Massively Uplifting: Saving lives and wildlife, studios and gamers start 2020 with compassion and charity

    
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A new year has begun, and many folks are looking ahead to a better 2020. And who might be making it better? Gamers! Many of our compadres in the MMOverse have the vision of a year of helping and uplifting others! And we’re all for it, and all for sharing it with you. January got the year going with a gamut of good will, from large efforts by the masses to small ones — each one making a difference in lives. One even quite literally saved a life!

Folks banding together to help entire countries. Many studios (including Warframe’s Digital Extremes, AdventureQuest 3D’s Artix Entertainment, EVE Online’s CCP, and SMITE’s Hi-Rez Studios) and their communities stepped in to send aid to Australia to assist with the tragedy of the massive brush fires. Others donated greatly to children’s hospitals. Some gamers stepped in to help a beloved Elder Scrolls personality so she can attend the next PAX East, while another paid off his mother’s student loans. Lord of the Rings Online fans held memorials and honored lives that were lost, and welcomed new folks to the fold. And as noted earlier, one gamer even helped save the life of another.

Yes, good deeds are off to a good start in 2020.

Saving a life

When some folks talk about how gaming and gaming communities saved their lives, many times that is referring to socialization. But in one recent case, a UK teen can say it was about literally saving him from death. At the beginning of the month, 17-year-old Aiden Jackson was playing a game with a friend across the pond in Texas when he became unresponsive. Concerned, she tracked down how to reach UK authorities and sent them to the rescue. The teen’s parents were in the house but unaware that their son was suffering a massive seizure upstairs until the police showed up. The family is intensely grateful for the US gamer’s intervention.

You can’t tell us our friends online aren’t real. They can even be guardian angels! We know this family agrees.

Never say no to the kids

Last month, I praised the efforts of Astroneer’s Extra life event. Little did I know it would actually get better! The community didn’t gather quite enough points to meet the top donation goal, but instead of ending it there and sending off that check for the lower amount, the devs extended the event and made all gifts worth double recovery points! System Era wanted to give the kids $20K, and that’s exactly what it (and you) did. Players dived in and collected enough over the weekend to reach the top tier and the studio sent off $20K to Extra Life. You know folks there had it in their hearts to give, and they created a way to make it possible. Cosmetic top hats off to the devs and the community.

For the fires


Artix Entertainment announced that after receiving many messages from AQ3D, AdventureQuest World, and its other games’ community members who were inquiring how they could help ease the suffering Down Under, that it was making a $500 donation in the name of the communities to the RSPCA New South Wales. This charity focuses on rescuing animals at risk from the fires. Players can also show their support by wearing a special koala cape available in game that also raises awareness. You can jump right to her from the log in page, or just go to the entrance of Battleon.

At the request of players, CCP brought back its #Plex4Good charitable campaign that allows players to donate in game. Players just contract their Plex in-game to the CCP character CCP Plex for GOOD and 100% of the monetary value will be donated on behalf of EVE Online players to the Icelandic Red Cross, which will ensure the money gets to the Australian Red Cross.

SMITE and its players joined in aiding Australia: Hi-Rez pledged $2 of every Crikeydile Sobek and He Bro He Bo Skin purchase made through January would be sent to the Red Cross. The studio also provided the link for players to donate directly if they wanted to give more or didn’t want the skin. But look at that Crikeydile; who wouldn’t want that?

Warframe’s Digital Extremes took a more direct approach, donating $15,000 directly to two Australian charities to help in relief — Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund and the Bendigo Bank Bushfire Appeal. Players then received a special floof in game to help raise awareness.

Humble Bundle also had a specific Australia Fire Relief bundle with a ton of games at an amazing deal, and 68,113 of those were sold. A full 100% of the proceeds of those bundles went straight to various Australian charities working directly with wildlife rescue and recovery.

All for one, and one for mom

When someone does so much for you, you might feel a desire to do something to not necessarily pay them back but thank them. One community is coming together to do that for a beloved member. Massively Uplifting has highlighted Grandma Shirley from the Elder Scrolls fandom before, as she was being honored in-game by both the studio and fans. Now, group has set up a GoFundMe to help this beloved YouTuber, whom many consider a friend, to attend the next PAX East gaming convention along with her son. Her attendance would also mean that many fans would have the chance to meet up with her. Pack your bags Grandma Shirley because the GoFundMe met its goal!

Note: The creators of the fundraiser stated that all moneys not used specifically on the airfare, hotel, and travel needs will be donated to charity!

On a much more personal level, one pro gamer in the Fortnite circuit on the Ghost Gaming team wanted to do a payback much closer to home. Aydan Conrad surprised his mother live on stream by paying off the rest of her student loans. If there is one person in the world who has done much to support us and help us become who we are, it is often mom. So why not support them some? Kudos, Conrad, for such a touching move!

Couple goals

Not everything that is uplifting is done in the world at large. Sometimes, it is right in the home. (See above!) Another really heartwarming story this past month is on the top of my list for couple goals. This story was first shared on Facebook, and now she’s sharing it here with all of us: A family that plays together, pranks together!

