It's a really strange feeling to spend months working to find an empty space and then to see it filled by people in a matter of minutes.
But that's what happened last night. Every year we do a Denver Funde Razor I fully expect no one to show up, or maybe for two people to wander in an hour after things "kick off". And every year I'm proven not just wrong, but very wrong.
This year was no exception.
I arrived at The Mercury Cafe (a venue that once saw acts like The Dead Presidents perform in it) at 5 p.m., a good two hours before we were to get started. People starting showing up for the event 30 minutes later. That's right, people actually arrived an hour and a half early to wait in line to donate money to Child's Play. That's the kind of folk gamers are.
Last year, you may recall, I was my own roading, schlepping all of the Rock Band equipment, a television from our bedroom and prizes to the venue, setting it up by myself and then running the entire thing in a constant state of panic.
This year I had help, lots and lots of help. In fact, I had so much help I probably could have snuck out for Fatburger. But I didn't.
First came Adam and Rachel, who helped keep things running smoothly and worked the door the entire night. Then came Gabe Martinez, of Death of the Arcade, and his crew who brought all of the equipment for the night. And I mean all of it. He had televisions, a projector, Rock Band 2 with all 500 or so songs unlocks, a 360, playlists, lights, even a vanilla-scented fog machine. After he and his people set everything up, they took over running the songs. Getting people to sign up, calling them up to play, everything.
At 7 p.m. we opened the doors to a flood of gamers, within minutes we had all of the tables and chairs filled, by the end of the evening about 300 people (give or take a dozen or so) showed up for the event. That's more than double how many showed up last year, thanks in no small part to the IGDA's Denver Chapter.
It seemed that everyone had a fun time, and it was a blast to hand out the van full of donations and swag I trucked down. I can't thank you all enough for the charity and the fun. From sponsors, to volunteers, to donors, you are all the reason I'm proud to call myself a gamer.
Oh, the money.
So last year we raised $1,839, an amount that, for a first time event, blew me away.
This year Denver's Funde Razor brought in $3,491... in cash and another $500 from NetDevil in the form of a fancy check. So let's call it $4,000.
Pretty kick ass.
Stay tuned for reports from the New York and San Fran Funde Razors as well as plenty of pics and our end of year contest that I promised to all of you that couldn't make it to any of the Funde Razors.