If there's one thing I know about stereotypes, it's that (like rules) they are made to be broken, destroyed, and turned upside down. And one that is surely being taken down is the stereotype that gamers are lazy, selfish fools who don't care about much else other than what's in front of them on a glowing screen. Now, while those people surely exist—you can find extreme versions of anyone literally anywhere—there are plenty of gamers working to abolish this stereotype. And just how are they doing it? By giving back to those less fortunate and showing that they care.
Case in point: the incredible work done through Childsplay Charity Since 2003, this organization has raised money and helped distribute gifts to children in hospitals across the globe. The goal is simple: Make their stay at the hospital more comfortable and enjoyable through the joy of games and toys.
The organization works in two different ways. First, they accept cash donations throughout the year to "purchase new consoles, peripherals, games, and more for hospitals and therapy facilities." Additionally, they work with these locations to put together wish lists for the kids, who receive "video games, toys, books, and other fun stuff." Awesome, right? Absolutely. And if you're doubting their work in any way, just look at this—they raised $7.6 million in 2013.
And here's the thing: the intersection of gaming and charity goes beyond the (great) work of an organization like Child's Play. In fact, there's a strong tie between the increasingly popular old-school game of bingo and charitable acts. Sounds kind of crazy, right? I thought so too, but it there's some notable work being done there.
According to Which Bingo , nearly $17,000 was raised at a bingo event this past summer that, on its face, appears absurd. It turns out that a makeshift bingo hall was created in Manchester, England in July to serve two purposes: Play a game with the biggest balls ever—seriously they set a Guinness World Record—and raise funds for the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign. Of course, in addition to a clearly solid check for the MCAC, the folks at the event raised some awareness for cancers that impact the lives of men, including testicular and prostate cancers.
Similarly, albeit in an online setting, Betfair's Bingo Promotions includes the opportunity to assist in raising money for the Anthony Nolan Charity. For those unfamiliar with the U.K.-based charity, it deals primarily with blood cancer and finding bone marrow matches to help save lives. Every 20 minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer, Betfair notes on their site, and they're aiming to fight the disease by giving at least several thousand dollars to the charity, if not more.
It's truly inspiring to see all this charitable work done on behalf of gamers across the globe. It also gives me hope that, despite all the terrible things in the world, there are people out there who truly care for others and can look outside of themselves. Not only that, but it just makes me proud as a gamer myself. Keep up the great work, guys!
This is a guest post by Sharon Long, a longtime gamer who just recently got into writing for blogs. When she's not coming up with her next article idea, Sharon can be found taking on all challengers in Mario Kart 8