Dancy Shipman shared on the Conan Exiles Facebook group how she and her husband prank each other in the survival game. They have a special thing their relationship where they call themselves forever turtles. (I so want to hear this story!) When I spoke with her about the story, she added, “I even made turtle cake topper for our wedding cake; it means a lot to us.” So what was the recent heartwarming prank? He and her daughter filled her entire castle with over 300 taxidermy turtles! Now if that isn’t love, what is?

She did ask, “Anyone have any ideas to get him back this is getting ridiculous lol but our relationship is never boring lol,” so if you have any good ideas, let us know and we can pass them along.

Middle-earth memorials

January was a month of loss for the LOTRO community but also a month that celebrated the game and the bonds that players form in it. A Fanbyte feature highlighted Lord of the Rings Online and its warm community, including the welcoming of a LOTR-loving grandma and other new folks into the aging game. As one commenter was quoted,

“So the community has taken on the role of welcoming committee and player support. They absolutely don’t want to be responsible for chasing people away, and are totally willing to take time out of their day if it means making another player happy.”

Among the happy times of warm welcomes, there were the sadder times of final farewells. A loss that hit home for many was the death of Christopher Tolkien, the son of LOTR author J.R.R. Tolkien. While the elder created the incredible world of Middle-earth, the younger is credited with bringing much of it to life. As the steward of his father’s works, he preserved and published so much that previously was unknown to the world. He was also called Middle-earth’s first scholar. Without his love of bringing Middle-earth to light, there surely would have never been a LOTRO to play. And players felt Tolkien’s loss at his passing. An in-game memorial was held at the party tree, with music and dragon kites flying high.

The community has also lost a number of its own over time, and another really heartfelt memorial surprised attendees of this year’s Winterstock musical celebration. The band Little to No Drama played a special tribute song honoring departed LOTRO friends by name (and an audience member added Christopher Tolkien), two of whom you might recognize from previous Uplftings: Rosalie and Hillrond. Tears sprung to my eyes at the reading of the names. It was a very touching moment, perhaps moreso because it was unexpected — just players lamenting the loss of companions and honoring their memory just because.

With permission from the band, the entire tribute song is included below as well as the intro. Those honored have their names bolded. You can hear the tune in the video; the song begins at 1:16:50.

“Luckily I have not had to add a name to this song…
We have all lost beloved friends for one reason or another
so now we sing for ‘The Departed'”

I remember we met long ago.
Now when I think of you, I feel so sad.
Losing you, it breaks my tender heart,
Something I can hardly stand.

I’ve lost my good friend,
I have to breakdown and cry.
I don’t know what to do,
I’m missing you,
so bad.

Missing the departed,
and the way they used to smile.
Missing the departed,
and the fun we used to have.
Take away my sorrow,
from this broken heart of mine.
What wouldn’t I give to have you back here with me?

Always you will be inside my heart.
One day I will see my friend again,
For now I must go on without you,
‘Til the day we meet again.

I’ll miss you my friend,
I just want to see your smile.
You have gone too soon,
Leaving me… oh so sad
for my lost friend, So I am…

Missing the departed,
and the way they used to smile.
Missing the departed,
and the fun we used to have
Take away my sorrow
from this broken heart of mine.
Where are you now? Do you watch over me?

Hilrond
Rosalie
Curmie
Infernosounds
Leekae
Billbeck
Tamoro
Tinki
Daylak
Shinara, Budhorn
So many other friends we have lost

Missing the departed,
One day I’ll see you again,
Missing the departed,
For now I must go on,
Take away my sorrow
from this broken heart of mine.
Where are you now? Do you watch over me?

Missing the departed,
and the way they used to smile.
Missing the departed,
and the fun we used to have
Take away my sorrow
from this broken heart of mine.
What wouldn’t I give to have you back here with me?

Missing the departed,
One day I’ll see you again,
Missing the departed,
For now I must go on,
Take away my sorrow
from this broken heart of mine.
Where are you now? Do you watch over me?

More uplifting stories from last month

From happy stories to good deeds within our virtual worlds and the real world around us, there’s so much good in the gaming community. That’s why Massively OP’s MJ Guthrie pens Massively Uplifting: to highlight those generous, inspiring, heart-warming, and uplifting tales that exist throughout the MMOverse. Send your suggested stories along to warmfuzzies@massivelyop.com for our next entry!
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Alyn
Reader
Alyn

We are fortunate, folks we are. Massively OP is a wonderful magazine and all of their writers are thoughtful. Sometimes we get intertwined in the controversy and others, we are blessed with sage advice and wisdom.

MJ, you brought us back to our human nature. You helped me feel deeply about those in need. Thank you.

We as gamers, can be such a positive force for good. Let us work towards a better community.

biophazer242
Reader
biophazer242

Fantastic article MJ. It is so easy to focus on the negative stuff like studios closing or games shutting down or delays and such. Seeing all the positives our little hobby can contribute to is a great thing.