It was a month that started in love but ended with war: Terrible, painful things keep happening in the world and in our communities. On top of health plights, inequality, and environmental issues, we now have a war in Ukraine. There’s certainly no shortage of needs. But you know what? There are also many hearts out there willing to be the good in the world. And we’ve witnessed many gamers coming together to help others on local and global levels. Our goal with Massively Uplifting is to highlight these acts of charity, kindness, and goodness that help better the world around us. Not only can we be uplifted ourselves, but we can also be inspired and find more ways to help those around us!
Take a few moments to bask in the goodness that still exists and check out these uplifting stories of our gaming world making our real world better, including multiple developers raising funds to aid Ukraine, one CSGO professional player donating and using his voice at a tournament to call for peace, and the Bungie Foundation’s third annual Game2Give charity event expanding beyond the iPads for kids program to add disaster relief and inclusion, diversity, and equality initiatives.
The horrors of war going on now have impacted many in untold ways. So many are in need, and seeing this need, many want to reach out and help. Here are four stories of folks who are sending aid and support to the Ukraine in both large and small ways.
Shortly after the invasion happened, Niantic quickly sent out a notice informing that Pokemon Go Tour: Johto ticket holders in the Ukraine would immediately be refunded. The studio emphasized that the players would still be able fully access and play it.
♥️ @s1mpleO#IEM pic.twitter.com/nQjH576Cqa
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) February 25, 2022
On an individual level, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional player Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev used the platform of an annual tournament in Poland to offer an emotional plea calling for peace for his homeland the Ukraine, as well as for the world. Although he and his team were knocked out of the tournament, he still personally donated one million Ukrainian hryvnias (just over $33,000 USD) to the Ukrainian army.
With a rally cry of creating worlds, not destroying them, the developer Necrosoft called for and accepted submissions from other devs for a bundle to support Ukraine on itch.io. Over 700 developers added their support and created a package of almost 1,000 games, tabletop RPGs, books, and more. This Bundle for Ukraine raised $6,370,307.20, and all proceeds were to be split equally between two charities, International Medical Corps (which provides medical assistance in the region) and Voices of Children (a Ukrainian organization that helps children cope with the horrors of war, PTSD, readjusting to school, and getting back to being kids). And that sum was built on an average contribution of only $14.17! Necrosoft, I believe you achieved your goal of showing the world that video games can be a force for good.
Fortnite also sponsored relief efforts, and its community along with Xbox raised $144 million as announced earlier today. These funds are going to multiple organization to provide relief and humanitarian aid to Ukrainian citizens: Direct Relief, Unicef, the World Food Programme, UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), and World Central Kitchen.
#Game2Give will officially remain open until the end of March!! That means you have until the end of the month to donate & score one of this year's exclusive incentives before they're gone!
Donate today at https://t.co/D9RJh9ygCb pic.twitter.com/UuA0W9Hi8o
— Bungie Foundation (@BungieLove) March 3, 2022
We covered many more humanitarian initiatives in Ukraine since February; we’ll be rounding them up at the end of this piece.
Bungie’s Game2Give grows
This spring marked Bungie’s third annual Game2Give initiative. This global fundraiser that includes livestreams and in-game goodies for Destiny 2 has in the past focused on its iPads for Kids project, which is getting devices in the hands of children in hospitals worldwide. However, this year the initiative has expanded: In response to player feedback, the Games2Give campaign has grown to sponsor three causes to support to help positively impact the world. These three areas of focus that fundraising will support are disaster relief and humanitarian aid; inclusion, diversity, and equality initiatives; and expanding the original iPads for kids program.
Here's the beautiful flowers that Bethesda sent to me!! Very beautiful!! Thank you @Bethesda.https://t.co/My0jAfgDLE
— Shirley Curry (@ShirleyScurry) March 2, 2022
Get better soon, Grandma Shirley!
At the end of February, the beloved grandma of Skyrim announced on Twitter that she’d had a stroke. Fans weren’t the only ones with an outpouring of love and support to her; a few days later, Curry posted a video to share the flowers that she’d received from Bethesda and to express her heartfelt thanks. We all wish you a speedy recovery, Grandma Shirley!
Losing a champion
The Champions Online community lost a champion: Cryptic and the Champions family shared the passing of Scott Bennie, aka Thundrax, who was not only an avid player of the MMO but also a long-time designer for the pen and paper Champions game. Rest in peace, Scott.