With the rising popularity of video game streaming on platforms like Twitch and Youtube, it was only a matter of time before gamers decided to harness their growing viewership for good. Today, one can find a variety of charity events raising millions of dollars being held by the gaming community. Events like Games Done Quick, Extra Life, and RPG Limit Break hold gaming marathons in order to raise money and awareness for a variety of worthy causes.
Games Done Quick has raised over 10 million dollars since its inception in 2010 through its marathon streams of speedrunners, gamers who attempt to complete video games as fast as possible. The skills of these gamers and the astounding accomplishments that that can achieve are the biggest draw of these events, as well as the lively community of viewers who can chat during the streams. Additionally, these events, such as Awesome Games Done Quick and Summer Games Done Quick, offer donors incentives to donate, like the ability to increase the challenge to the participating runners once a certain donation goal is met. Most commonly, these events benefit organizations like Doctors Without Borders (4-Star) and the Prevent Cancer Foundation (4-Star). In a similar vein, RPG Limit Break aims to support its chosen cause, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (3-Star), by holding a speedrunning marathon with a focus on the genre or Role Playing Games (RPGs).
Extra Life has also capitalized on gamers desire to do good by organizing a Game Day (Nov 4th) annually, in which they encourage gamers to commit to playing 24 hours of games and to gather sponsors for the event in order to generate contributions. The proceeds from this event go to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (4-Star). Since its first Game Day in 2008, the charitable gamers who dedicate their time to this fundraising event have raised over 30 million dollars to benefit their selected cause.
These organized events demonstrate the clearly philanthropic power of the gaming community. By merging their passion for the games they play with their passion for effecting positive change in the world around them, this community has opened up entirely new avenues for generating funds for these varied causes!