Video games have become so much more than entertainment vehicles; they have become the hubs around which entire communities revolve. And for the leaders of these communities, a natural question is bound to arise: How can we take this energy and turn it into something positive? Over the years, several massive charity efforts have been undertaken, and gaming journalist Nate Bender joined CultureShift to shed some light on what these organizations do and who they help.
He says livestreaming platform Twitch is testing a new feature called Twitch Charity, which will allow streamers to donate all revenue made in a stream session to a charitable cause of their choice.
“This has been a long-requested feature from Twitch streamers, and it’s really exciting that this is getting introduced now.”
According to Bender, the world of gaming charity organizations is surprisingly robust. To learn more about it, he sat down with prolific Twitch streamer and Charity Director for Gaming Community Expo (GCX), ProfessorBroman. GCX has become the largest gaming expo in Florida and has raised over $17 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. ProfessorBroman says the organization is especially near to his heart, as he and his family have suffered a series of hospitalizations throughout their lives.
“For me, working with [St. Jude] is like a chance to give back. It’s a chance to give families the opportunity to remain financially stable while going through catastrophic experiences that would bankrupt most people,” ProfessorBroman shares.
Listen to Bender’s full conversation with ProfessorBroman:
Bender also has some personal experience with gaming for good. He shares that he participated in the first two years of Extra Life, a 24-hour gaming marathon that raises money for the Texas Children’s Hospital in the style of a walk-a-thon. Additionally, his podcast, Limit Break Radio, raised over $20,000 in support of Extra Life.
“I would really encourage anyone out there who’s looking to get involved to find one of these charities and to see what you can do.”
Later, Bender breaks down some of the largest gamer charities and the variety of methods and causes they deploy to raise money in the gaming community. Some of these charities include Child’s Play, Games Done Quick and Michigan’s own Gamers Outreach, which raise money for organizations like children’s hospitals, Doctors Without Borders and the Malala Fund.
“These charities are a really effective fundraising vehicle to be able to get money into the hands of organizations that may not be so connected with this digital, modern game-osphere.”
Listen: Nate Bender talks charities, outreach and unionization in the gaming industry.