How Video Games Can Support Charity and Social Justice

Video games have come a long way from being just a form of entertainment. They now have the potential to support charity and social justice causes. Many game developers and players have recognized the power of video games in raising awareness and funds for various causes. In this article, we will explore how video games can support charity and social justice.

The Power of Video Games

Video games have become one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world. According to a report by Newzoo, there are over 2.7 billion gamers worldwide, and the industry is expected to generate over $200 billion in revenue by 2023. With such a massive audience, video games have the power to influence and inspire people.

Gaming for Charity

Video Games for charity, also known as “charity gaming,” is a way of using video games to raise money for various charitable causes. This can take many forms, including charity livestreams, gaming marathons, tournaments, and auctions. Here are some ways in which gaming can be used for charity:

  1. Livestreams: Charity livestreams involve gamers broadcasting themselves playing games on platforms like Twitch, and soliciting donations from viewers. Many popular streamers have used their channels to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the American Red Cross, and others.
  2. Gaming marathons: Gaming marathons involve gamers playing games for extended periods of time, often 24 hours or more, and raising money from sponsors or donors based on how long they play. Many gaming marathons are organized by charity organizations and can involve thousands of participants.
  3. Tournaments: Charity tournaments involve competitive gameplay, with entry fees or other donations going to support a charitable cause. These tournaments can range from small, local events to large-scale, international competitions.
  4. Auctions: Charity auctions involve gamers donating valuable in-game items or experiences, which are then auctioned off to the highest bidder. Proceeds from the auction go to support a charitable cause.

Gaming for charity has become a popular way for gamers to support causes they care about. Many game developers and publishers have organized charity events or added in-game items that players can purchase to support charities. For example, the popular game Overwatch added a special skin for a character called Mercy, and all the proceeds from the sale of the skin were donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

In addition to in-game items, some charities have created their own video games to raise awareness and funds. For example, the game Half the Sky was created to raise awareness about the challenges faced by women and girls in developing countries. All the profits from the game were donated to organizations that support women’s rights.

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Gaming for Social Justice

Video games can also be used to promote social justice causes. Many games have tackled sensitive and complex issues like racism, immigration, and mental health. Games like Papers, Please, and This War of Mine have been praised for their depictions of the struggles faced by refugees and civilians during times of war.

Gaming for social justice is a growing movement that aims to use video games as a tool for promoting awareness and understanding of social issues, such as inequality, discrimination, and human rights violations. Here are some ways in which gaming can be used for social justice:

  1. Raising awareness: Video games can be used to raise awareness about social issues by presenting players with realistic and thought-provoking scenarios that illustrate the challenges faced by marginalized communities.
  2. Promoting empathy: Games can promote empathy by allowing players to experience different perspectives and understand the experiences of others. This can help to break down stereotypes and promote greater understanding and acceptance.
  3. Encouraging action: Games can encourage players to take action on social issues by providing them with information about relevant organizations or initiatives, or by presenting opportunities for players to get involved and make a difference.
  4. Building community: Gaming can bring people together from diverse backgrounds and help to create a sense of community around shared values and interests. This can lead to greater solidarity and collective action on social issues.

Some examples of games that promote social justice include “Papers, Please,” which explores issues related to immigration and border control, “That Dragon, Cancer,” which deals with the experience of caring for a child with cancer, and “Never Alone,” which showcases the cultural traditions of the indigenous people of Alaska.

In addition to tackling social justice issues in the game itself, gaming communities have also been used to support social justice causes. For example, the Black Lives Matter movement has been supported by many gaming communities, with some streamers hosting charity streams to raise funds for organizations that support black lives.

The Benefits of Gaming for Charity and Social Justice

There are many benefits to using video games to support charity and social justice causes. First, it allows gamers to feel like they are making a positive impact on the world. Many gamers are passionate about social justice causes but may not have the time or resources to make a significant impact. Gaming for charity and social justice allows gamers to support causes they care about in a way that is accessible and enjoyable.

Second, it can raise awareness about important issues. Video games have a massive audience, and using games to raise awareness can reach a wider audience than traditional methods. For example, a game that tackles mental health issues can reach people who may not have sought out information on mental health otherwise.

Finally, it can raise funds for important causes. Many charities rely on donations to continue their work, and gaming for charity can provide a significant source of funding. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation raised over $12.7 million from the sale of the Overwatch skin we mentioned earlier.


Video games have the potential to support charity and social justice causes in powerful ways. They can raise awareness, funds, and inspire people to take action. As the gaming industry continues to grow, we can expect to see more games and gaming communities dedicated to supporting important causes. So next time you play a video game, consider how you can use your love of gaming to make a positive impact in the world.