Doing Good With Gaming: Plague Inc. Players Raise Big Money For Ebola Fight

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

Doing Good With Gaming: Plague Inc. Players Raise Big Money For Ebola Fight

While Ebola has fallen out of the news of late, the fight against the disease still carries on in West Africa, where reports suggest it's carrying on in earnest. And for those gamers that play Plague, Inc., an odd dichotomy has emerged: while players are actively trying to develop a virus that will kill off the planet, players are also raising money to stop the push of a virus that's actively trying to kill off the planet.

The campaign started back in November, as Plague, Inc.'s creator Ndemic Creations started a campaign geared toward raising funds for the various organizations in the midst of the Ebola fight. It's only been a couple months, but new word has emerged about its overall success. Not only have over 800,000 players appeared since the campaign's beginning, but the campaign has also raised around $76,000 for fighting the disease.

This isn't the first time, of course, that something like this has happened. In fact, when you start looking at the concept in aggregate, one thing becomes immediately, almost glaringly clear: gamers are an oddly charitable lot. Penny Arcade, the popular webcomic focusing on the bizarre lives of gamers, fathers, and friends Gabe and Tycho, raises money annually via its Child's Play charity to give hospitalized kids toys and games to enjoy whilst in a place that's often downright terrifying. Since 2014, the charity has reportedly pulled in fully $33.6 million. What's more, reports suggest that there has not been a single year since 2003 that the charity has failed to exceed the previous year's total donations. Team Fortress 2 gamers are also well-known for charitable giving, with special bundles going to fund victims of the Japan tsunami back in 2011 (raising a reported $430,543), and the annual Tip of the Hats event goes to the One Step Camp for children with cancer, with the two events comprising its history to date raising a combined $143,000.

I could go on like this, of course, but the point is quite made. Yes, the gaming community has its problems. It has its murderous lunatics who use video gaming like a cloak for their misdeeds. It's not always sensitive to the needs of others. Sometimes it's sexist and sometimes it's racist and sometimes it's a bunch of misanthropic basement-dwellers who desperately need to discover bathing and the outside world, in that order.

But it is most certainly not without its humanity; there are at least 34 million reasons to say otherwise just mentioned in this article and plenty more beyond them. If humanity could be measured in dollars, then gamers would be a lot more human than a lot of people out there. But humanity isn't measured in dollars. It's measured in experiences and awareness and all those other things; dollars are just a symptom of the development. And from everything that's been seen so far, gamers are absolutely human too, for good...and for ill alike.

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