Massively Uplifting: Summer goodness from SOLO, EVE, Bungie, Warframe, and Guild Wars

    
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When the news gets filled with dark and horrible things (and maybe you start to be disgusted with companies and people), it is natural to turn toward some comfort news that focuses on the good and uplifting things happening around us. Filling up on this is more than satisfying; it is balm for the soul. So grab a plate and join us at this summer smörgåsbord of good deeds and heartwarming stories from Swords of Legends Online, EVE Online, Bungie, Guild Wars 2, and more that have happened throughout May, June, and July. After last month, we definitely need it!

Science fiction, heavy on the science

How often would you think playing a video game would help save the world? EVE Online has developed a way. Dubbed Project Discovery, EVE pilots enjoy a unique minigame while helping analyze COVID-19 data that is used to help scientists’ understanding of he virus’ impact on our immune systems. Play a game, advance science! And if you play, you can rise in the ranks and receive unique rewards in the game. For Project Discovery, CCP Games won the Webby People’s Voice Award for Public Service, Activism, and Social Impact.

Wash your hands (even in-game)

Thanks to the pandemic, over the course of 2020 the wisdom of washing your hands for better health hit a new fervor. And Swords of Legends Online wasn’t content with just  leaving it up to some posted signs in washrooms. For its first event, the game introduced a way to role model healthy behavior while earning rewards. During the May and June beta players could wash their character’s hands in a special clean wash basin found in the world. Besides gaining a buff in game, three days of hand-washing earned a special Anti-Epidemic Stamp. Earn and combine three stamps and players unlocked a special avatar and avatar frame — and an adorable masked panda mount once the game launched! (If only I could earn a panda for washing my hands in real life!)

Bungie, bringing the good

Summer may be a time to kick back and relax for some, but Bungie wasn’t slowing down its fundraising for good causes. Bungie Foundation items sold in the Bungie Store during the June’s GCX charity marathon to St Jude Childrens Research Hospital. GCX is a premier community gaming event in the southeast. That meant all purchases from June 13th through June 20th went to the hospital. Additionally, Bungie offered an exclusive in-game charity emblem for any donation of $50.00 and an entry to a drawing for a signed Eris Mornstatues for ever $7.00 donation.

Then come July, the Bungie Day fundraising efforts brought in nearly $500k in the first few days of the campaign. The foundation continues with its efforts to “reduce distress and suffering in children with illnesses by providing age-appropriate technology that enables distraction, therapeutic play, and a sense of normalcy during a stressful and scary situation.”

Collecting to fight cancer

Speaking of St. Jude’s, the research hospital sent out a tweet thanking the gaming community at large for raising over $40,000,000 for the kids since 2014. Way to go, gamers! And St. Jude’s recognizes how video games are helpful to kids struggling with illness like cancer, and it suggests ways to celebrate National Video Game Day.

If you haven’t heart of ArvCon, you aren’t alone. But this group of folks came together raise money for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation by steaming a variety of games on Twitch throughout #ArvCon2021. In total, 30 players and performers across nine separate events raised a total of $7,000. A hearty thank-you to everyone involved!

TennoCon takes on homelessness

Every year, Digital Extreme’s big Warframe convention picks a local charity to support through sales from the con. TennoCon 2021’s partner was Unity Project for Relief of Homelessness. More than just trying to prevent homelessness and providing emergency shelter for those who are struggling to avoid and to escape homelessness, this organization “seeks to empower each participant in their own process toward obtaining housing, and utilize every available community resource to help them maintain stability in community.” Thanks to the support from fans, $200,000 CAD was raised for The Unity Project. Additionally, this donation upped Digital Extreme’s charitable donations to local organizations to more than one million dollars over TennoCon’s six years.

Helping hands melt hearts

Sometimes it is the smallest things that can mean the most. Twitter user @BitterMercy shared an experience of bumping into and assisting a group of senior citizens playing Guild Wars 2 while doing JP escort runs in Silverwaste. BitterMercy learned that everyone in the group was over 70, and they requested to go slow. It is a two-fold heartwarming story as not only does BitterMercy help folks in the game, but the group of seniors were all helping each other out as well. This is so the kind of community and goodness we need to see!

Speaking of good communities, one gamer has made a special effort to positively build up the Final Fantasy XIV community. Super Dungeon Friends is a discord community created to foster low-pressure, judgment-free grouping in the game. Though starting in FFXIV, the hope is to expand to other games as well. If you like chill dungeon runs, definitely check this initiative out.

Making gains for mental health

For May’s Mental health week, RuneScape created a special Meditation Bundle filled with in-game goodies. The sale of these went to support two of Jagex’s charity partners that focus on mental health. CPSLMind, with its STOP Suicide campaign, provides support to folks experiencing mental health problems in Jagex’s stomping grounds, Cambridge and Peterborough. RAD, or Rise Above the Disorder, is a worldwide community aiming to make mental health care available to everyone, everywhere, by providing entirely free mental health services to gamers — all from one gamer’s missions to overcome depression.

Supporting Inclusivity

Japanime Games is supporting diversity and inclusivity by partnering with two amazing non-profits: The Trevor Project and The National Center for Transgender Equality. The company created two new sets of Player’s Choice card sleeves — Powder Blue and Power Pink — to represent the colors of the Transgender flag. The sleeves have currently sold out, and $1.00 per pack purchased is slated to go the non-profits.

Honoring those we’ve lost

This summer was also a time of loss. SMITE’s community has been mourning the loss of a popular esports caster John Finch. Hi-Rez had postponed its eports event over a weekend due to this loss. When many wanted to donate to charity in Finch’s honor, Hi-Rez shared the family’s wishes to donate to Macon Museum of Arts & Sciences and Southern Center for Human Rights. The studio also is planning an official charity event as a tribute to Finch; it’ll be hosted later in the year.
The World of Warcraft community also had a loss with the passing of addon Developer Jon “Sylvanaar” Akhtar.  Akhtar was the author of several well known World of Warcraft addons including Prat, Addon Control Panel, and WoW Instant Messenger. With nearly 50 million downloads on Curseforge, his addons have had quite the impact on the WoW community even if folks didn’t always know his name.

A second helping

While that is a plateful of summer goodness, why stop there? How about a second serving of these delightful stories! Heap on these uplifting morsels and enjoy.
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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Damon Anderson
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Damon Anderson

Thanks for the positive news, great article.

Leo
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Leo

good news, all around

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zoward

Thanks, MJ. I needed that.