Video Games For Good: Itch.io Releases “Bundle For Ukraine,” Raises Millions Of Dollars
from the video-games-in-time-of-war dept
For all the posts we’ve done on the impact of video games on society, I have found myself typically either beating back the notion that gaming is a terrible thing responsible for all the world’s problems or talking about common IP conflicts. On the topic of the internet generally, well, it’s mostly the same. But we also have opportunities to talk about the good that gaming and the internet can do.
Which brings us to Itch.io and its brand new “Bundle For Ukraine.”
Yesterday, itch.io launched a bundle of 1,000 games to raise money for Ukraine, helping amidst Russia’s invasion. It’s only $10 but you can pledge however much you want. Already, it’s raised $2 million.
The bundle is up for another eight days and it has already hit its first goal of $1 million. The new goal has been set at $4 million, just under double what it has now. If you decide to donate by purchasing itch.io’s charity bundle, you’ll get $6,500 worth of games for as little as $10 while also helping those caught in the conflict.
The charitable bundle has actually done even better than what was listed at the time of that posts’ writing. You can get to the bundle through this link, where you will see that the project has now raised just a bit under $3 million at the time of this writing. And that, mind you, is with a minimum purchase amount of $10, though you can pay more if you so choose. Most folks don’t, of course, which is how it always works with pay-what-you-want setups. In this case, the average contribution is $15, though notably at least one person paid $9k. With over a hundred thousand contributors, there are certainly plenty of folks paying more than what is the required minimum.
What this represents is the world of video games, the internet, and the public coming together to do something good for the world and that deserves to be highlighted. Too often the stories we hear about gaming and the internet go the other way. And if you’re curious as to where the money for this is going, well…
- International Medical Corps provides medical assistance in the region. They have very low fundraising overhead (1% of income), with 89% of donations going to medical aid and 10% to administration.
- 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. They have also been doing a lot of grassroots impromptu work during the war, such as helping set up shelters. Our hope is that this war will be over soon, and they can begin the work of healing these kids’ hearts.
As always, you may want to look into those organizations to make sure they align with your own values. I certainly haven’t done that research, yet.
But the larger point here is what the internet and gaming can do together in times of need and crises. There are good stories out there. You just have to be paying attention to them.