Gaming as a Positive Force
We’re used to the idea that games and violence and/or a waste of time and blah blah. Now there is, and always has been, much more to gaming that a tiny handful of First-Person Shooters would ever show. So it is always really exciting to come across people and projects who seek to marry the power of gaming as a medium with making a positive contribution to life. We can find this in Playmob; a company that links the virtual trading of goods in-game with donations to charity in the real world. How it works is Playmob use thier technology to match a game and a cause so objects purchased in that game donate to that cause. Here’s one example of the system in action (from the press release):
PlayMob, a social company for gaming and doing good through games, and PerBlue a mobile and social gaming software company, paired this month for a unique fundraising campaign benefitting SOS Children. The campaign aims to give 3000 meal vouchers to orphans affected by the droughts in Marsabit, a district in North Kenya. This week players of the popular MMORPG game, Parallel Kingdom (PK) can purchase the Soup Can Hat – a limited edition in-game object using virtual currency. The hat is being sold for 550 ‘Food’ (about $5.50 USD) and can be worn on the purchaser’s in-game avatar, 80 percent of contribuions are turned into realmeal vouchers for SOS Children relief efforts in Kenya.
According to the Games Blog as of 20th September 2011 a total of 1,650 kids can be cared for via the money donated for from this scheme. It’s impressive stuff and I applaud all involved from the companies to the gamers who’ve donated.
In the various game-related roles I have as a consultant or a developer, I’m also placed in the role as sort of an ambassador for games and gaming. This is an example of gaming as a positive force that I will be using!