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Prize Money

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Hey their everyone, we have some upcoming events that involve outside MC prizes with real cash. The current prize pool for these events have been donated by other staff members and we are grateful they were able to do so. However in the future I don't want to keep asking for staff members to donate prizes and money.

 

As we are a community, I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were on taking part of our funds that we raised from the Fundraiser and setting aside a certain amount for prizes per year? As well as outlining how much funds will be used from future fundraisers.

 

You can view our current financial situation and info here.

 

What's everyone's thoughts on this?

 

EDIT:  To clarify, I didn't mean actual "cash". I mean spending money on things such as Steam Gift Cards

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"Cash prizes" seems like a gimic and a shitty way to use possible emergency money for the server. Even if it is a small amount, This does not strike me as a good idea.

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I don't see bringing outside prizes, especially cash, going smoothly with server events. The amount of drama that can possibly surround events with misunderstood rules, glitches, bugs, etc etc etc, would be even greater if you start putting up real money for people to play for. Yeah an admin has the final say in situations like that, but we have all seen how that's gone before when it's come to even relatively simple situations such as bans. It was talked about to use money for advertising for bringing new players IN to the servers. One big drama event like that could drive many new people right back out the door.

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I don't see bringing outside prizes, especially cash, going smoothly with server events. The amount of drama that can possibly surround events with misunderstood rules, glitches, bugs, etc etc etc, would be even greater if you start putting up real money for people to play for. Yeah an admin has the final say in situations like that, but we have all seen how that's gone before when it's come to even relatively simple situations such as bans. It was talked about to use money for advertising for bringing new players IN to the servers. One big drama event like that could drive many new people right back out the door.

 

"Cash prizes" seems like a gimic and a shitty way to use possible emergency money for the server. Even if it is a small amount, This does not strike me as a good idea.

I think I worded it wrong. We would not being giving them "cash" directly. It would be things like Steam Gift Cards or a copy of Battlefront 3.

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For starters, raw cash prizes are really bad. Not everyone has the ability to claim said cash. Steam gift cards/games of certain value are far better as everyone can make a steam account with relative ease.

Second, irl prizes for general fun stuff(SAL, spleef club, whatever) are a recipe for claims of foul play and drama.

Basically the opposite of the intended effect.

Third, the only thing I can see justifying a prize that costs money is if we're outsourcing for something that directly helps the servers and would require semi-professional help(for example graphics design). Even then a lot of people are willing to work for free if it means helping the servers.

And fourth, when we were raising money for the last drive we specifically mentioned that it would be primarily server cost+advertising. Using it for unnecessary stuff that wasn't mentioned is a good way to make people mad.

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"Cash prizes" seems like a gimic and a shitty way to use possible emergency money for the server. Even if it is a small amount, This does not strike me as a good idea.

 

 

We donated money to keep the server running healthy and bring more players in.

 

 

Giving money away is just a plain stupid idea. If you want to do that, then you are just better off giving us refunds. 

Steam gift cards or not, this is a bad idea.

 

 

1 year is a long time for such a tight budget of running costs, maintenance, event organizing, advertising, and emergencies.

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I don't see bringing outside prizes, especially cash, going smoothly with server events. The amount of drama that can possibly surround events with misunderstood rules, glitches, bugs, etc etc etc, would be even greater if you start putting up real money for people to play for. Yeah an admin has the final say in situations like that, but we have all seen how that's gone before when it's come to even relatively simple situations such as bans. It was talked about to use money for advertising for bringing new players IN to the servers. One big drama event like that could drive many new people right back out the door.

 

 

Don't forget the admin hunt fiasco on PvE

 

It was a dispute over a spawner and it resulted in a few good regular players leaving and not looking back.

 

 

Do we want this to really happen on a bigger scale over some money?

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Edited:

 

After reading the edit about the misleading title I still think this is a terrible idea, I've donated money to keep these servers running, not so someone can get a copy of a steam game they might decide to play. If for whatever reason this is approved I will most likely cease future donations. We've wasted money before on bad decisions or unexpected costs, whatever, but this would be a clear intentional waste of our operating funds.

