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News Item - GIDFA closing down

GIDFA (Gaming Industry Disaster Fund Auction) Press Release

Posted March 27, 2002

It is now six months and more since the inception of the GIDFA project,and despite the best efforts of those involved, the project has been only a partial success. The GIDFA fund currently stands at $7,051.44 (roughly 5000) plus 353.02 in UK sterling.

Sadly, many contributors and bidders failed to honour their promises, with the result that the final fund is considerably smaller than had been anticipated. The GIDFA administrators have made strenuous efforts to close as many bids as possible. These efforts have taken up a tremendous amount of time, and have had an adverse affect on the personal lives of some of those involved.

It is the conclusion of the GIDFA administration that, as of this time, nothing is likely to be gained by our continued efforts.

Regretfully, therefore, we have decided that the time has come to close down GIDFA. This decision has not been made lightly, and we are well aware that it will displease many members of the gaming community. However, we are now convinced that those who have chosen continue to disregard their promises will continue to do so no matter what efforts are made by GIDFA staff.

It is time to face facts: many of those who made grand gestures have failed to follow through. It is not our place to comment on those who promised prizes, or who bid extravagant sums "in a good cause" then reneged on the deal. Recriminations are pointless; suffice to say that after four months of chasing bids and prizes, we simply cannot do any more. Our own projects have been on hold during this time and we can no longer be hostage to those unwilling to honour their promises.

As far as is humanly possible, GIDFA has been resolved; prizes have been dispatched and bids collected. However incomplete this task, it has not been easy. Several months and countless hours of telephone and email communication have been invested on a voluntary basis.

Yet despite our efforts, a large majority of participants failed to honour their bids. The current total of unpaid winning bids stands at $4376. In addition, a large number of prizes offered by Ed Healy (Dispatch of which was to be handled by Wizards Attic) never materialised. [EDIT 11/23/2011: Ed Healy tells us (us at OgreCave, that is) that he delivered his game collection to Wizards Attic just before being deployed to Iraq, and only now discovered that it never got into the intended hands. Given Wizards Attic's history we find this fully believable, so if you got here searching on Ed, take note.] It has not been possible to discover a reason for this, but as a consequence bids totalling nearly $5000 have been declared null and void.

Several contributors have failed to dispatch goods to winning bidders, and some winners claim not to have received goods the contributors say were sent. The GIDFA administration is willing to offer refunds to bidders whose goods did not arrive, provided proof of dispatch does not exist with the contributor.

To reiterate: we are aware that many members of the gaming community will be displeased by this announcement. We can only say that we believe that the GIDFA project was a worthy effort, and it was entered into in good faith. Every effort was made to resolve problems where they occurred. Where issues remain unresolved, this is due to either a bidder or a contributor defaulting on their promises; not lack of effort on the part of the GIDFA staff. Fully $9000 of potential bids either were not paid for, or were invalidated because the contributor did not deliver.

Given the situation and the extremely small chance of any useful result from continued efforts, we are declaring the GIDFA project closed. A 7-day grace period will be allowed, beginning immediately, during which time queries, refund requests etc will be dealt with. At the end of this period, all unresolved issues will be dropped.

GIDFA was a worthy project that has now become a can of worms. I hope that you will understand when we say that we have done all we can, and more than most, but the time has come to admit that not everyone saw GIDFA as the honourable cause that we did.

On a personal note, GIDFA was a worthy effort and those who participated honourably succeeded in raising several thousand dollars for a needy cause. I am proud of my efforts and those of the people who assisted me.

Of the others, I will say nothing.

Gary Thompson
CEO & President, The Fiction & Fantasy Network
Proud Member of the Game Publishers Association (GPA)
GIDFA Founder


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