Gamers and Streamers Raise $22+ Million for Charity, Flipping the Script on Gaming Culture

     July 16, 2018

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So far this year, gamers, video game enthusiasts, and streamers alike have come together to raise well over $22 million for charitable causes. That’s an achievement that should be celebrated in the headlines, far and wide. There’s an incredible community out there that’s composed of casual gamers, rabid fans, and top-tier streamers who put their skills on display each and every day, earning accolades and big paydays, and every once in a while they all unite for the common good. But while the positives of this community are repeated within the various circles of the gamers and streamers themselves, too often only the negatives manage to make their way into big, bold, panic-inducing headlines.

Take, for example, the recent inclusion of “Gaming Disorder” by the World Health Organization, the highlighting of certain streamers who use socially unacceptable slurs on their streams, or the volatile toxicity of GamerGate. In any community this large, this passionate, and this varied, you’re going to have bad actors alongside shining examples of the right way to do things. But since the negatives have a tendency to outweigh the positives in headlines, we wanted to put together a snapshot of the incredible charity and mutual support for fantastic causes displayed by the greater gaming community just this year alone.

What follows is a look at charitable events, how much money they raised, and what that money was raised for, along with more information on how you can get involved with future events!

E3 Showdown: Fortnite Tournament  | $3 Million to Charity of Winner’s Choice

Just last month, the first-ever Fortnite tournament teamed 50 of the world’s best players with 50 world-famous celebrities in head-to-head competition in the super-popular Epic Games battle-royal title. The prize wasn’t your usual tournament purse of riches, but rather a $3 million check written to the charity of the winning team’s choice. Perhaps unsurprisingly to fans of Fortnite, the top spot went to the team of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and EDM star/DJ/Producer, Marshmello.

But that was just the beginning. Epic then announced the 2019 Fortnite World Cup, a global competition open to everyone, with $100 million in prize money. So while all that prize money might be less charitable on the surface, streamers and gamers will still need tax-friendly write-offs to offset that insane income. So if you are lucky enough to win a bout, here are some other charities and events you can donate to!

Overwatch | $12.7 Million to Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Before Fortnite stole its spotlight, uber-popular Blizzard Entertainment game Overwatch raised a significant charitable contribution of its own. Rather than host a tournament, Blizzard provided a custom pink character skin for Mercy, along with a t-shirt. Priced at $15 and $30 respectively, 100% of the proceeds from the sales went to BCRF. Blizzard also partnered up with popular Overwatch streamers in order to generate some extra buzz and donation money for the cause, aiding in “prevention strategies, improved treatments, survivorship, and quality of life for breast cancer patients worldwide.” The $12.7 million was a record-breaking achievement for Blizzard and a big boost to the gaming community’s optics overall.

Summer Games Done Quick | $2.2 Million for Doctors without Borders

Games Done Quick is a series of charity video game marathons featuring high-level gameplay by speedrunners raising money for charity. Games Done Quick has teamed up with several charities in its seven-year history, including Doctors Without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and are currently the largest fundraising event globally for both charities.

To date, Games Done Quick has raised over $16.5 million for charity, averaging over 2000 people in attendance at our events, including staff, volunteers, runners, and attendees just looking to have fun and support the event. These events are fantastic displays of speedrunning skills, vintage and modern games, incredible game-breaking tactics, and even wonderful opportunities to donate to a good cause while earning a chance to win prizes at the same time. I can’t recommend them enough!

GuardianCon | $2.7+ Million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Originally started by @Gothalion, @Broman and @KMagic101 as a meet-up for Destiny fans, GuardianCon has quickly grown into a fully fledged charitable event that unites gamers and streamers from all sorts of channels. The two-day, weekend event is the culmination of a week’s worth of 24/7 content from popular streamers who will not only entertain their audiences with gameplay and IRL shenanigans, but also promise insane incentives for hitting certain donation levels. Do you want to see @CohhCarnage play Kingdom Hearts while wearing a cat onesie? Donate to St. Jude during this event and you’ll get your wish!

St. Jude PLAY LIVE | $2 Million for St. Jude This Year, $9 Million Total

And if you don’t want to wait for certain landmark events, but you do want to see your favorite streamers doing all sorts of silly stuff for charity, be sure to follow along with St. Jude PLAY LIVE. If you’re a streamer, you can sign up to create your own campaign and start fundraising, getting a chance to play and stream your favorite video games to raise donations and unlock exclusive loot.

St. Jude has helped push the childhood cancer survival rate from less than 20% when we opened to 80% today, with the ultimate aim of eliminating any future deaths from childhood cancer. But even if you’re just watching and not streaming, this ongoing event gives viewers a chance to get the best of both worlds.

You might even seen @Ezekiel_III transform into classic Hulk Hogan!

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