The gaming industry is giving back to the community through GamesAid, a charity based in the UK. Thanks to recent successful events, GamesAid has been able to donate a substantial sum to a range of important causes in the UK affecting gamers and non-gamers alike.
While many gamers may not think about how their favorite video games intersect with charitable causes, it's important to remember just how many people play games. Well over 3 billion people worldwide play video games regularly, which means that many gamers are also struggling with mental health issues, cancer, and other challenges. Sometimes philanthropy in games is as straightforward as using video games to raise money; in other circumstances, it can come from some surprising places.
GamesAid does not do social work itself, but rather donates the money it receives among a number of different UK social charities. Some of those charities are tied to video games and electronics, such as Everyone Can, which runs events to help disabled gamers have fun using state-of-the-art accessibility hardware. On the other hand, some of the charities are not directly related to gaming; for instance, The Clock Tower Sanctuary provides resources and spaces for young people experiencing homelessness in Brighton, UK.
GamesAid raised £70,000, or about $85,000 USD, for charity through various initiatives, such as online stand-up comedy events. This is the amount awarded to its cohort of charities for 2021, rather than its lifetime giving total, which is much higher. It awarded the money to these charities in a virtual ceremony conducted as part of the opening to the London Games Festival in March. The London Games Festival is a major event uniting members of the gaming industry, while showcasing selected games like Aerial Knight's Never Yield.
While GamesAid's fundraising is admirable, it's far from the only charitable initiative tied to video games. Many video games offer in-game rewards for charity donations, such as World of Warcraft. Plus, organizations not officially tied to gaming have found ways to benefit from the gaming community. For example, the UK-based organization Cats Protection runs a charity program for streamers called Pawsome Players, letting streamers raise money to improve cat welfare.
Plus, gaming-related charitable efforts aren't exclusive to video games. There are initiatives tied to tabletop games as well, such as a Dungeons and Dragons experience run by Comic Relief, a British charity. Between all the possible forms that gaming-related charity can take, there's a way for anyone to jump in and begin contributing to important causes while having fun at the same time.
The world has been taken by storm by the adorable miniature figurines known as Funko Pops. Over the course of the company's existence, over 8,200 unique Funko Pops have been designed and dispersed for all fans of pop culture to enjoy. The cutesy figurines come in many different forms, from popular cartoon characters to actors in shows and movies to public figures, and they even have customizable ones!
Funko has organized multiple product campaigns and events where all of their proceeds go to charity. Funko Cares, their organization that gives back to those in need, works hand in hand with big and small charities to help out people all across the world. Some of the best Funko Pops you can buy are the ones that help the less fortunate, just like the ones below.
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