D0805 T1811 Y2007TTL Foundation Update

Earlier this summer, the TTL Gunslingers made good on a promise.

It was a promise almost a year in the making.

On Labor Day Weekend in 2006, Tied the Leader announced a charitable endeavor that would add to some weight to our interactions. The launching pad for this experiment was a LAN Party that we hosted in Chicago. The following November, that same announcement was followed by the inception of a charitable foundation under the Tied the Leader banner. The working idea was that a band of geeks could be of more use to the world, and to each other, than playing video games.

At Tied the Leader, we put forth a lot of efforts towards the glorification of violence – loud, visceral, bloody, smoky carnage and violence. If you are reading these words, it is likely that you are intimately acquainted with just the sort of mayhem that we practice. We thrive on it. Our adult constituency plays war games with all the voracity of which their inner-child is capable. While this imaginery battle wages against – and sometimes alongside – the citizenry of the Halo Nation, current events that shape our nation provide the starkest reminders that war is far from a game.

Every time one of our Gunslingers barks “Copy that!” into their Xbox Live headset, they are borrowing from the culture of the men and women that fight the real war. We sit, comfortably on our couches, dodging bullets and grenades like armchair warriors. The only interruption of our fun is the five seconds it takes to magically respawn on the battlefield; fresh and ready to continue – if not finish – the fight.

The Tied the Leader Foundation was created to give back to those from whose culture we borrow so very frequently. It’s a means of offering our humblest thanks to the people that make the safety of our couches their personal responsibility. It must be said that, at tiedtheleader.com, we save our politics for the game. We seek not to make a statement about the virtue of war – or the ones currently being fought. Instead, we seek to recognize the sacrifice of the people who march when the order is given, and to help them when they fall.

Months passed after we made our intentions known. We opened a store. Many a shirt found its way onto the back of a Gunslinger. We planned yet more LAN parties, bringing together the people who had become friends defending the same bases from attackers. Some of our members made private donations to drive the cause. Others donated their time, effort, and skills to make sure that the cause had momentum. People even started asking us for our story, but we had yet to put any money where our mouths were.

On June 29th, that changed. We made our first donation. On that day, $500 went to the Azalea Charities Aid For Wounded Soldiers. This money did not go into the hands of some government bureaucracy. It paid no one’s salary. It didn’t even pay for the server space that makes this conspiracy possible. The funds that we raised in the name of the soldier went directly to new arrivals at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Again, all politics aside, we were glad to see our proceeds go where they seemed to be needed most dearly.

We paid for clothing, electronics, and personal care items for troops who were rotated stateside to receive rehabilitation for wounds they received in battle. It then came to our attention that our donation was matched by another team who calls themselves the Redskins, essentially doubling the value of our efforts. We did some research to invite this team to a challenge against ours. Unfortunately, we were unable to find these noobs listed in any of the usual places where you find teams.

Over the course of the next month, we will host another LAN Party. One year leter, the Gunslingers return to the scene of the crime. Once again, they will find themselves in Chicago on what we hope will be another beautiful Labor Day weekend. On that occasion, no matter the weather, we will have something to celebrate – aside from the obvious accomplishment of remaining friends amidst the hostile environments of Halo 2. Pints will be raised and violence will be glorified while the pictures fly through the air.

Wanna go? Get yourself to our forum and start forging an alliance.

When all is fought and won, there will be a surplus of our hard-earned cash. There always is. That money will find its way into the hands of someone more deserving than any of us.

Will we change the world? No. We will not. But we will honor the people whom we admire most, even if we have to do it one soldier at a time.

Say thankya. Big, big.

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Comment 6

D1126 T2253 Y2006The Tied the Leader Mission

We would like to introduce to you a company of gamers. The members and the staff of this enterprise met in what has been called Cyberspace. More specifically, they likely met in a place like Lockout or Zanzibar, or some other hotly contested corner of the Halo Nation.

Just like you, they like to play war.

Playing war is fun. We all like to play war. Don’t we? It is doubtful that you, Constant Reader, come to TTL in search of fruitcake recipes. This site has been home to a number of battles, both friendly and flame-ridden. The mission has always been the same. We are all in search of a good game.

But a game war is not. Not really. There are members of the Tied the Leader community who know what war is like. The rest of us invest a lot of passion in celebrating the characters and legends that grow out of the legacy of the soldier. To them, we tip our hat.

This is our personal project. This announcement is not a sales pitch, as much as it is a window into our clubhouse. The TTL Gunslingers are not the first cadre of gamers to take up a cause. 2old2play has staged LANs to throw the weight of their community into the battle against cancer. The Cavegirls also showed us a way to make the world a better place by Fighting Like a Girl. Even Bungie Fought the Flood. With the TTL Foundation, we throw our hat into the ring.

Our aim is not to take a political stance, and our goal is not to exploit. Our only mission is to give back to the people who defend a world in which some of us possess the luxury to play at war. It’s easy to line up behind an agenda to support the troops. Some people put a magnet on their bumper. We would rather put a shirt on your back or invite you to a party.

Anytime TTL encounters the messy business of cash-flow, the Foundation will benefit. The commercialization of the TTL brand will enable gamers to express themselves in ways that have a positive impact on both the digital conflict and the real. Watch this space for tournaments, live events, and exciting merchandise solutions.

So said. So begun. Say Thankya.

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Comment 9

D1012 T1140 Y2005The Official Clan of ‘TTL'

After deliberations with Constant Readers and current mates from the High Council of Overlords, it has been decided that our ranks will be reorganized under a new name.

Introducing [with pleasure and pride] the first Official Clan of ‘Tied the Leader’.

The TTL Gunslingers.

We are Ka-Tet. We are one from many. While Timmy may have forgotten the face of his father, we say thankya and speak our lessons true.

Enough obscure references for one paragraph? Perhaps. However, one does not have to be a fan of Stephen King’s magnum opus to reap the virutes of this Clan organization.

The first [of hopefully many] Clan Invites will be sent this evening. As this is the first [of hopefully few] clans to be conceived out of participation in this forum, ‘Tied the Leader’ will begin to lend some focus to coordinating the newest online combat entity for HALO2. Watch this space for readership polls on gamer availability, tactical discussions, and the usual kind-hearted rantings and ravings from our experiences playing on Xbox Live.

For those of you who need to improve your Clan experience, this is your call to action. However you came to this site, consider this an open call. ‘Tied the Leader’ is in search of fellow gunslingers with steady hands and cunning minds.

Sound off. Join up. List your XBL Gamertag in the comments forum and submit yourself to the trials.


Posted by XerxdeeJ

Comments 23