War in Ukraine: how can video games help?

War in Ukraine: how can video games help?

War in Ukraine

To say that we did not expect to start 2022 with a European conflict is an understatement, we don't have time to (maybe) get out of a pandemic that the world still reminds us of how difficult a place to be can be. Yet, even in this case, video games enter the social and community mechanism that regulates the human species, becoming a vehicle for ideas, initiatives and above all help.

In the course of these days the situation has evolved rapidly and is there is no doubt that the quickest response came from sanctions rather than from aid, at least as far as we are told by the media around the world. In the Russian territory there are bans and leaks of famous brands, including video games. So CD Projekt Red announced that it has stopped sales of its products in Russia and Belarus, FIFA has removed Russia from the game and the developers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 have stopped all work having their headquarters in Ukraine. While on the one hand discussing these answers would lead to a treaty that we have no intention of making, on the other hand we believe it is more right to focus on concrete initiatives to help the Ukrainian people, answering the question "what can I do to help?"

Clearly everything starts even before video games, there are several charities that have activated important humanitarian corridors both nationally and locally. The main advice is to contact the relevant centers in your home city directly. But, in addition to this, there are several initiatives in the gaming world that are worth highlighting as channels for those who want to exploit their passion to do something good.

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Aid to the Red Cross

The most relevant are undoubtedly the gestures of 11bit Studios, creators of This War of Mine, and CD Projekt Red with GOG in donating the proceeds of the sale of This War of Mine entirely to the Red Cross for humanitarian aid corridors. Through a fund that has lasted until today, Friday 4 March, the proceeds have reached the figure of 850 thousand dollars in donation. The company talked about the first wave of funds so we invite you to keep an eye on the official Twitter profile of 11bit Studios for any future initiatives, as well as to find on the page all the links related to the Ukrainian Red Cross.

Following the initiative, several related development studios have joined, especially from Eastern Europe, such as Acid Wizard Studio which will donate all the revenues from the sale of Darkwood (one of the best independent horror games of all time) carried out within the March 8 on all platforms. To these are added Raw Fury and dozens and dozens of independent studios that have followed 11bit Studios in their crusade.

If you want to donate directly to the Ukrainian Red Cross, you can do it through the official website. Another more direct channel, proposed by GSC Game World (STALKER 2 development team) is the COME BACK ALIVE fund to support the Ukrainian armed forces, which you can join through the website in charge of the collection.

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Community Initiatives

Among the concrete help from the development teams, there is also a strong component of solidarity organized directly by the players such as the one that has been freely developed by the The Elder Scrolls Online with the hashtag #ESOFamAgainstWar and which led to several in-game events to raise awareness of the ongoing conflict. The initiative then led to a series of links for charities through a helpful Reddit thread, which we link to in full.

And ESO wasn't the only one to receive such events: World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV and other communities gathered at the main meeting points of their virtual worlds bringing characters wearing the colors of the Ukrainian flag to give their support and, where possible, link to charitable initiatives. Showing closeness and grouping together can be more helpful than one might think, many people have in fact taken these initiatives as a safe place where they can at least find some comfort in uncertain times.

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What can I do as an individual and a player?

To summarize a little, in addition to what we have already highlighted, the most useful thing in the world is to make monetary or goods donations. In the digital world it is clearly the first form to dominate being the only way to connect a flow of money to concrete help, but if you can rely on those who are currently collecting raw materials such as food and clothes for Ukraine: they are aid. more immediate and can make a difference.

Online it is important, as always, to behave correctly and in times of war it means not spreading alarmism or false rumors, even in game chats. You never know who is reading you and what those words mean to him, especially in environments where the answer is public. Also beware of donation links and make sure they are trustworthy funds. Let's go back to suggesting the profiles that we linked to, so that we can keep track of the official initiatives.

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