sunday, November 15, 2009
Xbox Canada Community Birthday Party
Eight years ago today, Microsoft released its Xbox video game system to the world, entering the console gaming market for the first time. On that same day, the Xbox community was officially born, and to celebrate this event and the community itself, Mister Switch and Keadin of GeneralGames.ca organized the first Xbox Canada Community Birthday Party.
Held in downtown Toronto's Strathcona Hotel Pub, members of the Xbox Canadian community, forum regulars and friends, came to enjoy good company, food/drink, and games, and those who couldn't make the venue itself were able to join in via web cam. But not only was this event a celebration of all things Xbox, the good folks of GeneralGames.ca also organized a charity raffle with all the donations going to Child's Play, a game industry charity that purchases games, books, and general entertainment for children in select hospitals. For the guests themselves, the prizes ranged from games for various platforms to DVD's to t-shirts, all donated by select publishers and other companies. Jaken Bear from Xbox Canada was on hand, but in a little role reversal he got to enjoy being a guest instead of an organizer, though naturally he did contribute some nice prizes for the raffle.
The atmosphere was light-hearted and fun, with everyone enjoying some great conversation and games of DJ Hero, which switched up to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 after a while. Nothing says "original Xbox launch" like a little splitscreen Multiplayer! Shortly in, we were also treated to some unique live tunes: chiptunes. For those who've never heard the term before, chiptunes is a form of music where the musicians use classic 8-bit gaming hardware, particularly the Nintendo Game Boy, to create a form of electronic music that certainly takes one back to a simpler time. Jefftheworld, who also performed at 2009's Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, entertained us with several tracks of his own mixing. For those interested in finding out more about chiptunes and Jefftheworld's performance at Nuit Blanche, you can check out this article at GeneralGamers.ca.
At about 10:00 pm, amidst food, drink, and music, Keadin officially announced the raffle and began collecting the donations. For every $3.00 donated, the guest received one entry into the random draw, and once Jefftheworld's performance was complete and everyone had a chance to game, relax, and chat, the prize drawing began. By night's end, I don't think there was one guest who entered who didn't win at least one prize, and over $350.00 was collected for charity. Achievement unlocked!
But alas, all good things come to an end, and the first Xbox Canada Community Birthday Party came to a close. It was great to see some old faces and to connect with some new people for the first time, to put an actual face to someone you've long since chatted with on the forums but have never had a chance to meet in person. Community events like these, by and for the same community, are really a treat, and if you've never been to one before, please, come join us at the next one and say hello! Your Friend's List is guaranteed to grow.
Now, as I always end these write ups, here's a list of the loot I scored from the raffle:
- Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360) (To be shipped at launch)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PC, Steam Download Code)
- Plants vs Zombies (PC)
- Gears of War Limited Edition Emergence Day 2006 Xbox 360 Faceplate
- Assassin's Creed II Developer T-Shirt (Given to Mister Switch, since I certainly won enough)
Kudos to Keadin and Mister Switch for all their hard work organizing the event, and a special thank you for putting together the charity raffle for Child's Play. A great event, and a great cause, really showing how strong and positive the Xbox Canada community is.