As gamers, both you and I probably run across a handful of uneducated human beings who claim that both games are bad for people and the gamers are bad for the community. However, one quick sweep of the internet proves that we are more caring than we’re given credit for, though these aforementioned people obviously don’t have the time or effort to look out for these events and companies. So to make it easy for them, and to provide you with a few examples to argue your case with, here’s a whole page full of the charitable things gamers do. Because we do care.
1. Extra Life
Each year, people all over the world take part in a non-stop, 24 hour gaming event, branded Extra Life. There is an official time and date for everyone to start together; however, as we can’t all afford a day or two off work to complete the event, it’s available to do all year around. What could be better than sitting around on your arse and playing games for a whole day, while earning valuable money for the Children’s Miracle Network (as long as you manage to get sponsors that is)? Well, after the Cubed Gamers team took part recently, the answer to that would be your nice, comfortable bed when it’s all over.
It’s a lot harder than you may think, yet when you realise that since 2008 this event and the thousands of gamers that take time out to complete it, has raised over $2 million, it all becomes a bit more worthwhile. Yeah, gamers really don’t care about the less fortunate do they?
Sure, events that come around once a year may be exciting and give time for individuals to raise money, but what about the other 364 days? Do gamers really just sit back and watch the world go by for those? Well wipe that guilty look off your face, because you may be giving more than you think, just by playing your favourite games each day. But how?
That’s where PlayMob come in. This small group of people allow developers to link their games with numerous charities all around the world, allowing money from purchasing virtual items to go to worthwhile causes. For example, that virtual tractor you bought with a few measly pennies could go to planting some crops for a family in a poor country. Isn’t that great? You get to zip around on your stereotypical looking tractor, singing country songs, while they get food and money – everyone’s ecstatic (though in this situation, it’s difficult to see who is more so).
3. Mojang’s Mojam
If the gamers are as uncaring as people assume, then surely the gods of us all (i.e. the developers) are the most heartless kids around. Right? Wrong. Mojang is hardly an unheard of developer, as their most famous game had an almost overnight success, and they decided to use this popularity for the better earlier this year. Working alongside the Humble Bundle, they proposed a very brave (and by brave, we really mean insane) idea in order to raise money for various charities.
One day in February, as expected by developers, the team gathered around a computer to create a brand new game for the public. Only this wasn’t an ordinary game. It was completely shaped around the public’s vote and created in 60 hours. Without a break. It was then given away to everyone who had made a donation, bundled with two other games from different developers. This act of what I can only describe as superhuman abilities managed to raise just under $500000 – not quite enough to make Notch shave his beard, but enough to make a difference in many people’s lives.
4. Humble Indie Bundle
If you’re a gamer who has spent time on the internet, then no doubt you’ve come across the Humble Bundle – a package of games released at irregular intervals for you to snatch up at a modest price – whatever you can afford. It’s a great opportunity for both poor gamers and developers alike as they get to make an impression while you get a group of games that are guaranteed to be enjoyable.
The money that you give can be split between different groups, in whatever way you like, whether that be giving money to the developers, to worthwhile charities or to the Humble Bundle itself. However, rather than just letting you be stingy and just give a dollar, they have an extra game that you only receive once you’ve donated enough money. They understand that gamers can’t always afford to give to charities and carry on their hobby while also trying to survive in a world that seemingly has no money for you, and so this little beauty really allows you to do all three. So far, with the help of people just like you, they have managed to raise millions of dollars – with a large amount going to the available charities, Child’s Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. If that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, I don’t know what will.
5. Call of the Community
This final example is one that not many people have heard of, yet one that will no doubt grow in popularity overtime. Set up and carried out by some of your favourite gaming YouTubers, this event invites people from all around to see who really is the best at Call of Duty. However, unlike some competitions out there, this isn’t nearly as serious and allows everyone to enjoy themselves, whether they win, lose or just sit back and watch the action.
What’s nice about this event is that no-one is breathing down your neck telling you to donate, but if you do look forward to watching people blow each other up, a few pennies out of your pocket is always welcome. This tactic obviously works too, as after just two events, this team has managed to raise over $40000 with just two events. Sign-ups for the third are open now though if you do wish to show off your skills. Just don’t forget – while you’re giving an unsuspecting victim a grenade, why not give some money to go with it?
The individuals and people supporting them (yes, I do mean you) are inspirational and I hope to join them in being so by doing my own bit for charity. On Tuesday 24th July 2012 (just 3 days time, eek!) I’m planning to shave all my hair off in order to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. Sure, it’s not to do with games, though if you want to give me ideas, I can always think about shaving a character or logo into my hair once it starts to grow back. It’s great to see so much support from the people around me as well, even people I don’t know personally, yet the majority are still gamers.
So to the people who assume what gamers may or may not be doing, stop caring about us for a few minutes of your life and start caring about the people who need your help, please.
Have you done something for charity or know others who have? Let us know! And if you do feel like helping me along, check out www.justgiving.com/shavesian