BlazeJam 2012, a game jam to raise funds for Colorado fire victims

In case you’ve missed the news, Colorado’s Waldo Canyon has been ravaged by fire recently. According to this Denver Post article, over $110 million worth of homes have been lost. The count is somewhere around 347 homes. That’s a lot of families suddenly in need.

In order to raise funds for these victims, a group of Colorado-based indie game developers are holding BlazeJam 2012, a 48 hour game jam. During the event they’ll be holding auctions as well, and all proceeds go to charity. The Jam starts this Friday and the auction starts Saturday morning.

You can get involved or learn more at the site, or you can read the full press release below.

I’m not affiliated with BlazeJam; I’m just trying to help spread the word for a friend.


BlazeJam 2012 Aims To Raise $5000 For Victims Of The Waldo Canyon Fire

BlazeJam 2012 Attracts McPixel Developer And More To Fight Wild Fires With Games, Announces Funding Goal And Charities

DENVER, CO (July 3, 2012) – Today, BlazeJam 2012 announced additional sponsors, and unveiled a new website ( to accept fundraiser donations. Sos Sosowski (developer of McPixel), Fresh Aces Videogames, Glass Bottom Games, Blind Fury Studios, Femto Kitten Games, Synaptic Switch and more have pledged to make videogames for the fundraiser, with all donations going toward the Pikes Peak American Red Cross and the Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado.

The event is to kick off at 6:00 PM MDT Friday, July 6th, with all developers having 48 hours to produce a videogame to the theme of �Fire Fighting.� All games will be due for final submission Sunday night, after which they will be cleaned up and packaged into a charity bundle. Anyone donating at least $5 to the BlazeJam 2012 Fundraiser Campaign gets a copy of the bundle. �You�ll get a set of awesome games developed over a weekend by some really talented people, including some indies of particular note,� says Megan Fox, Co-Founder and CEO of Glass Bottom Games, �and you�ll know you did your part to help the victims of one of the worst wildfire seasons Colorado has ever seen. All for just $5, or about the price of an �extra value� meal.�

Additionally, auctions for video game memorabilia are to run between July 7th and July 14th, with all proceeds going to the Pikes Peak American Red Cross and the Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. “The joy of having something after you buy it fades fast,� says Marc Wilhelm, Founder of Fresh Aces Videogames, �[So] better than just buying something for the sake of having it, it�s more valuable to buy something for a purpose. That�s a feeling that lasts forever.” Parties interested in either the auctions or BlazeJam on a whole should check the BlazeJam Facebook page ( or Twitter (@BlazeJam), where the auctions and other BlazeJam related activity will be announced.

For more information on BlazeJam 2012, to join the jam, or to pledge your support, check out


About BlazeJam:
BlazeJam is the brainchild of Dave Calabrese, President/CEO of Cerulean Games, Inc. Struck by the ferocity of Colorado�s 2012 wild fire season, he wanted to do something to help its victims – and thus was BlazeJam born. For more information on Cerulean Games, Inc, please visit their website at

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Gaming download services (eg Steam) have assimilated me

Last night I was checking out what looks to be an interesting new indie game: Lone Survivor. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale told in a retro 8-bitty style. You can play a demo on Kongregate to get a feel for it. This isn’t really a post about Lone Survivor (though I have to give a cheer for using Kongregate as an easy-access demo platform).

The point is, there was enough there for me to make a purchase. So I looked in Steam, and I looked on Desura, and couldn’t find it. Finally I did what I should have done first: I went to the game’s website. And they had a “Buy Now” button, but Jasper Byrne, the developer, has opted to totally self-publish without using any kind of service, which I can certainly understand.

But it made me hesitate and so far, I haven’t bought the game.

Here’s why: I buy a lot of these little indie games and more often than not I don’t play them right away. I’ve got too many games on my plate now to start a new one. But I buy indie games as soon as I find them because otherwise, frankly, I’ll forget about them in all the hype-fests coming from the big publishers. But I buy them, get them in my Steam/Desura/Origin/Amazon library, and then some day in the future I’ll see them and go “Hey, I forget this one, let’s play it!”

If I buy Lone Survivor I’ll (I assume) download a zip file once the purchase is complete. Then I’ll have to put it somewhere that I’ll remember it. And then I’ll have to stumble on it at some point in the future, at which time I’ll unzip and install it and them maybe go see if there are patches/updates I need to get.

Steam, in particular, has molded me into someone way too lazy to do this. I can’t remember the last time I had to go looking for a patch for a PC game, or even manually run an installer. I let these download services do all that for me.

I feel kind of bad about this, honestly. Hopefully this blog post will remind me to buy and play Lone Survivor at some point in the future, or maybe Mr. Byrne will opt to partner with Desura or some other service. I sure don’t mind buying direct from him if the result of my purchase was a Steam or Desura code I could plug into my library. I’m just too fat and lazy to worry about backing up and tracking my own install files. That’s how far I’ve fallen as a gamer.