Whether game developers are charged with making games for consoles, PCs, or mobile devices, the emphasis on creating memorable social experiences and building strong gaming communities is tantamount. With the devastating earthquakes in Nepal that have claimed more than 8,100 lives and left thousands more injured and displaced from their homes, some game devs are reaching out to the player communities of the games they've created to make a social impact that matters right here, right now, in the real world.CCP Games is hosting a PLEX for GOOD auction for EVE Online players. The auction includes several collectible books, art prints, and collectible card game booster packs. Unlike most traditional donation payment options, this auction allows players to donate using PLEX, and bidding ends May 22. Proceeds from the auction go to the Icelandic Red Cross, as they take part in the Nepal earthquake relief efforts. Winning auctions do not have to worry about paying shipping for their items, as CCP Games will be covering it. Per the directions on the EVE Online community site, those who do not win an action who would still like to make a contribution can donate to the cause using PLEX by finding the "CCP PLEX for GOOD" character in the game and contracting one or more PLEX using a 14-day contract. Destiny developer Bungie offers their vast community of Guardians some digital and physical swag to encourage Nepal earthquake donations in the form of a limited edition t-shirt, plus an exclusive emblem and shader to use in-game. The navy blue shirt features an original art design with a Titan, Hunter, and Warlock looking off in the distance at what appears to be Mount Everest. In the bottom left corner, it reads: "Guardians to the aid of Nepal 2015." The shirts are available by pre-order only until May 24, and are scheduled to ship sometime in June. Codes are delivered for each shirt ordered and will be emailed to the customer placing the order on an unspecified date later in 2015.
The call to action on the pre-order page reads like one of Destiny's in-game missions: "Nepal needs help now, Guardians. Answer the call and become a real legend." It begs to wonder just how legendary is the amount of money going to the actual Nepal earthquake cause instead of t-shirt manufacturing costs? According to an official FAQ posted on Bungie.net, of the $24.99 USD t-shirt pre-order price, a minimum $15 USD donation per shirt is being given to help with medical assistance through Direct Relief. Supplies provided by Direct Relief include 1,500 safe birth kits, five digital X-ray machines, five ventilators, and thousands of antibiotics, analgesics, medications, and medical supplies. Thus far, as seen in the tweet above, the Bungie Foundation program has helped raise more than $500,000 to support the earthquake relief efforts in Nepal.For those interested in making a singularly monetary donation, Ubisoft Montréal's Far Cry development team is currently matching all donations up to the first $100,000 donated to the Canadian Red Cross. The natural disaster hits the Canadian developer particularly hard, as Nepal was inspirational in crafting the settings and environments in their latest hit, Far Cry 4, per a statement on the official donation page.
"Having spent the last few years working on Far Cry 4, a game heavily inspired by Nepal and its people, it is with heavy hearts that the Far Cry family pulls together to raise money for the Canadian Red Cross, who are mobilizing their traveling hospital team to Kathmandu to offer support and medical assistance."As of this writing, over $69,600 has been raised as part of the effort and donations are still being matched.
The positive impact gamers are making through their contributions is impressive and, gamer or not, there is a lot that still needs to be done in Nepal, and there are a lot of ways people from all kinds of communities can help.
[Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images]