I’ve been asked before why I continue to do this. Suffice to say that the answer is not “money”.
As the principal investors in Some Awesome Minecraft, Tonya and I are often met with incredulous stares over the amount of money we pour into this endeavor. Believe me, it does not go unnoticed by us on a monthly basis. However, as a couple who have found themselves in the unique position to create a community where we can share our love of video games and combine it with our desire to give others the opportunity to bond with their children, we found that Minecraft was the perfect mix of both. If we had let that chance pass us by and did nothing instead, or worse, kept it to ourselves, we wouldn’t have been able to live with that decision.
So what does that have to do with taking donations? Quite a lot actually. I’ll try and break down the reasons that we have committed to over the last year and a half…
1. You’ve already paid $26 (or more) for Minecraft
In fact, if you’re like us, you’ve already paid upwards of $200 for Minecraft (7 PC accounts, 2 XBOX accounts, 4 Pocket Edition accounts, soon a PS3 account). So why would you want to pay more just to PLAY the game? We know you’ve invested as much as you can into playing the game, and like us, you’re probably part of a family that is trying to make ends meet. Asking for more, without reason, would feel wrong.
2. You shouldn’t feel the need to pay for what we can afford
Tonya and I are not rich by any means, but we can afford to pay for these servers. We also pay for the Starbound server, and a few other things related to the Some Awesome community, but we’ve budgeted that into our monthly bills. This is not the by-product of wealth, but this server has grown with us and we’ve made concessions to accommodate that. We’ve had the privilege of leveraging a great community of gamers to seed these servers with players, that’s all anyone could ask for with regards to assistance.
Don’t get me wrong, if something were to happen where we could no longer afford the servers, we would ask for donations to keep it running, but that is a VERY last resort.
3. Money and Friendship do NOT go hand in hand
We consider you all to be great friends. In fact, most of the best friends we’ve made, have been through this group. If you’ve ever been in the position where you owe a friend money, or you have a friend that owes you money, you know that it only dampens the relationship you have with that person.
4. Donations = Obligations
If you need any proof of this, just look at Congress. Campaign “contributions”, lobbying, etc. These are the things that ruin a good system.
Now I’m not saying that all, or even most, of you would take advantage of the fact that you had given donations, but it is always a present danger. Quite frankly, as someone who is very receptive and empathetic, I know that I would have a hard time banning someone who had donated. Even if it was something as simple as a suggestion for changing a rule or an addition to the server, I would HAVE to take their donation into account. Honestly, I don’t want something as frivolous as a donation to skew what I think is best for this server.
5. Mojang and their EULA
Recently, Mojang started enforcing their stance on “pay to play” servers. Mind you, we had discussed, at some length, the idea of monetizing the server using BuyCraft or similar, to generate some income to help us pay the costs associated with Some Awesome Minecraft. I’m actually happy now to say that we decided never to do that, because it would have become something we were dependent on, and we never want to be dependent on outside sources to maintain the uptime for these servers.
6. Our Admins are picked from the freshest beans
I think it’s worth letting people know that our Admins are not paid. They do this because they love the game, and because they love you guys. Should the need arise, we want to know that we can choose our Admins from the pool of players NOT because they can contribute monetarily, but because they will always do what they think is best for this community. Money only serves to dilute the interests that come with such a responsibility. Simply put, our Admins are here because they know they have something to contribute that is much more important than money.
Now, if it ever comes to pass that SAMC is making a profit, they’ll be compensated handsomely of course 😉 But it’s nice to know that’s not an expectation (and honestly we’re at LEAST a year away from profitability).
WE APPRECIATE YOU ASKING THOUGH
Don’t get us wrong, it’s REALLY nice to know that you guys want to chip in, but we made a serious decision at the beginning of this that we want you to be able to play and enjoy these servers without having to contribute. We absolutely appreciate everyone just sticking to the rules, and trying to make the server a great place to play, for all ages. That’s all we ask.
And if you have a great idea for the server, know that if we implement it, it’s because we think it’s a great idea, and not because you threw us a few bucks.
If you want to really help, then please share our group and the Some Awesome community with your friends wherever you can. We are more than happy to send you business cards to hand out, or do whatever we can to help you spread the word.
You can also purchase Some Awesome T-shirts, buy through our affiliate links, or just visit our websites. Every little bit helps, and gives you something in return for your participation, which is important to us.
More than anything though, you can help by donating to the causes that we get behind, particularly our yearly stint with Extra Life. Your money is better off helping those truly in need.
Always For The Community,