Here I am, back again between hospitalizations. In brief, it’s been a rough summer. I’m currently battling a kidney infection and finally feel well enough to
do some work.
Anyway I’ve been reminded of others’ suffering via my own, so I’m going to talk again about the role gamers and game designers can and do play in charity work.
A little while ago, the ExtraLife Marathon was going on. I was not able to take part myself, but my husband took it upon himself to take part. The marathon is designed to give money to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and the gamer plays for 24 hours. You can go all alone just making the money on your own and recording your work, or
like my husband you can stream video and sound of what you’re doing. I sat in every so often to give “color commentary”. In the end, he raised a little over
$100 for his charity. (The overage came from one of his aunts, who heard about the thing after the fact and sent in a donation to them).
My own charity work has been playing WeTopia on and off – unfortunately, the game doesn’t work too well. But when it DOES do what it’s supposed to do, the
player can move things around in the scrubland and make a little town with this or that amenity to it. It’s sort of like Farmville meets Simcity. You do
things, and the game sends water or other goods such as reading material to needy children. A worthy cause, I believe.
Other gamer/charity work can be found at sites such as GamesForChange. There, they have games regarding topics such as poverty and sweatshops. Indiegamestand
also promotes both their own games and doing good for other people. In their case, they show a new game every few hours which the gamer can set up to play and
make money for other people. The idea of players doing good while sitting and playing seems to have taken off, I noticed while writing this. And I like that notion.
I’m not saying devs have to create games that do things like I mentioned above. Pure entertainment has great value as well. However, taking a moment to help
change the world if only a small bit is a wonderful thing to do too.