Last month’s Games for Change Conference reminded us of all the ways that video games and gamers can contribute to the world through innovation and dedication.
Today we’d like to spotlight a few organizations that have been giving back for years.
1. Child’s Play
Since 2003, Child’s Play has worked to donate games and gaming systems (as well as books, movies, and toys) to hospitalized children all over the world.
It’s often hard for kids in hospitals to keep their minds off their illness and pain. Child’s Play gives them an opportunity to focus on something that is pure fun. Gamer Kurt J. Mac has even partnered with Child’s Play to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, just by streaming his Minecraft game.
2. Operation: Supply Drop
Like Child’s Play, Operation: Supply Drop brings fun to places where the mental relief of gaming is sorely needed. For the last four years, Captain Stephen Machuga has been putting together care packages of consoles and games and shipping them to soldiers in the field and recovering in hospitals. If you want to get involved, now is a great time! The third annual 8-Bit Salute is happening May 17th and 18th! Sponsor a gamer and support the troops.
3. Humble Bundle
The Humble Bundle will go down in history as one of the most brilliant ideas anyone has ever had. Every week the Humble Bundle sells an assortment of games. Users set the price, and those who pay above the average amount (usually something like five dollars) get extra games on top of the standard offering! Where does charity come in? Buyers can choose to divide their payment between the developers, Humble Bundle, and a chosen charity organization. You get great games, and you can help charity! Awesome deal.
4. Gaming for Good
Gaming for Good was started by Twitch streamer Bachir Boumaaza, and has raised over $11 million for Save the Children since its inception. In 2013, Gaming for Good set up a points system—gamers who donate will earn points which they can exchange for games. It’s yet another awesome way to keep gaming while supporting good causes.
AbleGamers does important work advocating for video game accessibility—both to give disabled people access to games and to make games more accessible for disabled people. The organization also provides grants to help people access technology to improve their lives. AbleGamers takes a three-pronged approach to their efforts: supporting disabled gamers, providing resources for caregivers, and educating developers on how to make accessible games.
6. Extra Life
Extra Life encourages gamers to donate 24 hours of their time. With sponsors paying for each consecutive hour of gaming, they raise money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. If you want to participate, there’s no point in waiting! You can do your gaming marathon at any time and give back to sick kids.