The news this past month has been infected with the novel coronavirus. It’s everywhere we turn, and we can’t escape it even if we try. I mean, how far can we get anyway during shelter-in-place? Thankfully, not all the news spreading around is bad! And here in Massively Uplifting we are focused on bringing the feel good stories to the forefront.
You want happy thoughts from March? How about EVE Online’s harnessing PLEX4Good again, this time to aid in the global effort of relief from the COVID-19 pandemic, while a new Humble Bundle focuses on conquering the virus? Plus the video games industry raised more than $5.5 million to aid Australia after its summer of devastating brushfires. We’ve also got a Guild Wars 2 dating app created for fun and to collect funds for charity and a specific videogames mental health charity raising money to aid those suffering with mental health issues. What about Wargaming offering a World of Warships coloring page to help ease anxiety or Lord of the Rings Online putting on a Middle-earth parade? And you can’t help but smile to learn and that when it comes to celebrations, one The Elder Scrolls Online player can have his Jubilee cake and eat it, too!
Charitable flexing with PLEX
CCP is no slouch when it comes to raising funds for causes around the world. Starting in 2005, PLEX 4 GOOD has raised money to help after tsunamis in South East Asia and Japan, earthquakes in Haiti, Japan, and Nepal, and typhoons, hurricanes, and monsoons in The Philippines, USA, and Pakistan, respectively. Most recently the initiative pulled in $107,454 to aid Australia after its brushfires.
Now, CCP is taking it a bit further and using its fundraising platform to collect aid for the entire world. On April 3rd, the studio opened #PLEX4Good again to help support WHO in finding ways to understand and curb the current COVID-19 pandemic. These raised funds will also go to help “ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments.”
Note, to donate, the studio asks that players respect a minimum donation of 240 PLEX to help CCP process donations as efficiently as possible while still allowing folks with smaller amounts of PLEX to also participate. To contribute, contract PLEX in-game to the character CCP PLEX for GOOD.
Humble help for COVID-19
Another helping hand in the fight to conquer COVID-19 is the latest Humble Bundle. Until Tuesday, April 7th, folks can grab this particular bundle of games and books for $30 (or more, if you can), and 100% of the proceeds will go to organizations responding to the pandemic. This could be delivering protective gear to safeguard healthcare workers as well as providing medical care to infected patients. So far this bundle has raised $5,437,343.
Speaking of the Australian brushfires — they may be over, but the effects of them won’t be for quite a long time. Over the last two months we covered so many of those studios’, developers’, and communities’ contributions throughout January and February to the land down under. What we can tell you know is that so far, GamesIndustry.biz calculates the global video games industry has raised and donated over $5.5 million to help Australia’s people and wildlife recover after the brushfires that swept across the continent.
The various initiatives included a specific Humble Bundle ($2.4 million), the Call of Duty Outback Relief DLC ($1.6 million), Bungie’s t-shirt sale (over $1 million), and donations and fundraising efforts from Wargaming, Digital Extremes, Pearl Abyss, and more. The SONY Foundation Australia chipped in a large single donation: a pledge of $132,518 ($200,000 AU ). That company didn’t stop there and added $5,000 from staff donations and another $12,651 from its livestreaming event.
Making time for Mental Health
With so much going on in the world, it is more important now than ever for mental health awareness to rise and services to exist. And there is a specific video games mental health charity called Safe in Our World that focuses on supporting players around the world who suffer from mental health issues. Safe in Our World has recently collaborated with the retro gaming apparel company Seven Squared and various gaming IPs to create limited-edition tee-shirts, where all royalties from the purchase of these shirts go to the charity.
The first collaboration is with The Oliver Twins and its character Dizzy. Throughout 2020 and beyond, special editions designed not only by Seven Squared but in collaboration with the IP owners themselves will be released specifically for Safe in our World. There will be opportunities for IP owners as well as gaming and retro gaming communities to create their own designs for the charity with Seven Squared, sharing the opportunity to make a positive contribution to mental health awareness and services via Safe in Our World.
Gestures not have to be huge to be heartfelt or helpful — especially in times of trouble. In LOTRO, players on the Landroval server served up a community parade to lift spirits. The Mercenaries of Eriador kinship put on the event on Saturday, April 4th, giving players the opportunity to strut their stuff — or more precisely, their mounts — at Hengstacer Farm.
The World of Warships team took a different approach, offering fans a little stress-reduction activity out in the real world to help get through the current patch of rough seas. Behold, a picture of the USS Albany for folks to color in! Adult coloring has become quite the anxiety-relieving pastime, and now you can combine it with your love of WOWS. Be sure to share your creations on the official twitter thread.
The last few weeks have thrown us all some rough seas. We challenge you to take a break from your everyday routine to color in this picture of the USS Albany using traditional or digital mediums!
🌊Let's see you're creativity shine! ✨ pic.twitter.com/Neh3iiBIB8
— World of Warships (@WorldofWarships) April 5, 2020
Having cake and eating it too
You know what brings a smile to many faces? Cake. Having cake, and eating cake. It’s all good and uplifts our spirits anytime. Even in-game cake makes folks happier. But what if you had an in-game cake and its real-life counterpart? That’s what Twitter user Rez Kilgannon has, and we might feel just a teensy bit envious. Or at least hungry!
Since 2017, The Elder Scrolls Online has been offering multi-tiered confections in-game during the game’s anniversary. Rez Kilgannon has made a delicious yearly habit of recreating this Jubilee cakes in real life. Apparently, each year gets more difficult, and 2020’s was the toughest yet. But just look how that marvel turned out? It is good enough to eat.
This just goes to show you that you don’t have to be a major studio doing something major to brighten the spirits of others. Small things can mean a lot. Thank you so much Rez Kilgannon for bringing a part of ESO into our world. We needed that kind of happiness. Now, if only you could bring us a slice!
— Rez Kilgannon (@hirezzolution) April 2, 2020
Fake dating for real good!
Remember that fan-made GW2 dating sim we mentioned last week that definitely was not a joke? Well it is live now! And while the little game is free, the creators encourage players to donate to charity by way of compensation. Did the world need another dating sim? We can’t answer that. But the world definitely needs folks using their gaming passion and skills to encourage and bring about support for charities! And that’s exactly what we have here, all wrapped up in a Guild Wars 2-themed experience. Kudos, and bring on more!