Massively Uplifting: Love and generosity in Sea of Thieves, Guild Wars 2, SOTA, and more

    
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February is often known as the commercialized month of love (Happy Hallmark Day!), but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t genuine love abounding throughout the gaming sphere! And Massively Uplifting is here to celebrate that month of showing love, compassion, respect, and generosity to others, self, and those we’ve lost.

From large initiatives like Sea of Thieves donating to a children’s hospital to small endeavors like Shroud of the Avatar players fundraising for a community member in the hospital or Guild Wars 2 contributing to help the family of a composer, folks are opening their hearts (and wallets when needed) to help others. We’ve also got studios shattering the stigma of mental health and communities mourning the passing of those who’ve touched their lives. Give your heart a boost and spend a moment reveling in these good deeds and uplifting moments.

Love for others: Communities come together

Nothing shouts heart day to us more than when others open their hearts to helping others. And we’ve had many examples of this love this past month. Sea of Thieves created a special sail to sell that benefits the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, England. The hospital serves seriously ill children who need life-saving treatment. The game’s community snatched up these sails to the tune of over 11,000 sold so far! And 100% of the proceeds go directly to the hospital. To put this in perspective: Every 345 sails sold could help fund specialist software to monitor, handle, transport, and transfuse blood for surgery at GOSH.

The Shroud of the Avatar community is coming together in support of one of its own experiencing a medical emergency in her family. Player Catherine Rose’s​ daughter is in the hospital receiving treatment for a rare and aggressive form of cancer (Squamous Cell Carcinoma), and so The AERIE Fund is putting on a special auction to benefit the family and help with hospital bills. What’s up for grabs? Catnip Games donated a rare “Lord of the Isle” pledge bundle for this no-reserve charity auction. A friendly bidding war is already underway, and the current top bid sits at $4000. Anyone wanting to join in has until 9:00 p.m. EST (not one second later!) on Sunday, March 7th, to post a bid. For all the details on how to participate, visit the auction thread on the official site.

It doesn’t end there, though: The AERIE Fund is going one step further and will match the final value of that auction up to $5,000! All proceeds of this auction and the matched donation will be donated to the GoFundMe for Catherine Rose. Folks can also leave messages of support on a special thread.

Those aren’t the only communities trying to ease the burden of those in difficult circumstances…

Love to those we’ve lost

In the Guild Wars 2 community, players and developers are mourning the loss of one of theirs while also raising money for his family to take care of expenses. Stan LePard, a composer who worked on GW2 and many other games passed away very suddenly as a result of a brain hemorrhage, leaving behind his wife and daughter. Colleague Maclaine Diemer shared the news on Twitter as well as information on a GoFundMe set up to help the family. Nearly $5,000 of the $10,000 goal has already been reached. Diemer encourages folks to share memories of LePard on that page.

Players in another community came together this past month to mourn the passing of an icon in the Star Trek Universe. When Star Trek Online players heard of the death of actor Christopher Plummer, they immediately held a personal memorial with torches held high in respect and admiration at the in-game monument dedicated to lost Trek icons. Plummer was easily the greatest Klingon villain in the Star Trek Universe; if you don’t believe us, go watch his portrayal of the Shakespear-quoting General Chang in Star Trek VI:The Undiscovered Country. Grumpy Old Nord shared this experience along with touching images with the world on Twitter.

Love of self: Highlighting mental health

One of the places many of us fall short is with love of self. Hi-Rez Studios, the creator of SMITE and Paladins, encouraged us to go ahead and focus on that while simultaneously smashing at the stigma of mental health issues. The studio invited employees to share their experiences with mental health struggles, especially over this past year. You can hear these stories in the video. By sharing, these stories help others to see that they are not alone in their personal struggles. Additionally, Hi-Rez emphasized that no one needs to feel any shame in seeking help, and it provided links and phone numbers to resources available for folks to use.

More uplifting MMO stories from February

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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It’s such a shame to have to say this on an article that is trying to celebrate the good done in the MMO community, but the SotA story in particular leaves a bad taste because said community are only generous if you support the game, or at best leave it quietly; but it’s one of the most hateful and deliberately harmful to people who are critical of the game online communities that I’ve ever run across.

Which is especially weird considering the Ultima series were based upon virtuous play, but either a mixture of sunk cost and Kickstarter fanatacism and hero worship of Lord British, or outright greed because of the macrotransactions reselling that the game was built around, has led to years of the official forums and Reddit being riddled with outright harassment and abuse which, as the MassivelyOP box lists elsewhere, even includes the actual developers themselves abusing the media for not being grovelling enough.

Now outside of blind charitable donations you can hardly help others without knowing them in a shared community with you somewhere, so I’m not criticising that as such. But the darker side of that particular niche MMO of actively chosing to hate someone because they have questions about the worth of a computer game, can’t help but make the goodness itself also feel questionable. Just like discovering a church, or someone laying claim to being an avatar of a particular faith is covering up for abuse of children or some other deadly sin, can’t help but taint the wider beliefs… good deeds become dirty when coming from blatant hypocrites.

Instead I genuinely wish all those detailed here the best possible care and recovery where possible, no matter what game they play… or actively dislike.