Insider 9/8/2010

One of my favorite events of the year comes just a couple weeks before Christmas.

It’s the Penny Arcade Child’s Play Charity Ball ( The event draws hundreds of philanthropic game industry professionals and fans from the tabletop and video game industries who come to enjoy an evening of camaraderie, fine dining, and some of the most competitive auction bidding you’ve ever seen.

There are really two auctions: a silent auction prior to dinner and then a live auction during dinner hosted by the gregarious personality duo of Penny Arcade fame, Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins (aka Gabe and Tycho). All the items in the auctions are donations from tabletop and video game companies and fans, many in attendance. These items are often true “geek gold” and include signed exclusives, rare items that you might never see again, or special, unique items that have been conceived of just for the charity event.

At the 2009 event, Privateer Press bid on and won an incredible item donated by Penny Arcade and Harmonix, the makers of the hit video game, Rock Band. We won a song that would be written and performed by Jerry ‘Tycho’ Holkins himself. We were given the opportunity to pick the subject matter of the song, and while it was very tempting to try and get a little Matt Wilson rock opera on the playlist, we chose the safer bet and went with WARMACHINE. Over the following months, Jerry and the talented musicians at Harmonix (a collaboration known as “The Sex Generals”) crafted a truly kick-ass sword-metal ballad that paints WARMACHINE with a whole new medium. Last weekend, at PAX Prime 2010, we got to hear it live for the first time.

And the crowd went wild!

Jerry and a handpicked group of PAX attendees played/performed the Rock Band song live before a capacity crowd at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. It was epic.

If you weren’t lucky enough to be there, you might check it out on one of the many YouTube videos like this one I managed to record:

Video Link

Since it’s a little hard to hear, I’m posting Jerry’s totally metal lyrics below.

But this is a Rock Band song, you say? Yes. You’ll soon be able to download this song for your own play and personal concerts in the very near future right from Xbox Live (we’ll post an announcement as soon as it’s available). Here’s the best part—proceeds from the song will go directly to Child’s Play, continuing to benefit this most worthy of worthy causes.

Epic win.

For more information on Child’s Play Charity, go to:

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WARMACHINE (Rock Band Song Lyrics)

In a Kingdom of Iron
Under the dome of the sky
Warmachines begging for battle
And battle is their reply!

A Warcaster is more than a wizard, more than a soldier, and more than a man
Bound to their steam-powered warjacks, pneumatic nightmares which sunder the land

You can run! But can you outrun your doom?
You can hide! But you're hiding in your tomb!

In a Kingdom of Iron
Beneath the vault of the sky
Corvis has made you a weapon
On which Cygnar can rely.

You've been instructed, almost reconstructed, by Lieutenant Allister Caine
See how he bristles with his Spellstorm pistols, to burst with cerulean rain

Watch them flee! From your furnace of coal-fired hell!
Mystery! See them blister as you form the spell.

(acoustic breakdown)
The Cryx fixed their gaze upon thick stands of pine
Where your column walked solemn through lands lost to time.
Their necrotechnology, their psysiognomy,
dichotomies beyond rhythm or rhyme.

When Corruptors fire Bursters, it couldn't be worse.
Helljacks attack and your soldiers disperse.
You've seen light, a green light, an Yngwie Malmsteen light:
the blight which powers this demonic hearse.

(Rock times.)

In a Kingdom of Iron
Under the dome of the sky
Surrounded by ruination
You're waiting.

Waiting to die.