It’s dungeons and traps, Cliffs and grenades. The wide world of Video Games has all of that and more. There always seems to be a puzzle to solve, a secret to find or an evil menace to conquer.
Whether you think it is a waste of time or a way of life, gaming has come of age. In that coming of age, gaming has also taken on the real life responsibility of giving back to those in need.
A private nonprofit foundation started in 2001 by Pam Omidyar, wife of Pierre Omidyar of eBay Fame. HopeLab develops technologies to impact health and wellness. Their first product was Re-Mission, a video game developed to help children and young adults deal with cancer. The game was designed to entertain young cancer patients undergoing treatment while helping them to learn more about their disease and recovery. The game is free and according to research reported in the medical journal Pediatrics 2008, Re-Mission has a positive effect on ensuring compliance with Chemo regimen and positive attitude throughout recovery. They have developed Re-Mission 2, and a motivational game called Zamzee to promote family fitness. HopeLab is engaged in ongoing research in psychology, medicine and neuroscience.
A platform developed by a super gamer with a super-big heart. Bachir Boumaaza (A.K.A. Athene) is probably the world’s top gamer. He has a 700,000 + subscriber base on YouTube hanging onto his every move. He makes a good living doing what he loves to do. He also feels the need to give back. He and many others are doing so via Gamingforgood. Developers and distributors of the latest and greatest video games freely give copies of their games to the gaming websites. Customers can then buy the games by getting points to redeem for making contributions to the Save The Children Fund. 100 percent of the monetary donations go directly to the fund via Pay Pal. Does it work? So far they have generated more than $10 million dollars to help feed starving children in Africa.
Founded in 2008 by Jeromy Adams (A.K.A. Doc) in memory of a little girl named Tori, Extra-life allows any gamer to make a difference. They facilitate a 24 hour Game Play Marathon in October to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Participants are asked to find sponsors to donate for hours played in the marathon. Donations can be earmarked for any hospital in the network . 100 percent of the funds go directly to the hospital of choice. The informative website has promotional literature available and also explains how to set up your donation page. Extra-life has raised more than $8 million so far. Joining is free and the money raised can stay local. Publicity focuses on the marathon in October, but game play can happen anytime.
Gamers often get a bad rap. Here are just 3 ways that good people have taken up great causes. How about listening to your inner gamer and find a place for yourself in the giving community. Along with fighting the online demons and monsters, you can have a chance to slay a few real ones. Even a newbie can be the hero in that arena.
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Sue Ely has contributed not too much to the gaming world by her unceasing pursuit of Tetris. Her son and granddaughter, however, bow daily to the gaming gods. She has served in a supporting role by keeping the brownies coming. She also helps by not walking in front of the TV and by not asking more than 2 times in any session “why didn’t you shoot that guy.” You can find her on Google+.