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Gamers and Charity: Real Life Co-Op

PS4 Controller on pile of hundred dollar bills

It’s National Video Games Day!

Lots of people thing gamers just sit in the dark alone and don’t care about others. But the opposite is true. Gamers raise lots of money for all kinds of good causes! Orgs like Doctors Without Borders, The Trevor Project, Prevent Cancer Foundation and more have received large donations from single streaming sessions..

We’ve previously talked about the huge semi-annual charity gaming event Games Done Quick. This year they hit a huge milestone of raising $3 million in one week for Doctors Without Borders. Hundreds of gamers volunteer their time and energy for this literal 24/7 gaming event. With the help of thousands of gamers, Extra-Life.org has raised over $50 million since 2008! That’s insane!

Solo streamers have a huge impact as well. In January of 2019, YouTuber Hbomberguy raised $350,000 in only 57 hours, playing Donkey Kong 64! This huge sum went to Mermaids, a UK org that provides help for trans and gender-variant youth. A number of high profile people joined the livestream, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who talked about her love for Nintendo64!

These charity events don’t always hit 6 or 7 figures, and to make a difference they don’t have to. Top Mortal Kombat player SonicFox recently had a solo 72 hour marathon. He raised just over $22,000 for The Trevor Project, which offers crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ people under 25. Every little bit helps, and SonicFox knew this. He used the common strategy of donation incentives. He set some dollar checkpoints, and if the stream hit that mark, he would do the incentive. Hitting the $20,000 mark meant he had to shave off his ubiquitous mustache on stream.

We salute all the gamers out there who realize that life truly is a multiplayer co-op game. We hope that this opens your perspective a bit on gamers in general. So much positivity and community building comes from this subculture. Some of the organizations and ideals that you support might benefit from these marathons already. If you are interested in hosting a charity stream, check out MarioMarathon’s how-to guide here. It is super informative and can give you a fast track to setting up a charity stream.

If you would like to donate, keep an eye out for the Games Done Quick events, which happen in January and June, as well as ESA Marathon. You can also search for your favorite games and the term “charity.” Level up!


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