Video games have been causing parents to cringe since the 1970’s, and not much has changed since then. On average, people spend between 13 and 22 hours a week either exploring a dungeon, shooting at zombies, or crushing candies. While not nearly as frowned upon as it once was, the gaming subculture remains stigmatized as lazy and disconnected. This cannot be farther from the truth.
Video game charities raise millions of dollars every year for charities ranging from the Children’s Miracle Network to Doctors Without Borders. While there are millions of people not doing much with their time gaming, there are a few amazing people who are using video games to help change the world.
If you are interested in becoming one of those amazing people who use video games to change the world, here are a few entities you might want to get in touch with:
Since 2010, Humble Bundle has been bringing people great games while giving money to charities. Humble Bundle is best known for popularizing the “pay what you want” model, allowing customers to choose exactly what they think the bundle is worth and pay that much.
Buying from Humble Bundle is similar to purchasing things from (RED)™, every time you purchase one of the bundles a part of that purchase goes to charity. While the charities vary between bundles, customers can always be sure that some of their money will be going to a great cause. As an added bonus, customers can actually choose what percentage goes to which charity, letting them spend their money exactly how they want.
While Humble Bundle isn’t exactly the most involved way to help out charity, it is definitely a valuable one. According to a 2013 Rock, Paper, Shotgun interview with Humble Bundle boss John Graham, Humble Bundle has raised over 20 million dollars for charity. Next time you are in the mood for a new game, why not check out humblebundle.com and buy for a good cause.
Having started from humble beginnings, Extra Life is a “grass roots” organization created in honor of a young girl’s battle with leukemia. Sadly, she passed away before Extra Life raised $302,000 with a 24-hour video game marathon. Every penny raised went to Texas Children’s Hospital, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.
After the success of the first Extra Life, many people showed interest in participating in the next 24-hour gaming marathon and raising money for children. With the help of good fortune, Extra Life was able to transform into what it is today, an amazing organization that allows people to raise money by playing video games. Extra Life even makes raising money simple with Donor Drive, a customizable website that takes credit card donations and helps users fund raise through social media.
Extra life is currently preparing for their next game marathon. If you’d like to play video games for 24 hours straight and actually have people admire you for it, you should check out extra-life.org.
The result of a challenge issued in 2003 by the authors of the popular webcomic Penny Arcade, Child’s Play may be the most influential gaming charity out there. Child’s Play was an answer to the negative media portrayal of gaming and gamers in the media, a way to prove that video games are more than just a violent pass time.
Originally Child’s Plays focus was bringing age appropriate video games to children in hospitals. Over the years, Child’s Play has grown into an outlet where hospitals can create a wish list of fun stuff for kids and have people purchase them through Amazon for the hospital. Child’s Play also provides communication devices so children can be in contact with their families while they are in the hospital.
If you want to be involved in Child’s Play, or know a hospital that could use their help visit childsplaycharity.org.