April showers of good deeds bring May flowers of comfort and hope. And after the last couple of months, we sure could use a garden full of those! April was indeed a hard month, but amid the difficulties many in our gaming stratosphere stepped up and brought relief and smiles to others. A number of groups and studios raised money for those affected by the pandemic, especially kids. Bungie pulled its community together, Roblox launched special line of items, Games Done Quick ran a speed run marathon, Warframe added donations to its dev stream-from-home, and The Guild streamed a live Dungeons & Dragons session.
But there are still other needs to fill in the world, and folks have jumped on board those as well: Wargaming, a PlanetSide 2 gaming community, Old School RuneScape, and Sea of Thieves all raised funds and made donations to help military veterans, Doctors without Borders, mental health partners, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Still need more warm fuzzies? We have warm hearts and smiles from a special memorial for a lost player in the City of Heroes Homecoming server and an Animal Crossing cover of Toto’s Africa. Here’s your virtual hug of goodness for the month.
The news is still dominated by the tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic, but goodness and generosity is pushing back at that in big ways. Multiple groups have focused on getting relief to those who are hot hard by the pandemic. The charity Direct Relief was the recipient of many fundraising ventures in April. Its mission is to “Improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay.” And we are certainly in a n emergency! Bungie’s Guardian Hearts campaign raised $731,121.69 for Direct Relief, and Games Done Quick pulled in over $400,000 for the organization. This group will also be hosting a summer event rescheduled from June to August to raise even more for charity.
Instead of having donations only during a single devstream from home, Warframe devs added a link for fans to contribute to Save the Children in multiple streams from home. The total raised by the end of the latest stream stands at $15,253.68, with Digital Extremes being the top donor with a $5,000 contribution. That $20K goal is in sight!
Roblox Corp has committed up to $2 million of its own funds to support UNICEF USA, Code.org, and No Kid Hungry. It launched a collection of limited-edition items — some created by community members — that are available until June 30th or until collective sales reach $1 million. All proceeds of each sale will go directly to the one charity above that the buyer selects, and Roblox will match the donation. So that is up to $1 million from players and another $1 million from Roblox. But going beyond that, the company will also match that player donation a second time, giving up to another $1 million between the charities. That could be $3 million in relief! Check out all of the items available if you’d like to get neat stuff while supporting this cause.
Speaking of No Kid Hungry, the cast of The Guild (a parody web show about MMO players) sat down and played a session of Dungeons & Dragons to raise money for the charity, which works to make sure kids get food, especially while school is out now. Viewers and fans donate over $40K for the charity.
Sharing the relief
Of course even with a massive pandemic adding to the problems in the world, the original needs are still still there. And they still need champions. Luckily, we have many who have also focused on other areas requiring support and assistance, from veterans to children to mental health.
Wargaming is well-known for supporting veterans, and April was no different. Partnering with Stack Up, the World of Tanks/World of Warplanes/World of Warships publisher concluded Operation Lifeboat, a five-week campaign aimed at helping military veterans in need of mental health support. This initiative rose above its $100K goal and reached $114,760. That is tanks to ore than 5,000 WoWS players who participated in Operation Lifeboat by purchasing 5,385 special in-game bundles. 100% of the proceeds went to Stack Up.
In an additional move to help link vets and active duty military with support, Wargaming is also embedding a link into World of Warships that will connect gamers directly with a trained volunteer from Stack Up.
Incredible job! We stand with you, soldiers!! https://t.co/Dljn0WTBic
— PlanetSide 2 (@planetside2) April 17, 2020
While the PlanetSide 2 gaming community Training Alliance Task force started has branched into other games, it has also branched into fundraising for good causes. The group had a target of €1,000 for Doctors without Borders, but it gathered €3,000!
The Sea of Thieves community came together and through the sale of a special new in-game charity sail raised $62,918.02 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which focuses on finding cures for diseases that are afflicting children, such as cancer. Way to go, sailors!
We're raising a toast in thanks to the generous Sea of Thieves community who raised a total of $62,918.02 for @StJude through purchases of the Valiant Dawn Sails! Click here for more info: https://t.co/yV8eUbvmA2 pic.twitter.com/UwwwqD0rDw
— Sea of Thieves (@SeaOfThieves) April 9, 2020
While the Old School RuneScape Play Apart Together DMM tournament didn’t start until May 1st, we didn’t want you to miss out on participating! You can get all the details on the event form the official site. On top of £25,000 for the tourney (which include prizes!) and money raised, Jagex will donate a further £100,000 to its mental health charity partners, CPSL Mind, the Prince’s Trust, and You Are RAD. All of this is in addition to the already-scheduled RuneScape Mental Health Awareness Week charity time-limited event. If you need some extra help during isolation, Jagex published a special article, Wellbeing during Isolation, with the help of CPSL Mind on the official site to give tips and support.
While there are global happenings, sometimes things hit closer to home. The CoH Homecoming server community lost one of its own. Player @Lago passed away on Thursday, April 23rd. A memorial was held in Orobourus, and the community showed up to hold a torch in his memory. Seeing the community support buoys us all. Our hearts go out to all his friends and family, and to the community that mourns his loss. (Thanks for the tip, King Lizard!)
Sometimes an uplifting moment can be simple and small. If you need a smile on your face and a song in your heart, check out this special cover of an oldie but goody. Enjoy Toto’s Africa done Animal Crossing-style.