Online gaming has become more than an activity for those looking to pass the time. For charities and other organizations involved in supporting social issues such as healthcare and education, gaming is used as a tool to make a difference.
Teaming up with Amazon, Facebook and Google, Cancer Research UK recently created a mobile game to analyze genetic mutations. The charity will launch the game this summer and hopes to gain enough traction to engage others in a collective mission to diagnose and treat cancer more effectively.
Games for Change, an organization launched in 2004 to facilitate social change through gaming, supports charities looking to build awareness and funds for their social causes. Games supported by Games for Change include THRED, which generates proceeds from in-app purchases to fund treatment and raise awareness of mother-child transmission of HIV, and Half the Sky Movement, a Facebook adventure game aimed at raising awareness and donations to empower women around the world.
Education communities look to gaming as an efficient way to promote learning through play. For example, The Education Arcade, founded by MIT Researchers, explores games that promote learning and is currently designing a multiplayer online game to help students with math and biology, while LeapFrog is one of the many platforms providing free online games to children looking for educational assistance.
These organizations all share one goal – to attract attention to social causes, build funding and inspire gamers to make a difference.