The Game of Giving

Editorial on the giving nature of gamers and highlighting


Historically, those who iden­ti­fy as gamers haven’t re­ceived the best por­tray­al in the me­dia. Certain stig­mas still res­onate with peo­ple who don’t ed­u­cate them­selves, and the me­dia out­lets that are in di­rect com­pe­ti­tion for mar­ket share with games cer­tain­ly do not have a vest­ed in­ter­est in cham­pi­oning the mer­its of the gam­ing so­cial group. From table­top gam­ing be­ing linked to Satanism, to the moral craze over red-colored pix­els in Mortal Kombat, and the more re­cent ac­cu­sa­tions that gamers are com­plic­it in the degra­da­tion of women via the hob­by that they en­joy, there are am­ple ex­am­ples of the neg­a­tive por­tray­al of gamers. It has been easy for the main­stream me­dia to sen­sa­tion­al­ize and lam­poon gamers en masse.


Recently, I was think­ing about the traits that gamers as a so­cial group would iden­ti­fy with. One trait that eas­i­ly came to mind, be­ing on the in­side as it were, would be char­i­ty. Gamers are more than will­ing to step up when asked to sup­port caus­es both hum­ble and huge. They will even com­bine em­pa­thy with com­pet­i­tive­ness, treat­ing do­na­tion tal­lies as a sort of high score and work­ing to­geth­er for the greater good.


charity-shutterstock_1500pxExamples that ex­em­pli­fy this pat­tern are easy to find when looked for. Here you have the folks from PDXLAN in Portland, OR, who came to­geth­er and gath­ered over 37,000 lbs. of food for the home­less, yet could hard­ly find press for it at the time. People from all over the globe come to­geth­er for or­ga­ni­za­tions like Extra Life and Child’s Play, rais­ing mil­lions of dol­lars per year for their caus­es. Gamers can even scratch their cap­i­tal­is­tic itch while help­ing oth­ers with sites like Humble Bundle, which gets pub­lish­ers to pack to­geth­er games in a way that al­lows buy­ers to name their price and spec­i­fy what amounts go to charity.


Today I would like to high­light a more re­cent group that is work­ing to or­ga­nize the char­i­ta­ble na­ture of the gam­ing com­mu­ni­ty. GamerGiving (@gamergiving) came to­geth­er late in 2014 af­ter see­ing the suc­cess of char­i­ty dri­ves like Them Fine Young Capitalists’ Indiegogo cam­paign for women in game de­vel­op­ment, the PACER Center for Bullying cam­paign, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention cam­paign, and many more. These char­i­ty dri­ves were sil­ver lin­ings to the tur­bu­lent times in gam­ing that marked the end of 2014. With the spir­it of giv­ing in mind, the folks at GamerGiving or­ga­nized to run char­i­ty events and live streams.


Starting with fan­tas­tic 24-hour live stream­ing ex­trav­a­gan­zas, now also branch­ing out to sched­uled shows and writ­ten con­tent, GamerGiving has been look­ing for new ways to bring the com­mu­ni­ty to­geth­er and high­light op­por­tu­ni­ties to help our fel­low hu­mans. The con­tent pro­duced by them is en­ter­tain­ing and ed­u­ca­tion­al. They work with only the highest-rated char­i­ties, and every cent goes to the caus­es. You can find their stream­ing sched­ule and oth­er con­tent on their web­site, and you can see their mis­sion state­ment here.


In fact, this Saturday, February 21st, they have or­ga­nized an­oth­er one of their 24-hour live events! It’s al­most as if I timed this ar­ti­cle… They have some won­der­ful guests on­board and some fan­tas­tic blocks planned out. This isn’t a PBS marathon — you can ex­pect some qual­i­ty en­ter­tain­ment through­out the week­end. I urge peo­ple to check out the fes­tiv­i­ties. No wor­ries if you can­not do­nate; spread­ing word and rais­ing aware­ness is fan­tas­tic as well. Otherwise, I know they are just hap­py to have the com­mu­ni­ty come to­geth­er to be ex­cel­lent while hav­ing a good time.


The or­ga­ni­za­tions list­ed here op­er­ate all year long. Don’t feel you have to wait for hol­i­days and spe­cial events to help out — give a lit­tle, or spread the word. Bookmark these sites, talk about them with your friends and fam­i­ly, and join us as we try to do the best we can help. The game of giv­ing nev­er has to end.


The sim­plest acts of kind­ness are by far more pow­er­ful than a thou­sand heads bow­ing in prayer.”

     ― Mahatma Gandhi

(Disclaimer: Writer John B works with GamerGiving. Some mem­bers of the SuperNerdLand staff are friends with mem­bers of GamerGiving as well.)

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Josh has worked in IT for over 15 years. Graduated Broadcasting school in 2012 with a fo­cus on A/V pro­duc­tion. Amateur pho­tog­ra­ph­er with a pas­sion to make things work… by any means nec­es­sary. Editor-in-Chief and do-er of tech things at SuperNerdLand

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