The phenomenon of televised competitive gaming (often referred to as e-sports) continues to grow in popularityAs the phenomenon of televised competitive gaming (often referred to as e-sports) continues to grow in popularity, it’s no surprise that more and more people, even those who aren’t really involved in the gaming culture, have started to take notice. And while the process of using gaming as a way to raise money is also not exactly a new concept, a collaboration between nationally televised e-sports and non-profit charities has been slowly building traction.
The pairing seems to be a perfect match. Thanks to non-profit charity funds such as the Call of Duty Endowment program and Detective Comics’ (DC) We Can Be Heroes fund, games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Injustice: Gods Among Us (two of the most popular games in the current e-sports lineup) are able to reach audiences outside of the gaming community and are also able to raise money for good causes while doing so. What better way to capitalize on a growing trend than by making it a charitable trend too?
The Call of Duty Endowment program was founded to help military service members transition into civilian careers.The Call of Duty Endowment program which, as the name suggests, is tied to the popular series of military first-person shooters developed by Activision, was founded in October, 2009 to help military service members transition into civilian careers once their enlistment periods were over. The program seeks to help such individuals by creating and assisting new job placement and training resources for military veterans who are transitioning into civilian life.
The program also works closely with public media outlets to help raise awareness for the thousands of former service members who struggle to find civilian jobs. Thanks to donations made by both individual citizens and corporate companies, the Call of Duty Endowment program has already helped many returning veterans and will hopefully continue to do so in the coming years.
The We Can Be Heroes fund, founded by DC Entertainment, has set its sights on an equally critical issue: the hunger crisis currently plaguing the Horn of Africa, which encompasses the nations of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Using popular DC superhero brands such as the Justice League comics and cartoons and video games such as DC Universe Online and Injustice: Gods Among Us, DC Entertainment has been working hard to bring the African hunger crisis into the public spotlight and entreating gamers and readers to become heroes themselves by helping support the We Can Be Heroes fund.
Through the We Can Be Heroes fund, DC Entertainment is showing gamers that they don’t need to wear a cape and a mask to be someone’s hero.The fund is working closely with other international humanitarian organizations such as Mercy Corp, the International Rescue Committee, and the Save The Children fund to help and support the roughly 8 million people of the Horn of Africa by giving them food, clean water, and vital medical supplies. Through the We Can Be Heroes fund, DC Entertainment is showing gamers that they don’t need to wear a cape and a mask to be someone’s hero.
The Call of Duty Endowment program and We Can Be Heroes fund are just the start of what I hope becomes a much larger trend in the near future; pairing popular gaming trends and icons with good causes. Such pairings help raise awareness in key demographics and also help garner popularity for the games they are associated with. This in turn helps bolster game sales, fund national and international e-sports competitions, and raise even more awareness for the causes that really matter. Gaming on its own may not do much to help those in need, but thanks to these and other such pairings, the gap between gaming and giving back shrinks just a little bit more with each passing day.
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