Charitable Gaming

Gaming in media typically carries the negative connotations of having an abusive community, filled with people berating each other without fear of consequences. This stigma, casts gamers as social outcasts seemingly unaffected by real world issues that are arising around them.

Thankfully, this is slowly changing to because of organizations like Extra Life and Child’s Play. These two organizations focus on the mobilization of gamers to help raise money for organizations like the Children’s Miracle Network of hospitals. Although gamers typically have a history of being negatively cast as the anonymous prankster, the community often bands together to support each other. For Victoria Enmon, a victim of cancer at a young age of 15, she got by hospital days by cheering up others and sharing the joys of video games. This, along with the founder of Extra Life, sparked a large community donation drive, sending games and consoles from all over the world. Although Victoria Enmon passed away, her legacy lives on in Extra Life, now focusing on raising money by marathon style gaming. Similar to the $1 for every mile you run, this hardcore gaming style was already being done by random players all over the world (myself included). Now instead of just sitting around playing videogames, you can help raise money while doing it.

Many Youtube celebrities have been using their fame and popularity to raise money for these organizations, often posting livestreams of their gaming marathons or goals. Aureylian, one of many popular Youtube gamers, is one of the top earners for Extra Life. Her Youtube channel focuses on her gaming exploits in Borderlands, Minecraft, and many other games. Kurtjmac, is a gamer focused on reaching the edge of the minecraft world, by only walking. So far his trek has taken him three years and counting, he passes the time by answering questions from donators to his cause. Currently, Kurtjmac and his followers have raised over $250,000 for Child’s Play, a lot more than the amount that Geico had pledged to the cause.

It makes me extremely proud to be a gamer that has contributed to both of these charitable organizations. It also boggles my minds that a collection of gamers can band together and raise more money than Geico…


One thought on “Charitable Gaming”

  1. I have also been following Kurt for a while and I have to say, when you see how much people go out of their way to help out charities, it really makes you feel like donating too. I feel like some online gamers though try to take advantage of people’s good will and use the charities as a way to get more viewers and make money themselves. I don’t think Kurt falls under this category though, and it’s really great to see the nice things that people can do with videogames, just like McGonigal’s thoughts on how games can help people in other ways too.

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