Edited by c45y
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I think steam games are a cool prize however I don't think we could justify using donation money to buy them, I believe it should come down to whoever is making the event can buy a game to give away out of their own money. That seems to be the way we do it and although it's a very nice thought to have cooler prizes for events I don't think we can justify it coming from server maintenance money.

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Although with everything that has been said in this thread, you are bringing up a good thing, we need to brainstorm event prize ideas, I'm fairly sure reddit flare and names on a board is getting quite old.

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In the steam sales a few years ago I started putting games in my inventory not my library. I think I can pass them on from the inventory. If people who have (or will start) done this were willing to donate some of those games then no new money will be spent - a little easier to swallow?

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How about a 50/50 split between the people running the event's wallet and the server's for getting steam gift cards? Maybe set up a pool for games that people don't want in their inventory that they'd be willing to gift, but that would be hellish to manage.  If steam is too controversial look what meaningful semi-permanent rewards can be given to people ingame. Gift cards aren't an outrageous idea, I've seen plenty of steam groups smaller than mcpublic's offering the occasional raffle for them.

Edited by Ridiculous

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Guest Former Staff

I think one of the best ideas here is the topic itself for one reason only: Having a discussion across the community for something as important as how donation money is spent is important. I'm glad that this discussion started here.

 

The resounding response through the feedback seems to be that donation money was contributed for the purpose laid out in the nerd.nu/donate page checkpoint details with the primary function of maintaining our servers. However there are other concerns pointed out too, such as Forever_A_Steve's point about how if we did go ahead with using donation money for prizes, how could we ensure that people who won the prizes were competing fairly? When companies create competitions with cash value prizes or equivilent, those involved in the operation cannot be eligible for prizes, which would mean we would have to consider staff in the same way.

 

I do hope that I am being fair in saying that we will not be using donation money for prizes, especially without at least discussing the possibility of it before any further donation drive plans are laid out. For now, we certainly should instead focus our direction to brainstorming the kind of prizes that people would want to see, those that are free for us to provide and others that we can pay for out of our own pockets.

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Looks like the majority of people are against this idea and that is exactly why I wanted to open up this question to the community. I don't usually like to close a topic so soon after it just starting but support seems to be mostly against it.

 

I will leave this thread open for further feedback and thoughts but at this time we will not be moving forward with this idea. We will however still use any gift cards and games donated by members out of pocket.

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aside from the opinions stated above (which i do share,) once you start giving out prizes of any manner it opens up to a host of legal issues as well - even one slighted player could spell the end of the entire community... it's really thin ice to walk out onto without adequate research..

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When we ask for donations, we say it's to keep the lights on. If we used that money for prizes, we would have effectively lied about our intended purpose, which is...well, shady as fuck. The exact opposite of the financial transparency, with published budgetary costs and everything, that we've been going for lately. It would be a disservice and a deception to our amazing donors. (Never mind it's yet another thing to eat into our budget, when putting it towards keeping the servers paid for is paramount.)

 

It would also open up a huge legal can of worms. We'd be required to follow a ton of laws that fall under the general category of "contests and gambling." (Which vary by state, and figuring out jurisdiction is fun for an internet organization...) For example, nobody who is a staff member would be allowed to participate in contests with a monetary prize (which includes gift credit), nor would family of said staff members. If the event legally qualifies as a "game of chance," rather than a "game of skill" it could be illegal in some jurisdictions or have a set of gambling laws that apply. It would be a huge mess to figure out, and we'd have to, otherwise all it takes is one disgruntled player who lost to contact authorities and raise hell if everything isn't on the up and up.

 

Then there's the issue of sportsmanship. Throw a real-world prize into the mix, and civility goes out the window. There would absolutely be more foul play, disputes over minutia, and all around nasty behavior because there's something of value on the line. All it takes is one person to cross the line, and then you have drama start.

 

Definitely not a good idea, especially for the first reason. We play the "help us out, we need you to keep this fine organization running" card. Turning around and using that money for a prize fund would be really low, and ruin all trust that we'll put donated money for good use.

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Donations are best to keep servers running each month. This is a prize for all to enjoy if we have a server to play on.

Perhaps prizes could be obtained by seeking sponsors for events who can donate prizes in exchange for advertisement to our population via their names attached to the events.

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