Organizations such as Steam often offer sales where certain games are available for low prices--in order to compel or persuade buyers to make donations to worthwhile charities. Cueball is participating in one of these purchases (to fight malaria), but Megan's snide denigration of Cueball's act of charity as inadequate and self-serving has dissuaded him from any act of charity at all. People donating to charity are in fact buying a feeling that they are good people doing good things. If you take this feeling away, many people stop donating, which is shown on the third panel.
This also shows the stupidity of the situation: donating some of your money to charity can result in insults and arguments, while donating nothing at all does not.
However, whatever somebody's internal motivation was, charity is a good thing. Therefore the proper response is to neither care what people say about you nor attack other people's charitable giving. The action that Randall recommends here is the right one, which is to donate anyway without caring about what others say or do. Clicking on the original image leads to the website of Nothing But Nets, an organization that distributes mosquito bed nets in Africa for the eradication of malaria.
A subtext here is that the friendship between Cueball and Megan has been strained or even broken. Cueball has picked a new friend to talk to, who reacts positively to his decision.
In the title text, Randall expresses an opinion critical of "respond[ing] to someone else doing something good by figuring out a reason that they're not really as good as they seem", in part because supporting charity shouldn't cause "internet arguments."
- Cueball: I'm going to buy this $10 game I want, and I'm donating $10 for malaria eradication.
- Megan: If you actually cared, you'd skip the game and donate all $20.
- Megan: What's more important? Games, or mosquito nets and medicine for kids?
- (Caption above the comic)
- Cueball: I think I'm going to buy these two $10 games I want.
- Friend: Cool; which ones?
Following the publication of this comic, comments responding to anti-malaria charities, celebrities who raise money for charity, and charity directors in general, by figuring out reasons that they're not really as good as they seem, were posted on the discussion page for this comic. However, this did not lead to internet arguments.
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