This holiday season, while many of us were busy making lists and checking them twice, gamers across the nation were giving back by participating in events that benefited kids who won’t be home for Christmas or otherwise wouldn’t receive gifts. In the spirit of the season, we wanted to highlight some of the ways that gamers have been bringing – and can still bring – a little bit of gaming joy into the lives of those in need of a good dose of cheer.
Recently, some of the TriplePoint team attended Ümloud, a fundraiser for the popular Child’s Play charity. For a small donation, gamers formed bands and played Rock Band on stage at one of San Francisco’s most popular clubs (a short video can be seen here).
On December 9, Nyko Technologies got into the giving spirit this season, participating in the Gamers United party. Nyko provided several of their latest gaming accessories for the Teen Lounge in the Mattel Children’s Hospital of UCLA .
Game players who have been looking for a fun and easy way to contribute have been logging onto Facebook and playing BioWare Labs’ latest creation, Gift of the Yeti. Every time Gift of the Yeti is played this holiday season, BioWare will donate to Child’s Play (up to a total of $10,000). Facebook gamers have also been helping to feed and educate children in Haiti through Zynga‘s “Sweet Seeds for Haiti” program by purchasing sweet potato seeds in the popular game Farmville.
For those still looking to make a difference this season, you can still donate games, consoles and gaming accessories to the following charity organizations:
- Child’s Play: Created by the team behind the popular gaming site Penny Arcade, Child’s Play has donated over 5 million dollars in toys, games and books to children’s hospitals across the US, Canada, UK and elsewhere. You can donate through PayPal, or even purchase items through Amazon.com that will be delivered directly to the hospital of your choice.
- Toys for Tots: Toys for Tots collects new unwrapped toys and distributes them to needy children in the communities in which toys are collected.
- Gamers United : A group dedicated to highlighting the many positive ways in which gamers contribute to society, its beneficiaries include Child’s Play, Toys for Tots and the Good Shepherd Center of Los Angeles, a center for homeless women and children.
Another way to get directly involved is to contact your local children’s hospital or community center. Most accept donations of your gently used games and gaming consoles (keep in mind it’s best not to donate “M” rated games), or better still, volunteer! Often, time is the best gift you can give.
There are so many ways in which gamers can spread the joy of videogames while making a valuable contribution to those in need. Make a difference in the lives of others, and you might be surprised how great it feels.