As a gamer it’s been amazing to see how much the video game industry has evolved over the past 2 decades. The emergence of social media platforms, smartphones and tablets have made gaming more popular than ever across all demographics. This has helped dispel the long-held stereotypes associated with people who enjoy gaming. However, this industry is still an easy target for a lot of negative press, you don’t have to look far to find articles and studies that vilify the gaming Industry. Despite all of this an increasing amount of charities are beginning to embrace the power of video games and are now using it a force for good to help tackle real-world issues:

In 2010, Zynga’s gamers raised over $1.5 million in 5 days for Haitian earthquake relief by making donations within Zynga’s top four games on Facebook.

Zynga's farmville sweet seeds

Zynga’s farmville sweet seeds

With the rises in cases of Ebola early this year UK indie developer Ndemic Creations turned their game Plague Inc. Into an awareness and fundraising tool – in the space of 3 months £50,000 was raised for Ebola Relief and the developers have seen over 800,000 click throughs to their StopEbola website.

Pandemic's fundraising outside of their game

Pandemic’s fundraising outside of their game

In February of this year Humble Bundle launched their ‘Humble Star Wars Bundle’ which offered up to 9 Star Wars games to purchase with a portion of proceeds going towards supporting charities Unicef and Star Wars: Force for Change. After only 10 days over 350,000 bundles were sold raising over $4.3 million.

Star Wars Humble bundle for Unicef

Star Wars Humble bundle for Unicef

A great man once told me that…“with great power, comes great responsibility”…..ok so I stole that quote from Uncle Ben! but video games ARE powerful and it’s great to see this power being used to get us all more involved in tackling important global issues.