Christmas is a time for giving…

Christmas is a time for giving…

In most households this Christmas you’ll see gifts passed between loved ones; Secret Santas will be routinely organised by staff working in various industries. Giving unto others is a key message throughout the holiday season - something the gaming industry endorses all year round through the charity GamesAid.
Acting as an ‘umbrella’, GamesAid collects funds on behalf of individual charities often overlooked, such as those helping disadvantaged and disabled young children. Fundraising for GamesAid comes from all sports and leisure pursuits, but in the gaming industry, revenue is generated via game compilations sold at retail, digital download bundles and sales of donated games memorabilia on eBay.

Apple fights AIDS

You don’t have to look hard to find examples of charitable giving in the gaming industry. One of which was the move by Supercell and Apple, following World AIDS Day, to form a partnership in a bid to help fight AIDS.

As well as a portion of their microtransaction revenue, RED cosmetic purchases in Clash of Clans, Boom Beach and Hay Day will further add to the AIDS’ charity’s coffers. It’s not the first time Apple has partnered with others to raise charitable funds: they previously teamed up with Angry Birds firm Rovio to support the initiative ‘Room to Read’, which aims to change the lives of millions of children in Asia and Africa by promoting literacy.

Donations for Room to Read could be made in Angry Birds Epic; gamers could buy a ‘Good Deeds’ coin. This kind of gamification, according to some in the industry, is an area charities could ‘tap into’, to raise much-needed funds for their causes.

Gamers’ spirit and generosity…

In another charitable drive – forgive the pun - an internet comedy troupe from Victoria traded wisecracks and skits whilst a designated driver played the ‘world’s most boring video game’: an unreleased 1995 entity created by magicians Penn and Teller, that features the driving of a virtual bus. Their effort ran continuously for six days and fifteen hours, raising $677,864 in the process. Said Jamie Dillion, the program and development co-ordinator of the event’s chosen charity, ‘Child Play’: “It exemplifies the spirit and generosity of the gaming community.”

Charity in the news

One of the biggest stories recently was Mark Zuckerberg and his wife’s pledge to donate 99% of their Facebook shares following the birth of their daughter. However, as agencies and journalists lauded this incredible act, it became clear that the donation would go to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, an LLC (Limited Liability Company), not a charitable trust. This essentially means that there’s less restriction on how the money is spent, which can include investments towards private, profit-making companies. That said, Zuckerberg has promised to use the money – to be donated over the course of his lifetime, not as a lump sum - to make the world his daughter is now a part of ‘a better place’.

Charity begins at home…

Gravity, and particularly, are no strangers to charitable giving; through GamesAid they support ‘Safe At Last’, a Sheffield-based body that helps at risk children and young people. Their recent donation of more than seventy-thousand pounds was very welcome indeed in this season of goodwill.

Whilst gaming is synonymous with having fun, as an industry, it’s heartening to know that everyone involved – from consumers to designers, managers, bosses, and whole companies - support those people who find life anything but fun.

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