When the media at large looks at gaming, it tries to portray the socially inept secluded to living in their parents basement, prone to violence or ogling over over-sexualized digital characters. This is something that as gaming culture has grown and moved towards the mainstream, gamers have been forced to combat. While every stereotype comes from a few extreme examples, the average gamer is just like any average person with an enthusiasm for their hobby. Instead of just sitting back idly and accepting this perception, the gaming society has made efforts both from consumers and publishers to change it.
In 2003, the founders of the gaming webcomic Penny Arcade started Child’s Play, a charity to raise money to help provide comfort and entertainment for children in over 70 hospitals nationwide. In 2011, Child’s Play was proud to announce having their biggest year to date. Originally, the goal had been set to hit $2,000,000. Gamers headed the call and toppled that number with over $3,500,000 instead. In addition to being the year with the most donations, 2011 would also put the lifetime total of Child’s Play over the $10,000,000 mark as well. Check out the official press release from Child’s Play here.
Child’s Play is proof that gamers should be proud of who they are and can make a positive impact in the world. While news outlets may try to tie the violence in games to real life actions or take mature situations out of context of the stories they are a part of to try and put down the gaming culture, Child’s Play shows what a strong, healthy and amazing community that gamers can be a part of.
Please, take the time, whether you are a gamer or not, to check out Child’s Play’s official website and make a donation. The charity is year round and also allows people to host their own events as well.
The Flickcast would like to salute Penny Arcade and the efforts they have done to make this dream not only a reality but a true success as well.